The idea of Batch Cooking is to prepare dishes for several meals in only one cooking session. To the families overwhelmed with busy agendas but who believe in healthy eating this may seem constraining or somewhat discouraging. However Batch Cooking has many advantages and needs to be considered as an option as it could change your life in the kitchen.
It is worth trying as the most motivated have turned into Batch Cooking new believers.
THE MANY ADVANTAGES OF BATCH COOKING:
- The time for “readymade” dishes for overbooked or tired people is over. No more processed foods as the unique quick solution
- You will also certainly feel you have more free time
- Substantial savings: you only buy what is on your shopping list
- No more waste: be smart and buy local and seasonal foods
- Balanced and healthy meals are ahead as you plan your meals in advance
- Batch cooking saves energy too! You don’t have to run back and forth to the supermarket, you bake and use your stove once for several dishes and you reduce your water consumption as you wash your dishes and pots & pans less often
- It’s also good for family ties as we get together to elaborate the menus and choose the recipes and it’s fun to share this cooking time together!
- Do you have everything you need in the kitchen? It’s time to get a few plasticware of various sizes such as Tupperware, an electric mixer, a food processor, an airtight bag system or even a guide to batch cooking
- Estimate the numbers of meals needed and people to feed
- Make your shopping list keeping in mind that you can buy all general groceries ahead of time whereas fresh products last
- You’ll have to determine how much time you wish to put into the shopping as well as in the cooking part. If you work, select an evening and/or part of the weekend
- Be prepared: you will have to take time out and be fully available several hours to make batch cooking a playful family time. Make sure your kitchen is neat and tidy and your dishwasher emptied. The 1st time it will take you about 3 hours to make 5 dishes. First bring out the utensils and ingredients you’ll need. Only then you can start peeling, rinsing, cutting, mixing, chopping and at last … cooking!
- A crucial step is the appropriated storage. Be focused on that part. Food and household hygiene will be particularly sought for and the adequate type of storage will have to be carefully selected…common sense does the job… Some dishes can be frozen, others stored in the refrigerator or kept airtight
A FEW TIPS
- Please do send me more tips as the list is not exhaustive!
- Choose recipes that have common ingredients. For example, zucchini can be used for soups as well as for a vegetable pie or quiche. You will use eggs for your dough and batter as well as for a mixed salad. Tomatoes are used for sauces and for salads too
- You can start by making one of your top recipes: only make it double for an extra portion. Store it in the freezer with a label on
- Make as much space as possible in your cupboards as well as in your refrigerator and your freezer
- Get a head start by preparing sauces, vinaigrettes, dressings, and doughs in advance as these are easy to store
- Start your batch cooking reasonably by preparing meals for 2 to 3 days only. Choose meals that will only require quick and easy assembling or warming up
- Go on social networks: on FB for example, you’ll find many posts on Batch Cooking. You’ll get advice on various topics such as storage tips, recommended books or shared recipes. I did subscribe to “Batch Cooking Light, Light Foods for the week”. The community is very friendly and reactive and welcomes new followers.
Hereunder is a selection of my recipes that particularly suit Batch Cooking. Some can be kept in the fridge for some time, others can be frozen or can be prepared in 2 separate cooking sessions. Roughly, we can say that you’ll be making soups, salads, savoury quiches and pies, stews, gratins, vegies, starch foods, desserts to have a choice of balanced meals for several days.
Wishing you Happy Batch Cooking!