Time is a precious thing these days… we all have so much going on in our lives that, unfortunately, spending lots of time in the kitchen whipping up fresh meals every day seems like an unachievable task. We want to make sure you don’t compromise your health simply because you’re short on time so we’re sharing our top kitchen hacks that will keep you healthy and pinch every minute of spare time throughout your week!
Zip-lock bag it!
Do you ever feel like making a smoothie but can’t be bothered to cut the mango, the apples, the banana etc.? Next time you have a spare moment on a weekend, chop and divide all your fruit and greens and stash them in your freezer in individual zip-lock bags! Next time you want a smoothie, all you have to do is get your little bag out of the freezer and pour it in the blender with your preferred milk and you’ve got a delicious smoothie in less than a minute! If you’re also looking to be more sustainable then remember to save the bags and use it them again.
Having a plan helps you achieve your goal – Whether it’s in your life, in your job but also in the kitchen! Making a meal plan or a grocery list will help you stay focused on what you need and what you don’t, saving you not only time but money! By planning ahead you’ll also know what will take a bit more prepping time. For example, if you’ve got a girly dinner planned and you’re attempting that raw cheesecake you’ve always wanted to try, then you’ll be able to make a note that the cashews will need soaking the night before so they are lovely and soft for blending. Without a plan, you tend to forget these little details and you’ll often find meal times a bit more stressful!
Make a little extra
When you’re already making a delicious curry, soup etc, why not make an even bigger portion and save it for those busy days when the last thing you want to do is cook? By doubling (even quadrupling) the recipe, you’ll be able to put by lots of your favourite dishes and freeze them for a rainy day. The cook-in-bulk method makes sure you have a healthy, home-cooked meal ready to eat on the days you get home late from work and you’re tempted to deliveroo a pizza to your door! This method is also a godsend if you fall ill. You need sustenance when you’re under the weather and you’ll thank your past self for saving up healthy meals you can easily reheat.
If you’re looking for a warming soup this winter, try doubling up on this feel-good Pumpkin Soup!
Save what’s left
Often when you’re chopping onions, garlic, carrots, chili, spring onions etc. you’re guaranteed to be left with little bits that you inevitably throw out. Instead, throw the leftover bits in the freezer for times when you are making a meal just for you and you don’t want to buy a whole new bunch of ingredients. This is really good for the environment as you are reducing your food waste, but it’s also helping you in the kitchen. If you keep filling this container with small food scraps, you’ll have many different ingredients for your dinner – Half a chilli, one clove of garlic, one-quarter of onion might help you save time for the next time you’re making a delicious soup.
Chop your greens
One of our all-time favourite hacks is to prepare in advance. This will both save you time but also ensure you keep up with eating healthily. A good tip is to chop all kinds of different vegetables on the weekend or on a day off– Carrots, radishes, capsicum, celery etc. and have them in boxes in the fridge. In that way you’ll have easy snacks throughout the week (Take them to-go in a little box and add nut butter or hummus) or you can use them for dinner throughout the week, either as they are and place them on the dinner table or chop them in to smaller sizes and add them to your salad. You can do the same with lettuce – Wash it and keep in a box in the fridge. It will both save you time and help to keep eating healthy.
Make it overnight
If you’re one of those people who snoozes the alarm too late to make both delicious and healthy breakfast, why not make it the evening before to save you time and stress (and hunger later on!)? We always go back to overnight oats because it’s ridiculously easy to make and there are loads of different variations to stop you from getting bored. Super simple, healthy and saves you a lot of time!
Our favourite is this Chocolate Berry Breakfast Jar!
Last resort if you really don’t have time: Deliciously Ella Frozen Meals
For those days when even the kitchen hacks above won’t save you, Ella Mills has got your back with her new line of Deliciously Ella Frozen Meals! They are vegan, gluten-free, super healthy and could not save you any more time in the kitchen! They are made for two people, but if it’s only you, you can save half for lunch the next day, providing you with the most scrummy meal that your co-workers will be envious of! The new line includes Thai Curry, Spinach & Potato Cake, Five Bean Chili, Cauliflower and Lentil Dahl and Sweet Potato & Black Bean Shepherd’s Pie. Check them out right here!
words by Amalie Luther