We do love to meal plan and batch cook here at Mummy Cooks. While we have you covered for the most part with our recipes, portion pots and advice, the big-ticket items such as blenders, food processors are also handy to have and will help you save time when cooking. Check out my Batch Cooking Essentials below!
Batch Cooking Essentials
If there’s one item you should buy, it should be a Food Processor. With a small baby, starting to wean and only on purées, you can get away with a blender. But as you add more texture, a food processor will give you the flexibility to adapt your baby’s food to the exact texture you require. I use my food processor all the time to chop vegetables. Simply use the pulse button. This makes batch cooking easier and saves time.
Purchasing a food processor that is too small, too slow or difficult to clean will be a wasted purchase so lookout for the following when choosing:
What to look for in a Food processor:
- Motor Power 600W-800W - any lower and your motor will overheat.
- Capacity 2 litres plus (including a second smaller bowl)
- Pulse Function
- Chop, slice, grate, purée, blend
- Dishwasher Safe
- Safety lock
- Material - BPA Free
- Warranty - at least 2 years and 3-5 years on the motor
Extras but not essential:
- Knead, whisk, whip (for baking and making pizza dough)*
- Ice cream maker attachment
*a food processor will do baking tasks but if you are a regular baker a food mixer is a better option.
Note on capacity:
Check the capacity of the bowl
2.6ltr - Family of 3
3 ltr - Family of 4
3.6 ltr - batch cooking and doubling meals
Second smaller bowl - this is a great option if you are only chopping smaller amounts.
Your machine should last you a good number of years so while you may only be batch cooking for your baby now you will soon be batch cooking for the family.
Check out my Chocolate Spread that you can make using a food processor. You won't regret trying it!
A stockpot is essentially a large, deep pot that is most often used to make stock, soup, stews and chilli. It is large enough so you can double up your ingredients and batch cook your meals. They are large and bulky so make sure you have the space to keep it. You won’t use it every day but you also want it accessible.
What to look for in a stockpot:
Choose from 6L to 18L but be mindful of the size of your hob. I personally use a 7.5L pot and it’s big enough to double or even triple some recipes. Any bigger and I might have to go on my tippy toes!!
Make sure it is made of a thick heavy bottom to prevent burning. Remember you will be cooking it for a long time and so the material must be resistant. You don’t want the food to stick or burn on the bottom because it's made of cheap material. It's important to invest in a good quality stockpot.
Silicon Muffin Moulds
After you use a silicone muffin mould I promise you, you will never turn back. No more prepping and best of all no more scrapping the muffin out of the tray.
When you are purchasing make sure they have the following:
- Made from premium food-grade silicone
- BPA free
- Heat resistant up to 230°C
- Dishwasher safe
A slow cooker while not essential its a great way to cook a meal that you prep in the morning either on a busy workday or at the weekend and then enjoy in the evening. I am also a huge fan of beef or lamb in a slow cooker as it tenderises the meat. A slow cooker is perfect for preparing meals for your baby.
So what do you need to know about purchasing a slow cooker? The main point is that they don’t have to be expensive as a food processor but do look for the following:
- Removable insert so that you can brown off veg or meat
- Metal insert so that it's easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- Glass lid - so that you can look inside without taking off the lid and letting the heat escape
- Size - the bigger the better! I have a 6L Crockpot and it's the perfect size
- Warming Function - great to reheat food from the fridge
Check out our Slow Cooker Ebook, lots of advice and recipes here
Slow Cooker Beef Chilli, Mummy Cooks Slow Cooker eBook
Last but certainly not least, portion pots to safely store and portion your family meals. There is no point doing all that batch cooking if you can’t store it! All our pots are BPA free, reusable and recyclable. They range in size from a 1oz/30ml to a 24oz/710ml pot.
When looking for suitable containers make sure they have the following:
- BPA Free and safe for your family
- Freezer friendly
- Dishwasher Safe
Our Mummy Cooks pots are all of the above check them out here.
The added advantage of our Mummy Cooks weaning and portion pots
- Weaning & Portion pots help parents portion for the whole family
- Portion pots - come with the same lid
- Translucent so you can see what food is inside
- You get enough pots to batch cook and store all your family meals