If there is one thing I have learned in my adult life so far, it’s that making meals ahead of time and keeping my freezer stocked has saved me a lot of stress. With life being so hectic sometimes, it can be hard to eat healthy, let alone have the time to prepare a decent meal three times a day.
My fiancé and I have definitely learned the hard way of not preparing meals ahead of time, and I’m sure you can relate. We know all too well the unsettling feeling you have with 15 minutes to get ready, opening every cupboard trying to find a granola bar as you stare at the time ticking down. We eventually got tired of it and decided to put a plan together that allows us to eat clean and healthy for mealtime instead of having just coffee for breakfast.
Being a twenty-something, we tend to be more on-the-go than most. Between work or school, sports or hobbies, as well as hanging out with friends as much as we can, cooking isn’t normally a top priority for many of us.
With that being said, one thing I like to do is dedicate one day each week where I can cook as many meals as possible, then I can throw them in the freezer and not have to worry about taking time to cook during the week. For me, this day tends to be Sunday. We get our grocery shopping done in the morning along with our usual errands, then we blast our favorite tunes and cook away. Below are a few of our preferred freezer meals that I like to make each week.
1. Bacon and egg breakfast sandwiches: I can’t rave enough about how awesome it is to open the freezer, grab a breakfast sandwich and head out the door. Then while I’m settling in at work, I heat it up along with making my coffee and I’m good to go!
What we do is head to Costco and buy a huge package of 24 english muffins, 24 eggs, big packs of cheese and a few packages of bacon. We pre-cook all the sandwiches as if you we were eating them right away, let them cool, and then wrap them up and there you go! 24 breakfast meals that you don’t have to worry about making when you get up.
2. Baked oatmeal: This is another breakfast idea if you want to switch it up. Try and find a recipe that looks good to you and make a huge casserole dish of this oatmeal. Once it’s cooked and cooled, cut it up into brownie sized squares and throw them in the freezer. This allows you to grab one in the morning, with a side of some yogurt as well. Put the oatmeal in the microwave for a few minutes then add the yogurt on top.
3. Slow cooker chili: I don’t know about you guys, but chili has always been one of my favorite meals that reminds me of being a kid. If you happen to have a slow cooker (and if you don’t, you totally should!), grab your favorite recipe and throw it all in the pot. Let it cook, then fill up mason jars filled with chili and store them in the freezer.
This is a fantastic meal for either lunch of dinner. The mason jars make it extremely easy to pack as well as eat out of and it actually defrosts by the time you head to lunch, so heating it up is easy!
4. Homemade soup: This as well is a meal for your slow cooker. Choose whatever soup you’d like and do the same thing as the chili. It’s an easy meal to heat up, and is delicious and nutritious at the same time. My favorite soup to make is tortilla soup. It’s incredibly healthy and it’s a nice change from your ordinary chicken soup.
5. Banana bread: I have to throw some dessert in here as well! Whenever we have bananas that look like they are starting to go, we throw them in the freezer. At any time, we have at least 5 or 6 bananas in there being kept for a later date. With that, I usually try and make two or three loaves of banana bread on the weekend and put then in the freezer for future snacks.
No matter what you like to make, having lots of freezer meals on hand is not only convenient, but it allows you to eat healthy while not having the stress of cooking three times a day. Give it a try and I promise you will not regret it!