Batch cooking freezer friendly, homemade meals will save you time and money! It is especially handy for family meals perfect for your weaning baby. Batch cooking makes those busier weeknights easier by ensuring you don't have to cook every night. Our 9 top tips for batch cooking ensure you will get the most out of the process!
"I regularly batch cook to ensure I wouldn't have to cook everyday of the week.. It also helps if I am away and Daddy is on duty"!
1. Choose your recipes wisely
Decide on the four or five recipes you’re going to make in one session, do one big shop so you have everything. Double-check that you have all the spices and canned goods your recipe requires. Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to freezer meals. Prepare meals you’re familiar with, and ones that the family loves. Stews, soups and casseroles are classic freezer friendly dishes. Try our Chilli Con Carne for the perfect batch cooking meal.
2. Have the right containers
Having the right containers on hand will make your cooking more efficient and less stressful when it comes to storage. Determine what size Pots you will need and have them ready before you start. Sauces like this easy Tomato Sauce are ideal to store in portions using the 7-8 Months Weaning Pots, while family meals such as a tasty Chicken Cacciatore are perfect in our Double Child Portion Pots.
3. Use your food processor
Don't bother hand chopping 6 onions and two heads of garlic – you will never want to batch cook again! Instead, use your food processor to help whenever you can for the most efficient cooking. This is also ideal for sauces and purees. Why not batch cook and store some Apple Prune and Cinnamon Purée in handy 4-6 Month Weaning pots for a perfect baby led weaning meal, or healthy family friendly dessert any night of the week.
4. Double up
Don't be afraid to double some more versatile recipes. Spaghetti Bolognese is perfect as the meat can be stored in the Adult Portion Pots to be used in different ways such as Easy Shepherd's Pie throughout the week.
5. Watch the vegetables
For some recipes, such as soups and stews, aim to under cook your vegetables slightly. They will get a second round of cooking when preparing the meal at a later stage. This will ensure freshness and prevent them becoming mushy during the second cooking! Try this Hearty Vegetable Soup which is perfect for batch cooking. Simply reduce cooking time by about 10 minutes and freeze before blending for the best results.
6. Cool foods fully
Let all dishes come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before freezing them. Never let them stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours as bacteria can start to grow. Place in the fridge for about ½ an hour more before freezing. When defrosting, transfer the container to the fridge overnight or heat it directly in the container; never let food defrost on the counter top!
7. Label everything
Place your Mummy Cooks containers in a zip-lock bag and label the bag. You can also stick each pot to determine their contents. Include the name and date and use within 3 months. This will ensure you don't lose any nutrients and enjoy the best flavour from your frozen meals!
There’s no point freezing 4 litres of Chicken Noodle Soup in one solid block unless you intend on using it all at once. Instead, consider the portion size you need for a meal and freeze it in appropriate containers. Mummy Cooks Portion Pots come in 10 different sizes to suit all your storage needs. So whether you are batch cooking some Tomato Sauce, or a full meal like Chicken Casserole, store them in realistic portions.
9. Don't forget!
When batch cooking and freezing meals, it can be easy to forget about containers hidden at the back of the freezer. To avoid this and ensure you maximise the benefits of batch cooking, rearrange your freezer once a month and bring the foods that need to be used up first to the front. This will avoid any waste as well as remind you of what you have stored away.