I believe that homemade make ahead meals along with freezer cooking can really help a person eat healthier and lose weight. However, this concept does not seem realistic to some people because of the assumed amount of time and skill it takes to cook from scratch and freeze. To prove that even the busiest person can fit freezer cooking into their lifestyle I am determined to put together 90 minute freezer cooking session.
Last week was my first attempt at a mini freezer cooking session with my goal being an hour. I was able to get all the food prepped and cooked in 60 minutes however it took more time for the meals to cool, to be packaged, and cleaned up. This experience brought me to the conclusion that a start to finish mini freezer cooking session could realistically be done in 90 minutes.
That is if you plan it out correctly.
The 90 Minute Freezer Cooking Fail.
For my second mini freezer cooking session attempt I decided on marinara sauce, carrot cupcakes, and pizza sauce. These were three recipes that seemed easy to put together in 90 minutes. Well I was wrong. This freezer session was an epic fail. In the end all the recipes turned out great but it took me much longer than I originally planned.
The lessons I took from this experience are:
1. Do not choose recipes that require extensive prep. The marinara sauce and carrot cupcakes required chopped and shredded carrots. Lots of them. And because I use a hand held shredder (don’t laugh) it took me about 45 minutes to get all the carrots I needed prepared. Some prep is expected but you do not want to spend half of your time shredding carrots like I did.
2. Choose familiar tried and true recipes. Two of the recipes (carrot cupcakes and pizza sauce) I never made before. Rookie mistake I know but hey I try to keep things interesting. Well I can’t even explain what I did to the pizza sauce but I ended up throwing it out and starting over. Cupcakes turned out fine though in the beginning they were questionable.
3. The highest maintenance dish should get started first. I underestimated the amount of time it would take to put together and bake the cupcakes. By the time I got them in the oven my time was almost up. In the future I do not think I would include cupcakes in a 90 minute freezer cooking session. Cupcakes are fun to make and deserve your full attention from start to finish. The only reason I did in the first place was because this recipe and the marinara sauce called for carrots. Knowing then what I know now I would not assume that it is easier to make two completely different recipes because they both call for carrots. Oops!
These are the three main reasons why my 90 minute freezer session failed. Good news is that these reasons can be easily adjusted and fixed to make my next session a success. Hopefully
Have you ever tried mini freezer sessions? What have been your flops and lessons learned?