Tuesday, 29 March 2016
How batch-cooking could save you time and money
Nobody wants to be in the kitchen 24/7, so why not batch-cook little meals and bung 'em in the freezer?
As a busy mum, it can be tricky to look after your littles ones and make nutritious family meals every day. Jayne Hynes, creator of frozen childrens’ meals brand Kiddyum, has provided Gurgle mums with ten exclusive tips when it comes to batch cooking for toddlers:
- Batch cooking is key to keeping on top of mealtimes in my house. If your freezer is running low, set a day or half a day aside to refill it. This might seem like a pain but not only will it save you money, it will save you time and toddler tears in the long run!
- Make sure you have suitable plastic pots and labels to name your meals, including the date you made the meal. I once almost served spicy jalfrezi sauce with my children’s pasta instead of tomato!
- Blitz leftover roasted vegetables with low-salt, toddler-friendly stock and freeze, ready to serve as soup or as an easy, healthy pasta sauce
- Prepare your ingredients in bulk, i.e. if three of your recipes call for onions, peel and chop them all at the same time
- Pick a few of your toddler’s favourite meals (I call them ‘bankers’) and freeze in toddler portions for back-up meals on busy days. You can make larger portions for yourself and adjust with added salt/spice as required
- If you’ve chosen the baby-led weaning approach, make homemade finger food and freeze in individual portions to use as and when you need. My favourites are homemade vegetable and bean burgers, fishcakes, breaded chicken and fish, muffins and spelt scones
- Remember, if you do choose to cook a meal from scratch on a weekday, you can always prepare a larger portion and freeze the leftovers
- If your toddler is teething, mix their favourite yoghurt with fruit puree and freeze. Serve to help ease those sore gums or as a delicious dessert or snack any time of day!
- Freeze chopped bananas and whizz them up in a food processor for an instant but healthy ice cream
- Take extra care in reheating meals after they’ve been defrosted. Make sure they are piping hot after cooking, and then leave to cool before giving to your little ones