Top 3 Tools for Successful Meal Prepping

Meal prep saves you time in the long run, but it can be tough to buy that when you're stuck in the kitchen for hours on prep day. The following 3 gadgets are not only essential to preparing big batches of food, but they'll save you time so you can actually enjoy your life.

1. Digital Scale

Proper portions are key, no matter what your goal is. Most people don't know proper serving sizes, but even more dangerous to your waistline is thinking you can eyeball them either because you're just awesome like that or you're used to measure and you think you've got it down. When eyeballing your portions, it's easy for your eyes to skew over time.  Using a food scale while you prep lets you weigh and measure your ingredients and servings while you cook to take out all the guess work and know exactly what's going into your body.

You can find a good digital scale for under $50, so don't break the bank. Look for one that offers readings in ounces, grams, kilograms, and pounds to track all of your ingredients and macronutrients.

2. Slow Cooker

The best kind of cooking is cooking that can be done without you even being there. By putting a slow cooker to work, you can prep your meals for the week, freeze them until the day you plan to eat them, and then throw them into your slow cooker in the morning for a piping hot meal at dinnertime. Or, you can cook all your meals and freeze them in individual servings, but we prefer the first option; nothing beats walking through the door to a fresh home-cooked meal rather than reheated eats. Make things like shredded or ground poultries, casseroles, soups, stews – you can even bake in it!

While practically any slow cooker will do, look for versions that have multiple heat settings. Again, don't spend over $50 – and for a no-brainer, go with the Crock-Pot brand, which has become synonymous with “slow cooker.”

3. Blender

Blenders make more than just smoothies (although those are pretty great, too.) Use your blender to make salsas, nut butters, hummus and soups in just a few seconds. Divvy everything into individual portions and enjoy your limited clean up time.

You don't want to skimp on a good blender (the cheap ones don't blend as well), but don't go crazy. Anything in the $30-$75 range should suffice but if you're in the mood to spend a little money, try Vita-Mix, which is top-of-the-line.

HAPPY EATING!

by Kelly Turner

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