So you’ve started meal prepping, and have (hopefully) started mastering the art of efficiently cooking an entire week’s worth of meals in a single cooking session.
So, lets talk about properly storing your meal prep meals, because your dining experience will be better if you do! There’s plenty of benefits including:
- More retained nutrients: Incorrect storage leeches out nutrients at an accelerated rate
- Protection from harmful chemicals
- Reduced bacteria counts
How do you keep food stored properly? It’s tough to keep track of everything so here’s a handy checklist:
Check your Temperatures
There are 3 places to check, each requires a different temperature setting. Your pantry, where all your dry goods go and where you’ll be storing your high protein cookies should be a comfortable room temperature, never below 10 degrees or above 21.
Your fridge should be 4 degrees on the nose. Slightly colder is acceptable, but the closer you get to 0 the more danger you put your liquids into a solid, frozen state.
Freezers don’t have to worry about, well, freezing at all. Check that they’re below -17, but only just slightly. The colder the freezer gets, the more freezer burn appears.
Decide if your dish should be frozen or refrigerated
Fridge or freezer? Freezer or fridge? Sometimes it’s tough to decide where to put your prepped food. Not all foods are freezer friendly – this should be the first rule to follow. Uncooked batter, cooked pasta, soft cheese, and high-water content fruits and vegetables like lettuce should never be frozen.
The next consideration is when your meal plan says this meal will be eaten. Are your coconut-curry chicken fingers scheduled for Monday or Friday this week? Freezable meals should be put later in your meal plan, and if your meal won’t be eaten for 3-4 days it should probably be frozen.
Use proper containers
Foods that you’ve prepped and want to freeze should be cooled before placing them in the container. The container should be air-tight with all the extra air removed.
While mason jars and plastic baggies can be a meal prepper’s best friend, compartment-ed meal prep containers are highly recommended. Both dishwasher safe and freezer-friendly, your food will always be the freshest when packed in them.
Having compartment-ed containers means you can have 2 separate meals ready to go for your work lunch. It also means you can keep your rice and veg separate from your butter chicken when storing so your juices don't leak over until you're ready to eat!
It’s not hard to be healthy and eat the freshest food as a meal prepper. With a little bit of extra mindfulness, your meal plan will never go bad from poorly stored food!
Check out our range of compartment-ed meal prep containers in our shop now and get serious about your health and fitness journey!