Many people (myself included) have claimed healthy eating as one of their top New Years priorities. But when busy days flood our calendars it can be difficult to find the time to make healthy and satisfying meals. That’s where meal prep comes in. Have you ever tried it? It’s basically the answer to all our problems.
Instead of picking up take-out or ordering in, there are certain foods you can make in large quantities, freeze, and heat up on your busiest days! When I was away at University my mom would make me huge batches of turkey chili and her famous mac and cheese to freeze. It was so great! In between classes and dance practices I would heat it up, and voila, have a quick and healthy dinner. Foods like breakfast burritos, beans and muffins are perfect for re-heating, and they maintain their yummy taste and nutrients, so don’t worry, they won’t taste bland after freezing.
To ensure you’re eating nutritious and tasty meals on your busiest days, check out our favorite (and healthy!) make-ahead freezer food recipes.
1. Freezer- Friendly Chili
Like I mentioned in the intro, I have had a lot of chili to freeze and re-heat over the years, and it’s done me well! My mom would make me turkey chili, which is a great source of protein and it was loaded with nutritious veggies like onions, beans and tomatoes. Choose your favourite chili – whether it’s vegetarian, beef or chicken – for a healthy, speedy heat-up meal.
Check out this Healthy Turkey Chili recipe by Ambitious Kitchen for a little inspiration!
2. Make-Ahead Muffins
Muffins are a great power snack to bring with you on your busiest days! Look for a healthy recipe (whole grains for fiber, berries for antioxidants, protein for energy, etc.). Bake up a big batch and store them in the freezer. This way you can take them out to thaw or zap them in the microwave on the run – how convenient and delicious!
These Easy Breakfast Casserole Muffins by Thriving Home are a great way to kickstart your day!
3. Breakfast Burritos
Believe it or not, breakfast burritos are extremely popular re-heat meals! They’re filling, tasty and packed with protein (hello, eggs!). And even though they’re called breakfast burritos, you can totally eat them for lunch or dinner. For best keep, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then put them into a plastic container before freezing.
Try these Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Egg White Breakfast Burritos by Ambitious Kitchen!
I absolutely LOVE soup, and it freezes and reheats evenly while retaining its taste. You can easily make soups in huge batches so you have tons to store away in the freezer to eat later. Let it thaw or microwave until it’s slushy, then heat it up on the stove to your desired temperature.
This collection of 25 Healthy Soup Recipes is filled with ideas to keep your taste buds happy!
Although they’re not a meal in themselves, beans are a great source of protein. If you cook dry beans and freeze single-serve portions, you can re-heat them to throw into your meals. I love using beans and chickpeas in my salads. Such a simple addition with great benefits!
Learn how easy it is to cook and freeze beans!
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And if you’re looking for more ideas to help you maintain your health and weight loss goals this year, please follow our Health and Fitness board where we share all kinds of great tips and tricks!