By: Tayler Glenn
For those just venturing into the realm of weight loss or healthy eating, it can be easy to fall into a monotonous rut with your meals. This is why we believe that when it comes to eating healthily, planning makes all the difference! There are all kinds of gadgets, shortcuts, and tips that help make prepping healthy meals more fun and, dare we say it…exciting! To get you started, we’ve got a 6 of our favorite food prep methods for you below!
1. Air Frying
These kitchen gadgets have seen a massive rise in popularity for those of us who’ve been mourning the loss of french fries and other fried foods. Rather than dousing your previously healthy foods in oily fats, air fryers circulate hot air around the food at fast speeds to create a crispy layer! Since they take less than 5 minutes to preheat and require less cooking time than the oven, you can enjoy a healthier alternative without any stress. Plus, most fryer pans and baskets can go straight into the dishwasher. Score!
2. Instant Pot
If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, we highly suggest hopping on! Last year, the Instant Pot went viral, and we have no intentions of looking back. Honestly, what’s not to love about a gadget that’s so multi-functional it can even make homemade yogurt while you’re at work? These miracle workers do the work of multiple appliances including:
- Slow cooker
- Electric pressure cooker
- Rice cooker
- Yogurt maker
- Sauté/browning pan
- Warming pot
and more! The only thing that’s not on its list is making a salad for you. It works by cooking your food in a sealed space, not allowing the steam to escape. As the boiling point of water increases, the pressure builds up inside the cooker allowing the liquid to rise to a higher temperature before boiling. This allows the heat to be evenly distributed as the steam surrounds your food. Our favorite part? You don’t lose the vitamins and minerals in your food in the process!
Instagram made a name for this cheap kitchen essential in 2017, and 2018 is seeing just as much excitement over it. A spiralizer allows you to transform those bland, boring vegetables into curly ribbons as a handy replacement for carbs! While zoodles (spiralized zucchini) is the most commonly mentioned, you can turn everything from carrots to beets into delicious noodles for a healthy swap with a variety of tastes and textures!
For those of you with children (or if you’re a child at heart yourself!), this is such a fun way to change the look and make veggies more appealing. Who knows – your little ones might just forget all about the Ranch!
4. “En Papillote”
We’ve never met a single person who loves cleaning up after food prep. Have you? Well, this French technique refers to the action of steaming your food in parchment paper which allows you to skip the tedious clean-up and throw out all the waste! We love how easy it is to use this quick cooking method, and you can see just how simple it is below:
- Lay two pieces of parchment paper on top of each other to create a pouch
- Fold the edges over on 3 sides
- Place your seasoned protein/vegetable of choice inside.
- Add any additional herbs, spices and other flavors (i.e. vinegar or lime juice)
- Place the parchment bag in a preheated oven.
- Toss everything but your finished meal
Quick, easy, + perfect for busy weeknights!
5. Freeze Smoothies in Muffin Tins
Even with your favorite TLS Shakes on-hand, you might still run into those mornings where even taking the time to measure out all of your shake ingredients just takes too much time. Instead of skipping out on your favorite smoothie recipes, why not blend a big batch, then freeze them into little muffin cups? Next time you need a quick snack or breakfast in a flash, just toss 2-3 “smoothie cups” into a blender with a splash of almond milk for a quick + easy fix! You can find some amazing TLS Shake recipes here on the blog, or here on our site as well.
What healthy food prep tips keep you on track?
Tell us in the comments below!