Meal Prep 101: How to Keep Meals Fresh
If you’ve followed our tips for meal prep success so far, then you know meal prepping is a great way to keep yourself on track with healthy eating choices. This week, we’re back with the pro tips on what kind of foods to cook and how to best store them so your meals don’t get gross and soggy in the fridge—because meal prep only works if you want to eat the food you prepare. Bon appétit!
Foods perfect for meal prepping:
Look for recipes that incorporate the ingredients below, since these recipes will naturally hold up better. Most meal preppers recommend eating your prepared foods for up to 4 days for maximum tastiness, so plan accordingly!
- Hearty vegetables (carrots, peas, bell peppers, cabbage, kale, celery, etc.)
- Whole fruit (stone fruit, apples, oranges)
- Roasted vegetables
- Cooked beans
- Cooked meat
- Nuts and seeds
Foods to avoid while meal prepping:
- Softer veggies and fruits like lettuce, berries, and cut fruit
- Fried foods
Tips for storing food:
- Packing in glass containers is a great option for food safety—if you choose to use plastic, make sure it’s BPA-free. Click here for an awesome set of glass containers, or click here for containers made of BPA-free plastic.
- Prepping a hearty salad? Add the dressing to the bottom of a mason jar, then all your salad fixings and when you’re ready to eat, simply shake it up!”
- After cooking, make sure to let food cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.
- If you’re not sure how long something will last in the fridge or freezer, check this chart. Your preferences may differ (especially when it comes to textural changes), but you’ll learn what meals you do and don’t like to prep pretty quickly.
- If you want to prepare for more than 4 days of the week, look for recipes that freeze well.
- To reheat a frozen recipe, defrost overnight in the fridge so it’s ready to warm up when it’s time to eat.
Where to start:
Start small! Try packing up leftovers for dinner and bringing them for lunch the next day. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can try prepping freezer meals or even prepping just one meal of the week—breakfast or lunch are popular choices, so you can stay flexible with your dinner plans. You’ll be a meal prep pro before you know it!