February 29th, 2012 by

Food Prep Basics

Do you prep your foods when you bring them home from the grocery story?

I started it a few months ago, and it makes everything so much easier.

While I do enjoy cooking, I do like things to be quickly accessible especially when packing snacks for outings.

Some things I do:

Wash apples for easy grab and eat.

Wash grapes and store in bowl or ziplock bag.  When I go back to work, I will definitely portion some of these out for snacks.

Steam some carrots.  My little ones like to eat cold steamed carrots for snacks, and I find they are great in salads as well.

Other things I recommend:

  • Keeping your nuts in the freezer in ziplock bags.  Be sure to measure each portion.  Walnuts are my favorite nuts, and I eat them almost daily, so I keep a little 1/8 measuring cup inside of the bag.  I usually eat 1/4 cup, so it is easy having the measuring cup in the bag.  Also, you could portion these out and put them in snack bags as well.
  • Placing your spinach inside of a large ziplock bag and squeezing out all of the air.  Although I like those containers they come in, storing in the ziplock bags takes up less room.
  • When your bananas get a little too soft, peel them and place in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  You can make ice cream with them or use them in a green smoothie.
  • Boil eggs for a snack (combine with some veggies).  I keep mine in a bowl in the fridge.  My mom writes a “B” on them so she can distinguish between the two.
  • If you like marinated cucumbers, you could prepare those in advance.  I like mine with just a sprinkle of salt, so I don’t do this one.
  • I buy red peppers and bell peppers when they are on sale, and I dice them then place in the freezer for use in recipes.  I also reserve some slices for dipping hummus or black bean dip.
  • Make a large batch of brown rice and store extra in fridge or freezer for adding to meals as needed.
  • Cook dried beans and portion into ziplock bags.  You can store these in the fridge or freezer as well.  Talk about a money saver – dried beans are so affordable.  I do keep a few cans of beans on hand for those times I may need them.  Make sure you look at the ingredients of your canned goods and get the ones that are organic with no additives. I noticed that some contain sugar and other additives that are not necessary.
  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables.  Frozen fruits are great for smoothies and frozen vegetables are great for meals.

Oh, this is something that I noticed that works for me – when buying tomatoes, I like to buy the ones on the vine and in those mesh bags.  I hang them from my fruit stand, and they seem to stay fresh longer.

Do you have any food prep ideas to share?  I’d love to hear them.

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