Convenience foods are what they say they are: convenient. The trouble with convenience foods is that they’re highly processed and often come with a hefty dose of excessive packaging. For busy folks, moving entirely away from convenience foods might not be doable, but even replacing a few of the processed foods you normally buy with homemade alternatives can improve your health and help the planet! Here’s how you can make your own convenience foods at home.
This month is October Unprocessed, and what better time to talk about ditching chemical-filled packaged foods in favor of whole foods you can cook at home, right? It might feel like there’s no way you can find the time to cook from scratch, and the trick to making this easy on yourself if cooking in batches.
Why make a dozen muffins when it takes just as long to make two dozen? Keep some in the fridge to eat this week and freeze the rest for next week.
The same thing goes for pre-made meals. You don’t have to cook every night to ditch the TV dinners! Spend some time on a weekend and make a few large dishes that you can eat for the week. If possible, make some dishes that you can portion out and freeze for those times when you aren’t able to cook.
The idea here is to take advantage of any free time you do have to bank food in the fridge and freezer for the rest of the time.
Try a Swap!
Are you worried that you’ll get sick of eating that same pasta casserole for a few weeks in a row? This is where a food swap can come in handy. Get a few friends involved, and have each person contribute one or two large dishes. At the swap, everyone can bring containers and serve up their share of everything. You get lots of variety, some quality time with friends, and you save time and money!
Need some DIY convenience food inspiration? Check out these simple ideas on the next page!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by bark