Food prep – unless you are a qualified chef, it’s the one thing that seems to take an age when you have kids demanding attention. But given that a healthy and delicious meal at the end of the day is vital for your family, it’s vital you can get those veggies chopped in as quick a time as possible. The good news for busy moms is that there are some simple techniques and various tools you can use to make your food prep fast – and painless. Let’s take a closer look at some of your options!
The first step is to plan your meals in advance, so you have an idea of what you are doing before you even step into the kitchen. Opening the cupboards and attempting to cook from scratch is an excellent idea on paper, but totally unrealistic when you have children. chatelaine.com suggest creating meal plans – on a Sunday, for example. Then it’s just a case of getting the right shopping in, and you should be okay for the rest of the week.
Little bits throughout the day
Prepping a single vegetable only takes a couple of minutes, tops – and everyone can find plenty of these moments throughout the day. Putting an entire meal together, however, can take up to an hour when you are doing it in one hit. So instead of leaving everything until the last minute, prep during the day when you have a quiet moment. So, when it comes to putting the ingredients together, all you need to do is toss them in, rather than chop, slice, and grate before cooking.
Invest in better tools
Plenty of tedious tasks in the kitchen can be simplified and sped up by buying equipment and tools. As cutitfine.com point out, the better quality knife you buy, the faster you can chop, slice and dice. Garlic presses, squeezers, and herb cutters are all great ideas to save prep time, too – as is the good old food processor. Finally, think about getting a high-quality slow cooker. They are the perfect weapon for busy moms as you just toss your ingredients into the bowl, turn it on in the morning, and by dinner time you have a lovely nutritious meal all ready for your family.
When you make your meals, why not double the size and put half aside in the freezer? Prepping one large meal won’t take much longer than a small one, and it will save you time later on in the week when you are in more of a rush. Just don’t forget to take the meals out of the freezer on the morning you intend to cook them, so they defrost. It doesn’t have to be full meals, either – you can also batch prep veggies and roots such as garlic in advance and either freeze them or put the in the fridge to use on the next day.