What is Batch Cooking?
Batch Cooking is a method often used by people who don’t have time to cook but want to eat healthy food or are tired of thinking about what to cook every day.
The main idea is cooking in larger portions only one day of the week so you can save some for later to make your life easier. Organizing meals this way make you to save time, money and effort. We’ll tell you what it’s all about and what are the basics you need to consider to do it.
What are the benefits of Batch Cooking?
1. It’s cheap
It’s known that making your own meals is always much cheaper than ready ones! By batcth cooking you’ll do shopping in bulk and you’ll save more. And also you won’t waste food , you will see how the habit of throwing food in the trash has disappeared.
2. Saves time
When you batch cook, you don’t have to spend time to think about what to cook every day. Instead of wasting time or energy searching in internet or cookbooks, just look in the freezer! If you are preparing meals for one week, it will take probably 1-3 hours, plus shopping time. If you batch cook for a month, it can take 3-6 hours. And it’s shorter than everyday cooking.
3. It’s healthy
By batch cooking you have healthy own cooked meals available to hand after a busy day at work, instead of buying a supermarket ready-meal or a takeaway. You already have cooked foods, you don’t have to snack and all you have to do is heat them up. Besides, freezing foods doesn’t change the nutritional value. Maybe texture of some of them changes, but that doesn’t make it less healthy for you. Batch cooking also means you’re in control of what you eat. You use ingredients that you know, add nutritions you need.
As children love spending time with parents, you can turn cooking into quality time with the kids. Batch cooking is an activity you can include them by choosing the recipes and portioning it together or let them write the labels with a marker.
Foods frozen well:
✅ Fruits can go off quite quickly but are perfect for freezing. Most fruit freezes well, just be sure to peel and cut into portions and you’ll save yourself a lot of food waste!
✅ Most vegetables can be frozen, chop them into portions to make it easier. Now they’re all ready to eat. Vegetables that do not freeze well are cabbage, cucumbers, celery and potatoes.
✅ Basic things such as milk, bread and butter can all be frozen.
✅ All meat and fish can be frozen. Freeze them in servings so you can defrost only what you need and save on waste.
✅ Fresh herbs, cooked rice and cereals and even whole meals can be frozen and thawed as needed.
Foods that should not be frozen:
❎ Fried foods don’t freeze well.
❎ Vegetables to be eaten raw cannot be frozen.
❎ If you freeze a fruit, you cannot eat it as is, but you can use it to do puree, jam, ice cream, etc.
❎ Never freeze raw eggs in their shells. The liquid inside expands and the shells crack. However, if they are whisked, you can store them in a well-sealed container.
❎ Raw or cooked potatoes turn color.
❎ Mayonnaise, egg whites, or meringue.
❎ Sour cream, cream cheese, or any kind of milk-based sauce.
How can you start batch cooking?
Plan Your Meals
1- Decide which cooked foods you want to freeze, whether like to cook meals or only prepare ingredients and how many meals you like to make overall.
2- Choose meals that you can combine with your other meals. Look over all the recipes you plan to use and make a detailed shopping list. And don’t forget choosing foods that freeze well.
Making Your Food
1- Also check your materials needed for freezing at home. Go shopping with your list.
2- Plan how to cook. Think your recipes and your cooking appliances in your kitchen and use a cooking order with your oven, range, slow-cooker, air fryer, etc.
Packaging and Labeling Your Food
1- Decide how to package your food. For keeping in thefridge, airtight glass containers are good. If you will store meals in the freezer, freezer bags are better. It’s important storing the amount household normally consume in one sitting in one freezer bag.
2- Label your food items. Use a permanent marker to write on a freezer bag. Write down what the contents are and its date.
Place your food in the fridge or freezer.
Most meat dishes can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. For plant-based foods (like cereals) it may take up to 5-7. Most meals can last up to 4 months in the freezer.
And it’s time to eat!
You spend less time for cooking, you’ll have more time for enjoying. Now just reheat your meal. If your meal is frozen, put it to the fridge up to a day before you plan to eat it. Then move it to a pot, pan, or baking dish, and heat it up on the stove or in the oven. Be careful about reheat instructions of some foods.