It’s easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy eating. Even more so when work occupies us day and night, and we have no time to fix up a nicely balanced meal rich in vitamins and minerals. A wake up call sometimes comes in the form of adorable babies who deserve more than what we’ve been stuffing ourselves with for months (pizzas, hamburgers, junk snacks and similar things that babies, luckily, still can’t eat).
I use frozen food a lot. When I say frozen food, I don’t mean frozen ready-made meals with labels that say “fat-free”, but are actually packed with unhealthy ingredients and usually lots of sodium.
My freezer is full of one-serving-size packages of chopped up veggies, meat and fruit, ready to be defrosted and whipped up into a nice, 100% healthy meal.
It’s true it takes more time to prepare these packages than to take out a ready-made meal and pop it into a microwave. But we’re talking about eating healthy and spending less money on food than you used to.
Here are 9 very easy steps to getting your eating habits around, and feeling happy about it:
- Some people are busier than others, but I’m sure most people can spend some time in the kitchen on weekends to prepare frozen food for the following week.
- Start by blanching some veggies (carrots, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, etc.), so that they would stop decaying in the freezer. Veggies like tomatoes don’t need blanching. Chop them up, or freeze them in one piece; however you like to use them.
- Put the veggies in freezer bags or plastic containers, but make sure to freeze one serving size in each packaging.
- Meats don’t need to be washed before packaging, only make sure to package each piece separately, so that you don’t have to defrost a lot of meat when you’re hungry, and throw away leftovers.
- Fruits are also full of healthy nutrients and should be used in your daily diet. If you have time, you can spread berries on a flat cookie sheet, so that they don’t stick together in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can put them all together in one packaging.
- Weekends are also good for preparing a nice meal that you can also freeze and have ready for those days when you’re coming home tired from work, but refuse to give in to junk food.
- Make sure you’ve squeezed out all air from the freezer bags/containers, and set the freezer to zero degrees.
- Very important thing: LABEL everything you’ve frozen and write down the date you froze it, so that you know when to use the food. The whole point of doing this is not only to eat healthy, but also to stop throwing away rotten food. Vegetables and meat usually keep their taste for approximately 6-12 months, if stored properly. Fish should be used within a month or two.
- The safest way to defrost food is to put it in the fridge the night before you want to use it. Microwaves work too, but avoid thawing food at room temperature.
And as easy as this, we’ve covered the basic steps to saving time and money on food, plus we’re saying NO to our daily intake of junk food. All that we need to sacrifice is an hour or two during weekends, and a few minutes when we get home from work to reheat the meal or prepare veggies and meat in a super quick and nutrient-rich dinner.