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The Batch Cooking :literal translation of “batch cooking” is to cook in batches, and its meaning refers to the fact that we organize ourselves to cook the different ingredients that will be part of the meals of the week.
The objective of batch cooking is to be able to make the most of our time, optimizing the time of cooking and minimizing the dedication after the preparation of food.
Although it is a “new concept”, it is the name or the explanation of what may be done in some houses that are done weekly to organize meals trying to make the most of the time. It is about choosing certain moments of the week to cook what is going to be consumed in the following days. It is true that with the good organization we can obtain advantages both at the time and at the nutritional level.
We save time : we have to dedicate an initial time to think about what we are going to eat the rest of the week, but once the menu is organized and the necessary ingredients are acquired, we can start cooking several things at the same time, saving time and decreasing the dedication to food in the following days.
We save energy: the fact of cooking several things at the same time also saves energy, especially if what we do is to cook in the oven and we can bake several things at once, or one thing after another taking advantage of the residual heat of the first cooking to start the second.
We make it easy to follow a good diet: having spent time one day a week to think about what we are going to consume will make it easier for us to assess whether we are following a varied and healthy diet on a weekly basis. We will try to stock up on different vegetables, whole grains and protein sources to prepare the meals of the different days following a balanced diet. In addition, a good organization and make adequate intakes can also help us to stop the snacking if it is simply to satisfy the desire to eat something when we get home and we have nothing prepared.
We avoid the waste of food: the fact of having thought, organized and prepared the food rations of the week, if we properly manage the quantities that we buy and cook, will prevent us from wasting food.
We must choose the most appropriate weekly time to organize meals, when we are going to buy and when to cook, what we are going to cook, what we need, if we are going to keep it refrigerated or frozen, etc.
In addition, each week we must provide the necessary food to consume during the following days, acquiring fresh products and making sure we have enough basic cooking (cereals, legumes …).
Tomato, cucumber and other raw vegetables for the salad.
Vegetables for cooking: broccoli, green beans, zucchini, artichokes, squash …
Farinaceous products: potato, sweet potato, fresh pasta …
Dairy products: milk, natural yogurt, fresh cheese … We may not use them for cooking, it depends on our habits and the planning of the week.
Fish and/or meat: we may buy it fresh or, especially fish, it is common to acquire it already frozen.
Basics of the kitchen:
There are products that should always be part of our pantry, they are basic foods that are preserved for a long time and that can help us a lot both in the weekly organization of meals and in a hurried moment when we have to elaborate lunch or dinner without having anything planned, that is, what happens if we do not carry out the batch cooking .
Cooked legumes: can be purchased in bulk in the market or packaged.
Whole grains in the form of pasta, semolina, rice, etc. to cook.
Frozen sliced vegetable bags.
Vegetables or vegetables that are not very perishable: garlic, onions, potatoes …
Canned fish: salted cod, sardines in oil …
Nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, rolled almonds, pistachios …
Spices and aromatic herbs: paprika, oregano, rosemary, turmeric …
Canned crushed tomato: I do not speak of fried tomato or sauces that usually contain sugar, salt, etc. but simply of crushed tomato that usually is commercialized canned.
Textured soy: it is a dry product that has a long shelf life and can help us complement a stew of vegetables and cereals, for example. It should only be rehydrated and incorporated as part of the cooking.
Nut creams: in this case, we will make sure that they do not contain sugars or added fats. They must be crushed nuts, without more.
We must organize preparing a pot to boil cereals or vegetables, another to make vegetables steamed, and a small saucepan to cook some eggs … We can also saute other vegetables in a pan, cook the vegetables and then a fish, taking advantage of the heat of the oven already hot, or even do it at the same time if the fish does not give off much aroma, or we prepare it to the papillote … And then we are joining ingredients for the preparations of the following days, being able to leave the rest separately, to make the mixture the day that we are going to consume it.
These preparations can be kept in a refrigerator that is between 4 and 8ºC and keep the temperature (which is not very usual) to consume in 48 hours or even 72 hours if it is a legume or a cooked cereal, or a few vegetables sauteed, properly packaged.
If we want to have planned for more days, beyond 72 hours, we should opt for cooked vegetables, canned fish, salad vegetables that we prepare at the moment, or in preparations that we can make the day of cooking, So, we can cook more than one day and freeze or make preparations for three or four days, twice a week.
What you should know…
With the batch cooking we can save time and energy , in addition to planning a good diet for the whole week.
We avoid improvising with food and, therefore, falling into monotony or chopping in a less healthy way.
We must program at what time we buy, when we cook and how we keep it, assuring a healthy and varied diet .