How to improve your meal-prepping game while in quarantine

Here's how to use your freezer properly and reduce food waste, too!

Entertainment Desk April 07, 2020

Over the past few weeks, many of our food shopping habits have changed. While we used to perhaps drop by the grocery store or bazaar every few days, in the times of the coronavirus pandemic, we are avoiding going in public spaces as much as possible.

We’re each learning to adapt to these changes in our routines differently, and in modifying to the times, we can also learn to tap into the unsung hero of appliances - the freezer.

While housing your favourite ice cream is still super important, using your freezer strategically can help you keep homemade goods within reach for easy snacking and lets you have balanced, nutritious meals on hand throughout the week.

As compiled from The Every Girl, here is how you can turn your freezer into a meal prep game-changer we never knew it could be.

Get creative with your greens 

While shopping every few days affords many of us the luxury of having fresh fruits and veggies when we need them, a once weekly or even biweekly grocery trip makes that same luxury a challenge. Luckily, there are many ways you can incorporate those vitamins and nutrients into foods that’ll keep in the freezer.

Smoothies are an easy way to get a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables (not to mention protein, fats, and fibre). Skip the smoothie pack and blend all of your ingredients at once, filling plastic jars and screwing an airtight lid on top. The night before you want a smoothie, put a jar in the fridge to thaw out, shake, and enjoy.

Keep things organised 

Instead of throwing things back wherever you see room in the freezer, invest in a few organisers to help you out. Plastic tubs allow you to assign specific areas of the freezer to different categories of food. Now, you should know exactly where to look for vegetable stock, smoothies or leftover meals.

But remember, your freezer’s ability to keep foods fresh longer is a double-edged sword. While you can store soup for several months, if you’re not careful, other meals can easily get lost in the depths of your freezer. Instead of playing the dangerous game of guess-when-I-made-this, simply label containers with what’s inside and the date you froze it.

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Breakfast is your freezer's favourite meal

We are currently focused on boosting our immune systems during self-isolation, so nutritious breakfasts such as berry-packed muffins could be part of your regular rotation. After scooping the batter into a muffin tin, you can either bake right away or place the muffins in the freezer until set. From there, the muffins can keep in the freezer for up to two months, for ready-to-bake deliciousness at your fingertips.

Try recipes even like freezer waffles. Make a batch on Sunday morning, let them cool, and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer. When you wake up on Thursday with a serious craving for waffles, just pull one from the freezer, reheat in the toaster and enjoy the deliciousness!

The possibilities are endless with desserts

While we all know your freezer can be a goldmine for ice cream, it can also house your favourite cookie dough to be baked off any night after dinner. Mix up the recipe, scoop out cookies onto a baking tray, and chill until cold and solid, transferring to a zipped-top bag to be stored for up to three months. When the craving hits, grab a ball or two from the freezer and bake off in the oven for a homemade treat you can thank your past self for.

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