Good nutrition and diet is an essential part of leading a healthy life style. However, in today’s world when we’re all so busy, one might find it rather difficult to eat healthy, given the lack of time to cook every day and the mostly unhealthy choices in the restaurants if we choose to eat outside. But actually, there is a relatively simple way to solve all these problems and to make eating healthy much easier and less time consuming: meal prep!
In our previous article we introduced you to the basics of meal prep: why it is good, what you need to get started and all the basic things you will have to pay attention to. So now that you know the most important things, it’s time to get started with some meal inspirations and ideas on what dishes you can actually prepare to take with you on the go!
Since breakfast and lunch/dinner are quite different, it is better to brainstorm ideas for them separately. Preparing breakfast in advance is perfect for those who really don’t have much time in the morning: they quickly get ready and are already out the door – but at the same time know it’s not good to skip breakfast. So what are the best options for breakfast that you can make ahead of time and just grab and take in the morning?
Option 1: overnight oatmeal! This is great if you prefer having something sweet in the morning – and even better if it’s summer, because overnight oats cold from the fridge will help you cool down once you get to school or the office, while providing you with all the macronutrients you need to kick start the day. You can find our Overnight Oats recipe here!
Option 2: egg muffins! In case you would like to have a savory breakfast, you love your eggs in the morning but just don’t have the time to cook them in the morning before leaving the apartment, these are the perfect choice for you! Just make them the night ahead, or pop them into the over while you’re getting ready if you want to enjoy it fresh and warm –it literally takes just a few minutes to throw together. You can customize the recipe by using different types of bread at the bottom and cracking a whole egg on top, or you can make a scramble and add your favorite veggies. You can find the recipe and more details here!
Option 3: healthy whole grain muffins! Back to the sweeter choices, whole grain muffins are great for take-away breakfast. You can make them the night before and by using whole grain flour instead of white, raw honey or stevia instead of sugar, free range eggs you can transform a popular but rather unhealthy treat into a balanced and delicious breakfast option. Below is the basic recipe which you can easily customize for your own liking by adding your favorite fruits (blueberries, strawberries, banana, apple, plum, etc.), your favorite spies (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) or even cacao powder and organic dark chocolate chips to make a choco version! A scoop of protein powder might also be a great idea for additional flavor, sweetness and a morning protein boost.
2 cups whole grain or oat flour
One tablespoon honey (or sweetener the equivalent of about ½ cup sugar)
3 teaspoons of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk – you can use soy, almond or other alternative milk if you prefer
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to prepare?
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C
Step 2: Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sweetener if you decide to use a solid version – and optional cacao powder or spices) and mix well
Step 3: In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients: egg, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract (+sweetener if you use a liquid)
Step 4: Mix the dry and wet ingredients and stir until properly combined without any noticeable lumps. Stir in any additional ingredients, such as fruits or chocolate chips.
Step 5: Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray or coconut oil – optional: you can add paper muffin tin liners to make the muffins prettier.
Step 6: Fill each cup of the tin until about ¾ with the batter. If you want toppings for the muffins, add them last.
Step 7: Bake for about 20 minutes. You can check if they are ready by sticking a pin or knife into them. If it comes out clean, your muffins are all done!
We hope we could give you some ideas on what foods you could prepare in advance for breakfast on those busy days. Next we’ll introduce more meal prep ideas: for lunch and dinner!