Batch cooking: find out about the latest cooking trend
When we don’t have time to cook, it’s really helpful to have something ready in the fridge. Because of this, in this fast-pacedand stressful world, batch cooking has arisen as a healthy alternative that helps us to organise and optimise the time we spend during the week
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With the time we spend at work, time for the family, social commitments and looking after ourselves… there are not enough hours in the day for everything we want to do. Our lives have changed a lot when compared to how our grandparents lived years ago and, because of this, our priorities and free time have changed too. This has been clearly reflected in our food, as on many occasions, the lack of free time prevents us from giving cooking the time it deserves.
When we don’t have time to cook, it’s really helpful to have something ready in the fridge. Because of this, in this fast-paced and stressful world, batch cooking has arisen as a healthy alternative that helps us to organise and optimise the time we spend during the week. Why? Because this new trend mainly consists of making the meal plan for the whole week… In just a few hours! If you want to find out all the ins and outs of this new trend, which has inundated the social networks, we tell you all about it below.
What is batch cooking?
Batch cooking, or cooking in batches, is the name given to the method that aims to reduce and optimise the time spent cooking at home. This trend consists of making all the meals that you will eat throughout the week in a few hours. How? By being very well organised and making the most of the resources you have as well as common cooking times for the foods.
Tips for batch cooking correctly
Above all, batch cooking requires organisation, but there are other things that we need to keep in mind when cooking in batches. Discover the essentials for using this method correctly!
Good planning: the aim of batch cooking is not giving up on healthy home cooking and optimising your time in the kitchen. To do this, you simply need good planning, that is, having a good idea about the dishes you are going to make and the ingredients you need to do this. Something that may help you to be clearer about what you will be eating each day is organising your daily meals. Not sure how?
- Try creating weekly templates and alternate them so that you eat as varied a diet as possible.
- Make an efficient shopping list.
- Keep a few hours free to make the meals for the week. For example, if you work from Monday to Friday, save a morning or afternoon during the weekend to do your batch cooking.
Easy recipes: the best way to do batch cooking is to create some easy recipes and use some common bases like: meat, fish, fresh vegetables, seasonal fruit or even sauces to accompany them. Learn to experiment with them to design the main part of your weekly meals and, in this way, make the most of foods that can be cooked in the same way.
How long foods will keep in the fridge: planning your shopping list for batch cooking will make you more aware of the foods that keep best in the fridge, those that may go off more quickly and the order in which you should eat them. When creating your recipes, try to use seasonal foods, because not only are they easier to find in the supermarket, but they are also much healthier, cheaper and… they keep better in the fridge!
How to store the food: food storage is very important in batch cooking because the meals will be stored in the fridge or freezer for several days. When storing food, you should:
- Ensure that you use plastic food containers that close properly. This way, you will avoid freezer burn and the foods acquiring strange tastes. In the case of soups, don’t fill the container to the top as the water will expand when it freezes and take up more space. So always remember to leave a little bit of space between the liquid and the lid. Also, if you don’t want to get any nasty surprises, we recommend you use plastic containers with screw on lids.
- Freeze foods in portions. For example, if you make a vegetable soup, store the portions in the number of containers that you will need for the week.
- Use containers with different compartments in which you can store a complete meal. This way you can separate various foods so they can be better preserved, for example, the sauces that accompany a meal.
5 Benefits of batch cooking
Apart from saving you time in the kitchen, using this method will help you in various aspects of your daily life:
- Do away with food waste: this method is a sustainable option, as being organised when doing the shopping will help you to only spend money on what you are going to cook. Also, preparing all the meals at the same time will help you to reduce food waste. For example, if you need courgette in two recipes, you can use the same piece of vegetable without it spoiling in the fridge while waiting to be used in the next meal.
- Moving away from fast food: one of the greatest benefits of batch cooking is that it helps you to do away with the fast or processed foods that we reluctantly eat due to lack of time. By being well organised and putting aside a few hours to cook we befriend home-cooked healthy food.
- Greater control of the food you eat: batch cooking also helps you to control what you eat, that is, it makes you more aware of the products you consume, as well as the quantities and calories that you are going to consume over the week.
- Saving money: batch cooking means saving you money in various ways:
- - You stay away from prepared foods (which are normally expensive) or from food that you normally buy in the café.
- -You save by buying fresh seasonal produce such as fruit, vegetables and legumes.
- - It helps you to save energy as, by cooking all your weekly meals at the same time in just a few hours, you make the most of all your kitchen resources. This way, you save on energy consumption and benefit the environment too.
- More free time: although you are certain to spend a few hours in the kitchen organising the weekly meals, during the rest of the week you won’t have to spend any time on this activity and you will be able to use it for doing many other things. Ultimately, you devote less time to batch cooking (and its less of a bore) than if you had to do this task every single day.
If you are lacking inspiration for your batch cooking, remember that in our “Today we eat” section you will be able to find suitable recipes for every occasion, for example, ideas for recipes using food containers Are you up for trying some?