Meal prep and planning is a great way to have meals prepared ahead of time, know exactly what you are eating each day of the week, and prepare for the busy days when you might not have time to go to the store or cook something from scratch after work.
While none of these are required, these handy tools and appliances really make the meal prep and planning process go much smoother.
If you plan to do a lot of chopping and dicing to prep your meals, particularly with lots of veggies, you need a food processor! This is going to save you so much time. The little extra time and energy it requires to wash this is nothing compared to dicing piles of veggies. Throw them in, turn it on, and voila!
You are probably no stranger to using a blender, but it has many uses aside from just making smoothies and margaritas. Some foods can also be cut up with a blender if you don’t have a food processor, or you need another appliance to run at the same time if you have some help in the kitchen on meal prep day. Think about what it can chop up for your smoothies, and it gives you a good idea of what this thing can do for other meal prep purposes.
Air Fryer and Pressure Cooker
Get one or both, and you will have some help in the kitchen for meal prep. They each work in different ways, and for different purposes. The pressure cooker uses water and air to cook foods, while the air fryer works by circulating air, often helped by putting a very small amount of oil on the food.
Each of them work great and cost about the same. But here are some tips for choosing the right one:
- Use the air fryer for healthier fried foods, like fries and potatoes, “fried” chicken or nuggets, and any type of rolled up food like taquitos.
- Use the pressure cooker for chicken breasts and other meat, hardboiled eggs, and veggies.
Slow cookers are still used frequently, and really help a lot when you are meal prepping. If you want to cook meals ahead of time, you can throw the ingredients in a slow cooker, turn it on, and let it cook while you prep other meals.