Learn important tips on how to prepare and store food for plant-based meal preparations.

How To Properly Store Food

Storing your food items is essential to ensure that your food stays fresh for as long as possible. Many helpful guides are located on the American Heart Association (AHA) site that explains how most food items should be stored.

Pantries are an excellent storage spot in your kitchen because they are cool and dark. You can store several fruits and vegetables in the pantry, including garlic, onions, squash, potatoes, and watermelon.1 Countertop produce such as bananas, citrus fruit, stone fruit, and tomatoes do not need to be stored in a dark place like the pantry; however, they should be kept from sunlight, heat, and moisture.1

The refrigerator is where most produce will be stored, like apples, berries, grapes, broccoli, cucumbers, fresh herbs, leafy greens, and so much more. The fridge’s temperature must be at 40º F or below to ensure proper conditions for your refrigerated items.2 There is a complete list of what to store in your refrigerator on the AHA website.

Cooking Tips For Meal Prep

There are simple steps to be taken when meal prepping each of your items for the week. The first helpful hack is to prepare the beans you will have for the week (if any) in a large batch or portion.3 Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for quick use or stored in the freezer for future weeks.3

Plan to cook at least two whole grains when meal prepping, like quinoa or brown rice, to have them ready for your meals throughout the week. Whole grains are versatile and can be used in many meals, such as stews or salads.3

Lastly, produce can also be meal prepped to save you time for your meals. Your fruits and vegetables should be washed and dried before storing them in airtight containers and sliced or chopped if desired.3 A salad spinner is a handy kitchen gadget to use for the washing process with your produce.

Final Thoughts

Following these simple hacks in the kitchen will save you time with your meals during the week, but it can also lengthen the freshness of your items. These simple meal prep tips can make engaging in a plant-based lifestyle easier and more enjoyable!

References

  1. AHA. (2020). Produce Storage infographic. Healthy for Good. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/produce-storage-infographic.
  2. Class 5 Empowered by Food. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. https://pcrm.widencollective.com/portals/yfgoupfc/fightcovid19?ceid=2062442&emci=8006260f-a1c7-eb11-a7ad-501ac57b8fa7&emdi=5ec89ff1-cac7-eb11-a7ad-501ac57b8fa7.
  3. Thacker, D. (2018, January 18). In the kitchen with DARSHANA: Vegan COOKING Weekend Prep 101. Forks Over Knives. https://www.forksoverknives.com/how-tos/weekend-prep-101/.

 

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