When talking with others about my eating habits, one of the first questions they ask me is: “How do you have time to do it all?” Granted, it sounds like a lot. Everyone would love to prepare nutritious, wholesome, nutrient-dense, traditional foods for themselves and their families, but who has the time?
First, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Are you ready? It doesn’t really take that much more time at all. Making kombucha, for example, represents about 5 minutes of real work a week. The rest of the time, I’m just waiting. The same goes with any traditional food preparation technique. Most don’t require a lot of time doing things; they require a lot of time waiting on things. They require planning.
And what better way to plan ahead than to cook ahead?
It’s called batch-cooking, and it’s how I keep myself from going crazy.
The trick is to just double or triple recipes as you make them, then set the extra portions aside for later use (usually by freezing in serving-sized portions in something like a plastic freezer bags).
Making a loaf of bread? Why not make 2? Or 4? Or 6?
Making a pound of taco meat for dinner? Why not make 3 or 4 pounds and save the rest for quick and easy use later?
Making a casserole? Why not double it?
Making a week’s worth of yogurt? Why not make 2 weeks worth? It keeps remarkably well.
You get the idea.
Batch cooking means that you’ll have a freezer full of meals ready to whip out when you’re too exhausted to cook, that you’ll be able to easily give a meal to someone recuperating from an injury, that you’ll have more time to do other things because you’re not spending so much time in the kitchen.
Hey, it works for me.
Speaking of which, this post is part of a blog carnival — Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly The Kitchen Kop.