Want to eat more all-natural food and less junk from a box?
This post is for you.
One of the most common questions I hear is, “How in the world do you find time to make all your meals from scratch?” My answer – which I cannot say enough is – BULK PREP & FREEZE!
It’s my #1 tip for always having healthy, all-natural food on hand and avoiding processed foods and drive-thrus. The busier I get the more important it is to me to have a fully stocked freezer for some grab-and-go options or quick weeknight meals. I try to dedicate at least one hour per week to make at least one “bulk prep and free” recipe to add to my freezer – just one hour per week can make a difference!
Not sure where to begin? Here are some of my favorite things to make and freeze. Pick one and get started today!
Muffins are one of my favorite things to have stocked in my freezer. They’re a great single-serving, grab-and-go option for breakfast in the morning or when you’re looking for a quick snack. I can pull a muffin out of my freezer in the morning, toss it in my bag, and it’s thawed and ready to eat in less than an hour. These muffins are vegetable-packed (a great way to use up the zucchini in your garden!) and are made with orange juice and apple juice which give this recipe a sweet, kid-pleasing flavor without using too much sugar!
2. Homemade Pancakes & Waffles
Pick your favorite homemade pancake and waffle recipe (or use an organic, all-natural mix for a shortcut), make up several batches at once and freeze them for easy-to-reheat breakfasts for weeks or even months to come! My trick for freezing pancakes and waffles without them sticking together is to lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze them that way for a couple of hours. Once the pancakes or waffles are frozen, toss them into a reusable freezer bag or container and they won’t stick together!
3. Black Bean Burgers
These black bean burgers from The Curvy Carrot are one of my favorite things to have in our freezer for a grab-and-go lunch during my work week. I typically make up two batches at a time (8 burgers) and enjoy them on a bun or wrapped in a lettuce leaf, with cheese. They freeze, thaw, and reheat really well!
These Cranberry Nut Bars taste delicious and are a great grab-and-go snack or quick and easy side for a meal. Based on the ingredients in KIND bars, the ingredients are simple and healthy. Best of all, Kate prefers to eat these bars straight out of the freezer – no thawing necessary!
This slow cooker Chicken Taco Chili recipe is one of Kate’s favorites, which means I’ve always got some on hand! It’s incredibly simple to make and easy to customize with what your family likes. I make a double batch and freeze the extra in leftover glass salsa jars. It’s a great way to store smaller portions of chili for single-serving, grab & go lunches!
I started making these apple plum bars when my daughter, Kate, was just beginning to eat solid foods. They’re soft enough that they make a great finger food, and delicious enough that the adults don’t mind finishing up the leftovers–on the rare occasion that there are any!
(Pst: They’re also a great “treat” to serve when your little one is constipated!)
I love enjoying a green smooothie for breakfast, but with so many fresh ingredients they require a fair amount of peeling and chopping – something I rarely have time for in the mornings! My solution has been to bulk prep, freeze, and blend as needed, and it’s been working beautifully! You can ready more about my process in this post: A Month’s Worth of Green Smoothies – Only One Day of Prep! This technique works great for any of your favorite smoothie recipes. When you’re ready to enjoy, just toss your pre-bagged ingredients in your blender, add your liquid, blend, and enjoy – there’s no need to thaw!
My family loves these homemade Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Our Family Eats! They’re my go-to recipe for bananas that have gotten overripe, as well as what I make for others when someone is sick, has a new baby, or to send in a care package. Kate loves that they have chocolate chips in them, and I love that they’re freeze and thaw so well!
9. Shredded Chicken
An absolute staple in our family’s freezer is a stockpile of pre-cooked, pre-shredded chicken, ready for anything! I buy whole organic chickens from Costco, roast them up in my slow-cooker, shred, and freeze in single-serving and dinner-sized portions in my freezer. With a freezer full of shredded chicken, I can whip up a quesadilla dinner in about 5 minutes! It’s also great for chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, chicken wraps, chicken casseroles – your possibilities are endless!
10. Blueberry Protein Pancakes
A fun spin on traditional pancake recipes – these little blueberry nutrition bombs are made with oatmeal and cottage cheese to keep you feeling full and satisfied. I make several batches at a time, cool them, and pop them in the freezer. These pancakes have enough flavor that they don’t need any topping, but if you or your little one insists on a topping, consider trying plain or vanilla yogurt instead of syrup.
And there’s your look at 10 of my family’s favorite “bulk prep and freeze” recipes! What are some of yours?