Hello friends –
Our Back to School Tip today is BATCH COOKING. I cannot say enough about batch cooking and how easy it can be and incredibly helpful it truly is to a busy families schedule. Batch cooking is simply taking a recipe (I prefer recipes that can be frozen) and scaling it up by doubling it or tripling it. For my growing boys, I always batch cook at least 40 meatballs a month! It’s a time saver and I hate the kitchen mess, so this way it’s messy once for multiple meals! This also works fabulous for items like:
Salad Ingredients (grilled veggies, grilled chicken, quinoa, beans, dressings)
Grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice)
Just think – this Sunday morning make homemade, whole-wheat waffles and keep cooking them after everyone is full. Then you can serve these waffles easily every morning the next week for breakfast or school lunch (they can be frozen and thrown in the toaster). If you can commit to batch cooking just once a week only one item, you’ll start to see the benefit.
Some handy tips:
– Before you freeze anything, make sure it has cooled at least an hour.
– Make sure you store in saran wrap, foil, Ziplock or freezer safe containers to keep out as much air as possible.
– Add a piece of a paper towel to the top of the container when freezing muffins/bread type items – this collects any moisture that could lead to freezer burn.
– When covering lasagna or casserole, cover first with foil (so you can bake just like that), then cover with saran wrap and a tight plastic bag (good place to re-use those shopping bags)
– Mark and date what you freeze.
– If you have a kitchen bulletin board or chalkboard, it is very helpful to write down what is available in freezer. That way when you’re in need of a quick meal, snack or lunch item, you know it’s there. I need a visual reminder, so I keep a list on my kitchen whiteboard by date.
Below is a recipe for my favorite Back to School Muffins. The timing is perfect because it’s also zucchini season. I’ve made these with yellow squash as well…just as delicious and moist! The best tip: grate the zucchini really fine (even a puree will work!). Be sure to use organic, medium sized zucchini (usually 3 work in this recipe).
eat your veggies,
firstname.lastname@example.org (we would love to hear your favorite items to batch cook)