Make Ahead, Big Batch and Slow Cooker
Meal preparation can be especially difficult during the winter when the days are shorter and it’s cold outside. These recipe ideas will help make meal time easier during the long winter months.
In a rush on busy weeknights? Making your meals ahead of time can help you save your evenings for family activities rather than meal preparation. Look at our Make-Ahead Meals for recipes that you can make ahead and use multiple times in different ways to create healthy meals. Making ahead includes preparing ingredients ahead of time to be used in recipes for the week. It also includes cooking meals that can be kept in the fridge or freezer for easy re-heating later.
Batch cooking is a great way to help cut down on time spent in the kitchen. Batch cooking is preparing a large amount of one meal and then dividing it into smaller portions to store for later. Batch meals are great when you want to cook once and have enough food to serve for multiple meals. Try batch cooking with large dinner dishes or desserts. Stored meals are easy for busy nights, as you can just pull them out of the freezer and reheat.
Slow cooking is a great way to create delicious food safely over a few hours (even while you are sleeping or out of the house). Slow cookers (or crock pots) are a great investment for creating large family meals. Usually, slow cooker recipes take about 6–8 hours, so prepare the food early in the day and have a delicious meal ready when you come back in the evening. Children can help with the preparation and measurement of ingredients to go in the slow cooker.