(HealthyLifeHacks.net) – Meal prep can save tons of time and money and make healthier food more accessible, but it can come with a learning curve. Getting ahead will only help when it doesn’t mean falling even more behind later because of spoilage, so learning how best to prep different types of foods can spare us a lot of wasted effort.
Veggies can be especially tricky. Not all varieties store the same, and rinsing and cutting can slash the shelf life of some. Not sure where to start? No worries! Follow these three tips to make veggie prepping a snap.
1. Know the Shelf Life
Some veggies store better than others, each with expiration dates that can vary depending on the handling. Some types go bad faster than others, so prepping too far in advance can lead to more wasted food than time saved.
The website Veggies Don’t Bite recommends moderation in prepping veggies that are quick to spoil after being sliced. When cutting cucumbers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, avocados and mushrooms, consider only slicing enough for 1-2 days. Any more than that is likely to wind up in the trash.
If any prepped items look like they might not make it for their intended uses, grill them up. Cooking them may extend their usability for a couple more days.
2. Chop What You Can
To get the most from each meal prep session, it’s important to have multiple options that can remain at the ready for the better part of the week. To do this, include as many of the following selections as possible:
- Brussel’s sprouts
- Green beans
Eggplant and some squash varieties may also withstand a few days of storage after being cut and prepped. Remember to start with produce that’s as fresh as possible for the longest available shelf life.
3. Take Care With Storing Methods
Most chopped veggies store well in individually sealed containers, but fresh herbs and most varieties of lettuce require a little more care. Rinse herbs well before shaking them dry, and then roll them up in a paper towel before placing them in an airtight container. Rinsed lettuce should be spun or patted dry and stored in a plastic bag layered between dry paper towels.
Consider waiting to rinse many vegetables until right before their actual use. Moisture encourages microbe growth, so much of the prep work is likely to keep longer if it stays dry. Just be sure to remember to give everything a good rinse before it goes into the dish.
Meal prepping is a great way to encourage healthy eating. After all, if fresh veggies are ready to go more often than not, we’re more likely to incorporate them into our meals. Proper preparation and storage can help ensure the effort doesn’t go to waste. Why not give it a try?
~ Here’s To Your Healthiest Life!
Copyright 2021, HealthyLifeHacks.net