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Successful Batch Cooking: The keys to getting started
Batch cooking has become much more than a simple method of preparing meals: it's a veritable culinary lifestyle.
Nowadays, more and more people are adopting this approach to simplify their daily lives while promoting a healthy, balanced diet.
It's a practice that's gaining in popularity, and not without reason. Here's why batch cooking is at the heart of this culinary trend:
Save time and energy
One of the main advantages of batch cooking is the significant time it saves. By preparing several meals in a single session, you save hours in the kitchen every day. This leaves you more time for other activities, whether it's spending time with your family, working, exercising or simply relaxing.
By cooking your own meals in batches, you have total control over the ingredients you use. This allows you to create healthy, balanced dishes, adapted to your dietary preferences and nutritional needs. No need to worry about additives or the excess salt and sugar sometimes found in commercially prepared meals.
Reducing food waste
Batch cooking also helps reduce food waste. By planning your meals, using leftovers and optimizing the use of ingredients, you minimize the risk of throwing food away. Not only does this help preserve the environment, it also saves you money.
Flexibility and organization
Batch cooking offers great flexibility. You can choose to prepare your meals in advance for the whole week, or just for a few days. You can also adapt your menus according to the seasons and the availability of ingredients. This approach makes it easier to organize your day-to-day activities and deal with the unexpected.
A new culinary pleasure
For many, batch cooking has become a real passion. It's an opportunity to explore new recipes, try out different flavors and learn to cook more efficiently. It's also an opportunity to share convivial moments with family and friends.
If you're thinking of taking the plunge into batch cooking, here are some essential tips to get you started.
21 tips for getting started with Batch Cooking
1. Mastering freezing
Freezing is your best ally in batch cooking. Don't be afraid to prepare large quantities and store your dishes in the freezer. This means you'll always have meals ready to enjoy, even on the busiest of days.
2. Manage your stock
Keep an inventory of your pantry and freezer. This will help you avoid buying duplicate ingredients and better plan your menus.
3. Focus on vegetables
Always start with your vegetables. They're the foundation of a healthy diet. Use what you have on hand to build your meals and reduce food waste.
4. Learn to assemble
Blending is a key skill in batch cooking. Learn how to combine different ingredients to create a variety of dishes. For example, leftover chicken can become a salad, sandwich or pasta dish.
5. Prioritize long cooking times
Opt for long-cooking dishes, such as stews, casseroles or baked dishes. They're easy to prepare in large quantities.
6. Plan ahead
Plan your menu the day before. Take the necessary ingredients out of the freezer to thaw slowly.
7. Keep it simple
There's no need to prepare complicated dishes for every batch cooking session. Simple meals, like homemade soup or cereal, can be just as tasty and time-saving.
8. Cook vegetables in their entirety
When preparing fresh vegetables, cook them in large quantities, even if you don't need them immediately. You can then freeze them for future use.
9. Double portions
When cooking, double the portions and freeze half. This guarantees ready-to-use meals when you're short of time.
10. Explore pan-fried vegetables
Pan-fried vegetables are versatile. Use them as side dishes, in omelettes, pasta dishes or wraps. Prepare large quantities for several meals.
11. Maximize oven use
The oven is a major asset in batch cooking. Prepare several dishes at the same time, such as roasted vegetables, gratins or quiches, to save time.
12. Adapt cooking methods
Use cooking methods that require little supervision, such as steaming, slow cooking or pressure cooking. This frees you up for other tasks.
13. Forget peeling vegetables
Save time and preserve nutrients by avoiding peeling vegetables, especially if they are organic and well washed.
14. Depart from traditional recipes
The recipes are a source of inspiration, not a strict rule. Adapt them according to your preferences and the ingredients available.
15. Diversify foods
For a balanced diet, vary your proteins (animal and vegetable), seasonal vegetables and cereals.
16. Give preference to shelf-stable snacks Easy
Prepare healthy snacks in batches, such as homemade cereal bars or muffins. They keep well and avoid unhealthy snacks.
17. Invest in practical equipment
Some appliances, such as mixers, steamers and pressure cookers, make batch cooking much easier. Invest according to your needs.
18. Avoid rapid cooking
Quick cooking should be avoided in batch cooking. For tasty dishes, prefer gentle, long cooking.
19. Making the most of leftovers
Reinvent leftovers by turning them into soups, salads or sandwiches to reduce waste.
20. Manage quantities
Evaluate quantities correctly. There's no point in preparing an overabundance of food if you can't eat it all in time.
21. Create your own recipe book
Keep a recipe notebook to record your favorite dishes and their adaptations. This will help you plan future menus at a glance.
By following these tips, you'll quickly develop your batch cooking skills. You'll reap the benefits of healthy, economical eating, while simplifying your culinary life considerably. So get ready to discover the pleasure of batch cooking!