Plan cleverly and eat more healthily
After a strenuous day at work, we often don’t have the time and energy to cook a healthy meal. And with so many ready-made meals on hand, it’s easy to lose any interest in cooking at all.
Home-made is healthier
However, a study conducted in France in 2017 shows that people who plan and prepare their meals in advance eat more home-made foods – and therefore more healthily. The study carried out on 40,000 adults links meal prepping to a healthier diet and lower weight.
Which ingredients can be cooked in advance?
Carbohydrates: decide on 1-2 carbohydrate components that you can use in a variety of ways: for example, lentils, brown rice or millet. These can form the base for stews, salads or gratins.
Vegetables: prepare larger quantities of several types of vegetables. Some can be steamed or roasted, others simply chopped and stored raw. The vegetables are then ready to use as a side dish, in salads or with dips.
Dips or sauces: prepare a delicious dip or sauce once a week that can be used in a variety of ways.
Avoid a one-sided diet
It's advisable to follow the above-mentioned tips carefully to avoid dietary errors. When not practised correctly, meal prepping can lead to nutrient deficiencies, a strong urge to snack, or culinary boredom – which will then affect your motivation to cook more healthily.
Clever meal prepping is easy
Spend once a week cooking a range of ingredients in advance and use them later to create several quick and easy meals. This not only saves time but helps people with busy lives eat more healthily.
Take the time once a week to plan what you want to cook over the coming days. What does your family like? What is in season and available locally?
Shopping for cooking in advance
Write down everything you need for the week on a shopping list and save time by doing one big weekly shopping trip. Or shop online and have everything conveniently delivered to your home.
Preparation is the key to efficiency
Just one hour of preparation pays off. It’s not necessary or sensible to pre-cook and store complete meals. Individual components are enough.
Finalise and enjoy
This way you can conjure up meals later in the week in a matter of minutes. For example: combine cooked quinoa, fresh or pre-steamed vegetables, a packet of rocket, mozzarella and a prepared dressing to make a filling and crunchy salad. Tofu, pre-cooked brown rice and vegetables can be transformed into a colourful stir-fry in ten minutes. You’ll have time again at the weekend for creating more elaborate dishes.
Basic ingredients for cooking in advance
Ideal basics for prepped meals are cereals, pseudocereals, pulses and soya as they lend themselves well to combinations with fresh vegetables.
Simply cook according to package instructions and store in the fridge for up to four days. Of course, sauces, vegetables and meat can also be easily prepared to be added later.