Oct. 23. 2015
How-to
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

Fall is in full swing and so many of you, myself included, are getting back into routines which puts our schedules in a bit of a bind. My secret weapon always has been and continues to be batch cooking! Cooking meals ahead of time to prepare for the week ahead is crucial for a busy day when you just want to come home and eat, not spend hours prepping or cooking food. If you need a little refresher, check out this post and guide on How to Batch Cook. Today I’m sharing some tips on how to take this up a notch by using freezer meals and other ways to store your meals for the week so there’s less fuss and more time spent relaxing, hanging with friends and loved ones. I partnered up with FoodSaver® to show you how to store your favorite recipes for the entire week, and then some!

5 TIPS TO STORE LEFTOVERS FOR LATER

1. 

Freeze soups. The freezer is the holy grail for making your own “TV” dinners ahead of time and storing them in freezer safe bags that are airtight. For example, let’s say you make a huge batch of your favorite soup this fall and winter like the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, all you have to do is reheat them and you’re good to go. How do you freeze soup? Pour them in the bag to lay flat and freeze.

Try these recipes to save for later:

2. 

Freeze baked goods. There are times where I just want a couple slices of my Nourishing Nut & Seed Bread yet don’t feel like making it; this is where the freezer is your BFF and storing those recipes for later helps make snack and meal time super simple. Most of these can be thawed overnight in the fridge or taken out and thawed for 20 minutes or so (like all the energy truffles) and enjoyed chilled.

Try these recipes to save for later:

3. 

Keep it fresh. Sometimes after making homemade almond milk, if I’m not ready to use the almond pulp right away I’ll freeze it for later. Same with other vegetables, granolas, rice, beans, anything that I’m not using within a week’s time I’ll freeze for later. I’m a huge fan of buying in bulk to save money, but also for the ease of storing dried pantry items- in this case you can use the FoodSaver® to get rid of all the air in the jar to keep everything from grains, beans, nuts, and seeds fresh.

4. 

Prepare and chop vegetables to use later on. Healthy eating can be expensive if you waste, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the biggest assets to eating healthy all year round and staying under budget is all in how much you purchase at the grocery store, how much you eat, and planning, all help decrease food waste as much as possible. Storing produce is a challenge for many of you since I get so many questions about it, but as long as you’re washing, rinsing, and storing pre-cut vegetables and fruits in something that keeps the air out, you won’t feel like you’re literally throwing away money when you toss out bad veg. On Batch Cooking day, I’ll typically pre-cut a bunch of veggies and pop them into a bag to save for the entire week for easy snacks, toppings on salads, and stir-frys.

5.

Marinating machine! I love using the FoodSaver® to do quick marinates of organic tempeh, organic tofu, or fresh fish; it’s quick and easy. I keep marinates very simple, so I’ll start with an extra virgin olive oil, an acid of some kind like lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, etc., fresh garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and any/all spices you can come up with that go with your dish! I’m a huge fan of spice blends when it comes to marinades, which save you money and time with coming up with combinations of flavors. You can keep these foods marinating overnight in the fridge or a quick 30 minute does the trick when all the air is forced out of the bag!

Other blog posts I have a hunch you’ll love:

Your turn: what are your favorite ways to keep food lasting? How do you store it for the week ahead? GO!

xx McKel

“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by FoodSaver through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer System, all opinions are my own.”