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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

Meal Prep Must Haves

Let's just get it out there...meal prepping can be a real b*tch.

BUT, setting aside a few hours on a Sunday to ensure that you *and your fam, significant other, etc.* have nutritious, REAL FOOD meals for the entire week...totally worth it.

Regardless of all the benefits of meal prepping, it seems like a daunting chore for many of us—and it definitely can be.

I've been meal prepping for a while now, and I've gotten way more efficient with my weekly process. I credit my efficiency 100% to having the proper & necessary kitchen tools.

If you're using the wrong things, or aren't aware of some of the tools that can make your life a thousand times easier, or if you're completely new to meal prepping and want to get started off the right foot, this one's for you.

I'm sharing my must-have kitchen appliances that make meal prepping WAY more manageable.

I can't say enough good things about Instant Pots. I don't even keep a crock pot anymore because what would take 6-8+ hours in a can get the same results using an Instant Pot in an hour or less. And that's all thanks to the pressure cooking feature. Saves SO much time! It also has the slow cook option, so if you want to throw a soup together, for example, you can toss everything in the pot, press the slow cook feature, set the amount of hours, and then let it slow cook and forget about it!

Sheet pans are essential for any meal prep plan. I use mine mainly to roast veggies. All you have to do is cut up your veggies, toss them in some balsamic vinegar, maybe a little lemon juice and garlic powder, spread them out in an even layer on your sheet pan, and roast in the oven at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until tender and golden. That's it.

Use your roasted veggies as healthy side dishes, or top off a salad, add to grain bowls, soups, etc.

Another game changer that I wouldn't want to go without ever again.

I love my air fryer because it cooks everything perfectly and requires ZERO oil—so you can get rid of those extra, unnecessary calories.

I use mine to make roasted chickpeas, crispy chicken for Eric, and my favorite—homemade 'French Fries'. All you have to do is cut up a potato into fries, throw them in the basket, and cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, and they come out PERFECTLY. A true blessing.

Skillets/stove top pans are obviously necessary for any kitchen. It's the 'nonstick' that's key here. Nonstick allows for us to not feel the 'need' for cooking things in oil, butter, etc. So if you're accustomed to using those to cook your food, with a nonstick skillet, you can use way less. The other benefit of nonstick skillets is that it makes clean-up WAY easier and faster, because you won't have a bunch of food caked onto the pan that you have to scrub over and over to get rid of.

BIG time-saver for chopping veggies, making dips or hummus, any desserts that involve nuts and/or dates, etc. My favorite way to use mine is with making cauliflower rice. All you have to do is cut up a head of cauliflower into florets, add them to the processor, process until they become riced, scoop the rice into a bowl, steam in the microwave, and viola!—cauliflower rice. The perfect low-carb, low-calorie alternative to regular rice.

I'm big on green protein smoothies and have one every day, so this one is definitely essential for me. Aside from smoothies, they have tons of other uses, too. Like making sauces, pancakes, any fruit/veggie purees, puddings, dressings, etc.

I highly recommend containers that have a tight seal, especially if you're taking any meals on-the-go. You'll avoid leaks and unwanted messes. I also love glass storage containers to keep leftovers in the fridge...they keep food fresher for longer.

And then, of course, don't neglect basic utensils, cutting boards, measuring cups, peelers, a scale if serving sizes & portion control are necessary for you to track, etc.

You can find all of these products in most department stores, or, *it's 2020*, on Amazon.

The links connected to each product I mention on here take you straight to the ones that I love & own on Amazon...did all the grunt work for ya. ;)

Go save some time, money, & gray hairs!

xo Mackenzie.

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