There are so many conceivable combinations and permutations when it comes to meal prepping that keeping track of them all would be impossible. However, a select few common elements appear that any novice should know. One of the best meal prep tips is knowing which foods have the longest shelf life, so let us break it down for you.
Ensuring meals have adequate protein is one of the most critical aspects of meal prepping. Yet, you will want a versatile protein with a long shelf life. Although you may be a meat-and-potatoes type, your new life as a meal prepper will have you turn to chicken the most.
Chicken is the most used meat in meal-prep dishes because it’s a lean protein that tastes great when prepared with various herbs and spices. Raw and frozen chicken can stay in a freezer for nine months, so it’s the perfect protein to buy in bulk. Cooked and frozen chicken doesn’t last as long as raw and frozen, but two months gives you plenty of time to use it accordingly.
Eggs are a terrific source of protein and tasty any time of day. But for many people, making them from scratch daily isn’t feasible—and that’s where egg bites come into play. Egg bites are a convenient, portable breakfast that fits perfectly in your meal prep backpack that you can prepare ahead of time and keep for easy access throughout the week.
You may use regular-sized muffin pans or an egg bite machine to produce adorable little ones. The texture of the egg bites might change from becoming drier as the week progresses.
Many grain-based meal-prep dishes benefit from using quinoa as their basis. It’s simple to prepare and store for the whole week and the perfect complement for most meals.
Precooked plain quinoa remains fresh in an airtight container for up to a week, making it ideal for a weeklong meal foundation. Remember that the shelf life of quinoa may decrease somewhat if you combine it with additional ingredients. Nevertheless, quinoa is still one of your finest options.
Fresh & Frozen Veggies
Vegetables are great for meal prep in two ways. First, you can prepare veggies for the week in one fell swoop. Cutting and storing them in the fridge will keep you ahead of schedule, especially if you don’t want to cook them all immediately. Secondly, frozen bags of vegetables are convenient, and the taste difference is negligible. Having a stock of frozen veggies ensures you will always have some available without spending time with a knife and a cutting board.
The MVP for many meal preppers is overnight oats. Oats are a great base for many breakfast variations due to their simple preparation method.
Overnight oats last up to five days in an airtight jar. However, oats will continue to soften and absorb liquid. That means the oats you eat the first day or two may still have a bit of crunch. However, by the end of the week, they become softer and creamier.
Learning which foods have the longest shelf life is important for meal prep. Sticking with a strategy that works helps you stay the course and not give up on meal prepping entirely. And since preparing meals ahead of time is the best way to follow a healthy diet, the results that follow will be gratifying.