Everything you need to know about bulk cooking: Experts share the tips and tricks to save you money

Everything you need to know about bulk cooking: Experts share the tips and tricks to save you money

Comments Off on Everything you need to know about bulk cooking: Experts share the tips and tricks to save you money

Experts have revealed everything you need to know about bulk cooking – from what to cook to the top freezing tips.

The team behind leading Australian weight loss program The Healthy Mummy revealed there are myriad benefits to meal prepping and bulk cooking, primarily for your waistline and your bank balance.

‘Rather than reaching for that quick, sugar-loaded meal, you can opt for a healthy, home-cooked dish and keep the convenience,’ The Healthy Mummy experts explained.

So what do you need to know?

Experts have revealed everything you need to know about bulk cooking - from what to cook to the top freezing tips (pictured)

Experts have revealed everything you need to know about bulk cooking – from what to cook to the top freezing tips (pictured)

There are myriad benefits to meal prepping and bulk cooking, primarily for both your waistline and your bank balance, and you should always label every meal (pictured)

There are myriad benefits to meal prepping and bulk cooking, primarily for both your waistline and your bank balance, and you should always label every meal (pictured)

1. Look for every potential saving you can from bulk cooking

While The Healthy Mummy said bulk cooking will inevitably save you money as you’ll always have something ready to heat up, their team also explained there are other savings to be found.

‘Now that you’re cooking in bulk, it’s time to buy in bulk,’ they said.

‘Decide where you’ll be shopping for your ingredients. Some stores offer a membership or points scheme, which can give great savings for members.’

They also recommend signing up to be a member at a bulk retailer to save valuable dollars. 

Once you’ve signed up to various stores, write a detailed shopping list and search where you’ll get the cheapest foods that particular week. 

If there's one kitchen appliance that is good for bulk cooking, it's a slow cooker - which you can set off during the day and then go to work and come home to a giant batch-prepared dinner

If there’s one kitchen appliance that is good for bulk cooking, it’s a slow cooker – which you can set off during the day and then go to work and come home to a giant batch-prepared dinner

2. Set aside plenty of time and use your slow cooker

The second thing The Healthy Mummy said you should do is set aside a period of a few hours, if not an entire day, for meal prepping.

‘You can even bulk cook breakfasts and freeze them,’ they said.

If there’s one kitchen appliance that is good for bulk cooking, it’s a slow cooker – which you can set off during the day and then go out to work and come home to a giant batch-prepared dinner. 

The experts recommend you cook all sorts in your slow cooker – including slow cooker porcupine meatballs for $1.39 per serve and slow cooker beef nachos for $2.04 per serve.

How to make slow cooker beef nachos for $2.04 per serve

INGREDIENTS

The Healthy Mummy shared their recipe for beef nachos that costs just $2.04 per serve

The Healthy Mummy shared their recipe for beef nachos that costs just $2.04 per serve

1.1 kg beef rolled roast

1 brown onion diced

400 grams tinned red kidney beans rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic crushed

400 grams tinned tomatoes

1 tbsp jalapeno chillies sliced

1 green capsicum diced

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

8 cups plain corn chips

2 cups reduced-fat cheddar cheese grated

METHOD

If preparing in the oven:

Preheat oven to 120C.

Place beef, onion, kidney beans, garlic, tinned tomatoes, jalapenos, capsicum, chilli powder, paprika, onion powder and cumin in a large casserole dish. Stir to combine well. Cover with a lid.

Bake in the oven for at least 8 hours or until the beef is falling apart and very tender.

Using two forks, shred the meat into small pieces and combine with the sauce in the dish.

If preparing in a slow cooker:

Place beef, onion, kidney beans, garlic, tinned tomatoes, jalapenos, capsicum, chilli powder, paprika, onion powder and cumin in the slow cooker with 2 cups of water.

Stir to combine well and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the beef is falling apart and very tender. Add more water during cooking if meat is drying out.

Using two forks, shred the meat into small pieces and combine with the sauce in the dish.

To serve:

Preheat oven to 180C.

Either serve on one large dish for everyone to share from or divide corn chips evenly between 10 bowls. Top with an even amount of the chilli beef and vegetables and sprinkle with cheese.

Place large dish or individual bowls in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Serve, being careful of hot serving dishes.

Leftover beef can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days or freeze for up to four months.

Source: The Healthy Mummy 

Their experts recommend you go shopping in supermarkets where you get rewarded for your membership (pictured), and sign up to bulk supermarkets too

Their experts recommend you go shopping in supermarkets where you get rewarded for your membership (pictured), and sign up to bulk supermarkets too

3. Spend time labelling

Once you’ve made your food, one of the most important parts of bulk cooking is the packaging it up and labelling it so you know what you’ve made and when.

The Healthy Mummy team recommend airtight plastic containers or zip lock bags, clearly marked with what is inside, how much you made of it and what needs to be added to the dish to make a meal.

Freezing your meal prepped meals will mean there is always something that can be dragged out of the freezer for dinner:

‘Once you have cooked your delicious food, let it cool down before you place it in an airtight container to be stored in the freezer,’ they explained.

Then, write what it is – either with a board marker or on a piece of masking tape – and pop it into the freezer.

Once your meal is prepared, it pays to remember that your work is not done. You need to de-frost the contents carefully, either all day in the fridge or in the microwave

Once your meal is prepared, it pays to remember that your work is not done. You need to de-frost the contents carefully, either all day in the fridge or in the microwave

4. De-frost carefully

Once your meal is prepared, it pays to remember that your work is not done.

When you want to eat a meal, you still need to de-frost it carefully.

‘The best method for thawing your food is the fridge,’ The Healthy Mummy team said.

This is both easy and safe, but it does take several hours – meaning it’s ideally done during a day of work.

‘If you would like the food straight away, you could easily use the microwave,’ they added.

But it is worth remembering that microwaves thaw food unevenly so you’ll need to check in closely. 

'Just cook and freeze the main component of the meal which you can then add to easily with a side of rice or veggies,' The Healthy Mummy said (one of their mums pictured with her meal prep)

‘Just cook and freeze the main component of the meal which you can then add to easily with a side of rice or veggies,’ The Healthy Mummy said (one of their mums pictured with her meal prep)

5. Consider prepping meals that prep well

Finally, there are some meals that freeze better than others.

Anything with mince or chicken is a good idea, as are stews, casseroles and curries.

‘Just cook and freeze the main component of the meal which you can then add to easily with a side of rice or veggies,’ The Healthy Mummy said. 

‘You could make a triple batch of Chilli con Carne or Bolognese to use with pasta one night, then tacos another night, wraps, or on top of a jacket potato. 

‘Just freeze it in family sized portions and defrost it in the fridge overnight before you plan to use it.’

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Manoj Prajapati

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