Healthy Meals to Cook & Freeze

Written by carolyn simpkins | 13/05/2017
Healthy Meals to Cook & Freeze
A well-stocked freezer

Freezing meals ahead of time assures you that you'll have dinner on the table in a timely manner. Cooking your own frozen meals allows you to control which ingredients go into your dinners, ensuring that you serve a healthy dinner. The key to freezing is to protect your foods from freezer burn by making sure as little air as possible comes into contact with the food.

Vegetable Lasagna

Healthy Meals to Cook & Freeze
Replace meat with vegetables in your lasagne.

Lasagne is great to feed a crowd, and it can also be frozen in smaller quantities for two people to eat. Instead of loading up your lasagne with minced meat, try a lighter vegetable lasagne. Replace the meat in your favourite lasagne recipe with sliced vegetables such as squash, eggplant or thinly sliced broccoli. Freezing these lasagne casseroles is a snap. Simply assemble your lasagne in a pan that you can cook it in that also has an air tight lid. For two people, freeze a smaller portion in a loaf pan with a lid. Use no-cook noodles and leave them dry, as they will absorb the extra moisture of the vegetables and sauce as they defrost and reheat, preventing sogginess. Also, if you use moist vegetables like squash or eggplant, slice and drain them between two paper towels to extract the extra water before assembling. Lasagne will last about three months in the freezer.

Frozen Burritos

Instead of buying frozen burritos laden with preservatives and fat, create your own! To make a burrito that you can store in your freezer, gather your favourite burrito ingredients such as rice, beans and tortillas. Vegetables like corn, cooked onions and pepper will freeze well, while lettuce and tomatoes will not. Also, do not add sour cream, as it will separate in the freezer. Assemble each burrito and wrap them tightly in cling film when they are cool. You can freeze these for up to three months and reheat them in the microwave.

Prune Muffins for Breakfast

If you are on the run in the morning, a muffin-to-go will energise your day. For many muffin recipes, prunes can be used to replace up to half of the fat while also adding fibre and iron to your diet. Muffins made with prune purée also freeze beautifully due to the added moisture. Make a prune purée by blending 1/2 cup of prunes with 1 cup of water. Use this to replace up to half the fat in your favourite muffin recipe. To help the muffins freeze well, use muffin tin liners and freeze a whole batch in a large zippered plastic bag. Reheat briefly in the microwave for 30 seconds, or defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Muffins will keep for up to one month.

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