Batch Cooking – Freezer Cooking
Have you ever tried batch cooking, otherwise known as freezer cooking? I play around with it periodically – not routinely – but periodically. I do not love the taste of all foods that have been frozen, but it works great with certain things! This concept also saves us a lot of money – as there is generally something I can grab quick for dinner and not lean on take-out on those hectic nights.
My favorite recipe source for batch cooking is Once a Month Mom, and of course Pinterest.
If you find yourself stopping at the supermarket every day to pick up something fresh for dinner and would like to make life a little easier when it comes to meal preparation, then batch cooking and freezing may be the answer that you are searching for. If you have a kitchen full of produce that might soon go bad… preserve it!
Before you begin your batch cooking and freezing endeavor, it is important to follow a few simple rules to make this as easy as possible.
Making a List/Checking it Twice
Before making a list of ingredients that you will need for your batch cooking excursion, it is important to decide what types of meals you would like to create. It would be best if you incorporated the entire family’s likes and dislikes into the equation. You do not want to take the time and effort to batch cook and have it wind up that no one cares for your choice of recipes.
Once you have established if you have a house full of carnivores or vegetarians or anything in between, begin researching different types of recipes. I suggest doubling your recipes, freezing 1/2 and deciding if you like it after it has been frozen.
Here are some great Starter Foods you might try:
- Mexican style casseroles
- Chicken cutlets
- Stuffed chicken breast with ham and cheese
- Chicken and rice casseroles
- Chicken strips for salads, fajitas, or even added to pasta with broccoli
Batch cooking involves buying foods in bulk, separating them into smaller portions, and freezing them for later consumption. Not only does this process save you loads of time, it also saves you money as well.With the introduction of warehouse-style supermarkets several years ago, buying in bulk and saving money has never been easier.
Buying in Bulk:
The most important component of buying in bulk is to learn your prices. Begin with an excursion to your local supermarket and notate the prices per pound of several types of meat that are on sale. Once you have gained sufficient knowledge of the best price you can obtain per pound for meats, fish, and poultry, you are ready to begin buying those items in a warehouse-style supermarket or when they are on sale in your traditional grocery store.
Once you have acclimated yourself with prices, and which recipes you wish to use, it is time to make lists. Make a list of the ingredients on a master list and from that point, create a list of duplicate ingredients necessary to make those meals. You will begin to notice that many of the recipes require the same ingredients such as marinades and spices. Keeping a well-stocked pantry of ingredients such as chicken broth, spices, and marinades will be a good basis for your batch-cooking endeavor.
Taking the time and trouble, initially, to write recipes down on individual index cards will be the best investment in time when it comes to batch cooking and freezing.
Cooking and Storing:
With knowledge of pricing and a master list in hand, you are now ready to buy in bulk. After your shopping trip, make sure to go home and immediately separate your meats and poultry in smaller portions for each recipe. Refrigerate what you are not using now and cook as you go along.
Be prepared to Store your meals as a whole food, such as meatloaf, or in individual containers, such as soup. Invest in medium size containers, plastic freezer bags, and tin foil so you can properly label and store your batch cooking.
Batch cooking is an age-old tradition that saves you loads of time and lots of money as well. Do you have a favorite batch cooking recipe or tip you would like to share?