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Nutrition in Winter: Batch Cooking

As part of our continued focus on Nutrition in Winter, we are putting a spotlight on batch cooking. This involves cooking larger amounts of food and storing it for later use, ensuring you have healthy and nutritious meals ready when needed.

Our guide highlights the range of benefits to batch-cooking and can be read alongside our ‘Winter Warmer’ recipes to inspire your meals.

Less Time Spent Cooking

Batch-cooking meals allow you to spend less time in the kitchen and reduce the number of times you need to use the oven or other kitchen appliances, helping to keep energy costs down.

Minimal Waste

To batch cook doesn’t mean smaller portions. It’s a great way to minimise food wastage and maximise the nutrients in fresh produce as you’re cooking and storing vegetables straight away instead of allowing them time to wilt prior to cooking.

You’re also more likely to buy only the ingredients you require rather than extra items you may not use, which will save you money on your weekly food shop.

Reduced Cost of Meals

Buying ingredients in bulk is often cheaper, particularly if you can make use of supermarket deals and discounts. You can use these in batch cooking or prepare individually, store, and later defrost for use within various meals, such as the starting ingredients for chilli, spaghetti bolognese and cottage pie.

Increased Variety

Not all meals lend themselves to being frozen, but many hearty and traditional meals work for batch cooking, such as curry, slow-cooker meals, stews, pasta sauce and pies. Whilst you may not have the time or energy to cook each evening, setting aside some time each week for meal planning ensures you have a variety of meals to enjoy. There’s nothing more satisfying than a nutritious, pre-prepared meal with minimal effort!

Top Tips for Batch-Cooking

  1. Portion food into appropriate sizes, single servings or enough for the whole family to avoid waste.
  2. Note the date of your prepared meal on the storage container. Most soups and stews ought to be eaten within three months, but cooked meat can last up to six.
  3. Ensure the meal is thoroughly cooled before freezing.
  4. You can defrost the meals in the microwave before cooking, but try to plan ahead and defrost them in plenty of time by putting them in the fridge the night before serving.

Click below to see the final winter recipes, chosen by Emilio Pascucci, Head Chef at Astbury Manor Care Home in Bracknell, and Tomasz Milewski, Head Chef at Droitwich Mews Care Home in Droitwich Spa:

 

 

Starter

Grapes and Feta Tartlet with Salad Leaves & Olive Oil Dressing

 

 

Main

Honey and Wholegrain Glazed Chicken Thighs in a Wild Mushroom Sauce

 

 

Dessert

Sticky Toffee Pudding

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