Photo: Woman preparing vegetables

Meal prepping seems to be a trend that’s decided to stay. Instagram is plastered with pictures of perfectly packaged Tupperware, all stacked and labeled in a flawlessly organized fridge. While the uniformly packaged meals look appetizing, this isn’t a realistic portrayal of what meal prep is. Keep reading for some tips to make meal prep more manageable.

Keep it colorful

Different colors of fruits and vegetables contain different vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. Beets, carrots, yellow bell pepper, edamame, blueberries, and red cabbage are all colorful, easy-to-freeze vegetables making them perfect for meal prep.

Use ingredients you already know and love.

Yes, quinoa is very healthy. But do you personally enjoy quinoa? If not and you have a freezer full of quinoa for the week, you aren’t going to feel satisfied with your meals. If you’re going to try a new ingredient, perhaps make some for a single meal before prepping it into a week’s worth of food. Make sure the meals you’ve prepped are healthy AND delicious.

Don’t hold yourself to Instagram standards.

This one is important. Make meals for you, not Instagram! Holding yourself to impossible standards seen on the internet is the quickest way to get discouraged. Meal prep is a way to get ahead for the week, it should relieve stress, not cause it.

Add some variety.

Rather than having brown rice every single day of the week, switch it up. It’s as easy as making 2-3 smaller batches of different grains (like buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, etc.) rather than one big batch of a single grain. Hint: Save money by shopping in our bulk section. You can even bring your own containers to fill up, just stop by a register and have a team member weigh your container prior to filling.

Stock up on toppings and sauces

It’s Wednesday, the week is feeling longer than usual, and you’re looking for something a bit “jazzier” than the prepped meal in your freezer. Don’t lose hope! Make that prepped meal exciting again by adding some fun toppings, like “counter culture kraut” or “ginger people chili garlic sauce”. Add these fun ingredients to your meal the day you are going to enjoy them to ensure freshness. Ready-made sauces are a quick and easy way to add some flavor.

*Here’s 5 easy sauces and toppings to take your prepped meal to the next level:

“The Ginger People” Sweet Ginger Chili Sauce, $6.79/12.7 fl oz. bottle

“Spectrum Organics” Garlic & Chili Sesame Oil, $10.49/16 fl oz. bottle

“Wildbrine” Arame & Ginger Organic Kraut, $8.89/18 oz. container

“’Ulu Mana” Totally Turmeric Hawaiian Hummus, $7.59/8 oz. container

“Siete Foods” Mild Nacho Cashew Queso, $8.29/10.8 oz. container

*Product availability/pricing will vary depending on Down to Earth location. For information regarding availability and pricing at a particular Down to Earth, please call the location directly. Down to Earth phone numbers by location can be found here. Mahalo!

Now that you have the basics, give meal prep a go! Bonus: below you’ll find a collection of some delicious, freezer-friendly dishes that will taste amazing all week long.

Grains:

Protein:

Sides: