Many of you know that I am an avid meal prepper, and have been for many years. It’s dramatically reduced how much money I spend on food, the amount of time I spend in the kitchen, and the overall quality of my diet (instead of grabbing some sort of bar for my “lunch” as I dash out the door, I can instead grab a balanced and actually filling meal).
Because I’ve prepped many meals in the course of these last few years, I’ve had to overcome my fair share of meal prepping mishaps. One of the biggest hurdles was learning how to keep my food FRESH. And by fresh, I mean several things:
- Preserving the texture of my food (keeping it crisp, soft, crunchy, etc)
- Preserving the flavor of my food
- Protecting my food from bacteria, mold, and other nasties
Today I want to share my three biggest tips for keeping my food as fresh as possible. And if you want to learn even more about this topic, I have a free guide you can download to help you keep your food as crispy, crunchy, smoky, salty, sweet, and/or downright delectable to the best of your abilities. Let’s get started!
Pop, Lock, & Stock It
Invest in high-quality food storage containers so that you can pop, lock, and keep your food as fresh as possible. Sometimes an old cottage cheese tub just ain’t gonna cut it. Here's what food storage containers can offer you:
- Safety: You can safely microwave your food in them (when they're microwave-safe, BPA-free and/or made with glass)
- Security: You create an airtight environment that blocks out any other odors from your fridge while also protecting your food from moisture loss
- Efficiency: When using correctly sized containers, you can use the space in your lunchbox efficiently, and avoid carrying around extra weight with you. I also recommend purchasing containers that can be easily stacked, so you avoid the dreaded “Tupperware tornado” drawer
- Control: When using containers with dividers, you prevent your food from touching (if that’s something that bothers you)
- Durability: You avoid containers that crack, melt, warp, or shatter (yep, this has happened to me before...womp womp). Tip: go for dishwasher-safe containers
- Visibility: You can see what the food is without removing the lid (and avoid actually taking a tub of cottage cheese instead of your prepped meal to work)
Be a Freezer Believer
Did you know that you can freeze just about anything? I don’t recommend freezing eggs in their shell, canned food (although you can freeze it once outside the can), creamy or fried foods, gelatinous foods, and produce with high water content like cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Here’s a list of some of the foods that freeze well for me:
- Fried rice
- Baked potatoes
- Most vegetables
- Burger patties
- Egg muffins
- Smoothie packs
- Energy bites
Stop Before You Top
In order to keep your food as fresh and crisp as possible, I recommend waiting to add certain toppings to your food until the day you plan to eat it. This will keep your food from getting soggy and/or avoids a spoiled topping before you get the chance to eat it.
Here are the foods I recommend waiting to add...
- Salad dressings (add this right before eating)
- Fresh avocado (mashed or sliced)
- Fresh berries
- Sour cream/greek yogurt
- Mayonnaise (especially if in a wrap or sandwich)
Want to learn more about keeping your prepped food fresh? Download my free guide!
Click here to download my FREE guide, "The Ultimate Guide to Fresh: How to Preserve the Flavor & Quality of Your Prepped Foods"
Want to get started with meal prepping, but aren't sure how? Join my Lunch Club! Members have access to delicious recipes that are easily meal-prepped. Each recipe also includes a grocery list + gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and vegan modifications. You get all this each month for less than what you pay for a single meal out. Not bad, eh?
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