1. Don’t just prep cooked, savory food. Cut up raw fruit like melon or mango, so that it’s super convenient to snack on.
You can also pre-wash berries and grapes. Note that you can’t do this with all fruit; apples and pears will oxidize (turn brown and gross), and smaller stone fruits like peaches and plums might get mushy. Stick to large fruits like melons, mangoes, and papaya. (My watermelon cubes stayed good for five days, btw.)
2. Not great about planning your take-to-work lunches? Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing just that!
On this meal plan, just a few hours of cooking leads to five delicious, packable lunches. Everything is laid out for you, from grocery shopping to cooking to packing instructions. Learn more here.
3. Blend a week’s worth of smoothies at once, then freeze them in to-go containers and thaw them in the fridge the night before.
OMFG drinking homemade smoothies every morning and not having to clean a blender EVERY MORNING seems too good to be true, but IT’S TRUE! You can do it! Here’s how. Natalie freezes her smoothies in mason jars, but I’ve had some bad luck with glass breaking in the freezer, so I use these plastic freezer jars instead.
4. Instead of buying just chicken breasts or thighs, cook a whole chicken and eat it throughout the week…
5. …then make a big batch of chicken stock (or ~bone broth~, as the kids are calling it these days) in your slow cooker with the leftover bones.
I usually buy whole chickens instead of breasts or thighs, then save the carcass —cooked OR raw, it’ll work both ways — in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag in the freezer. After two or three chickens the bag is full, and I’ll use the bones to make stock. It’s cheap and easy, and tastes so much better than boxed broth. Recipe here.
6. If you love baked goods but aren’t great about portion control (one brownie pan = one serving?), portion a cake and then freeze it.
Alright, I know frozen pastries aren’t exactly everyone’s idea of “healthy meal prep”, but having single-serving treats in your freezer isn’t a bad strategy, especially if the alternative is a whole sleeve of Oreo cookies or an entire pint of ice cream. Here’s how to have cake whenever you want (within reason, of course).