The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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meal prep

When you've got a million things to do every day, preparing a home-cooked meal seems more like a luxury rather than a necessity. After all, you can always head over to the local fast food restaurant to place an order, right? No, you can't. Fast food is notoriously unhealthy to consume on a daily basis. Instead, prepare meals ahead of time and place them in the freezer until you're ready to eat them. Consider these three healthy freezer meal prep ideas for the family.

1. Prepare seasoning cubes

One of the most magical ways to preserve fresh herbs is through the preparation of seasoning cubes. Purchase a few ice cube trays from the grocery store. Instead of using them for water, you're going to use them to create power-packed seasonings. If you have fresh herbs on hand, you'll know that they tend to go bad quickly. To preserve their freshness, fill each section in the tray with crushed garlic and the herbs. You can cut up sage, rosemary and thyme into small pieces. Fill the sections with the herbs. Then, add some freshly-cracked black pepper and a bit of sea salt. Use extra virgin olive oil as your liquid. Pour the oil over the seasoned herb concoction. Store in the freezer. Whenever you're ready to season some vegetables, meats or potatoes, you can pull out a cube or two.

2. Keep stashes of frozen vegetables available

You can purchase a bunch of pre-packaged frozen vegetables at the grocery store. You can roast Brussel sprouts. Use one of your seasoning cubes to add flavor to the Brussel sprouts. To take the mix to the next level, add some pieces of turkey bacon into the mix. You can also freeze peppers to add to a stir fry dish. Whenever you're sautéing other vegetables, add frozen chopped onions to the mix for more flavor. Plus, you'll save time on chopping fresh onions.

3. Cook and freeze entrees for the week

Set a few hours aside to prepare meals in advance.Buy garlic already crushed to make your process to help you prepare all your meals with ease. Store them in specific containers so that when the time comes, you can easily pull out the meals, heat them up and serve the family. Make a large batch of rice or quinoa. Portion it accordingly. Make a few entrees like baked chicken and lasagna. These dishes freeze really well. Once you're ready to use them, let them defrost and simmer in the oven for a delicious, home-cooked taste.

As you and your family become more accustomed to delicious, home-cooked meals, it's going to be difficult to enjoy anything else. Plus, you'll save so much more money this way. Get creative in the kitchen. Develop your culinary skills and enjoy the ease of freezer for food storage.

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