I mentioned in my smoothie prep post that I have been trying to be better at prepping each week so that my family has good healthy food available when they need it. I have to say, I’ve been doing pretty well at keeping up with it and have noticed a big change in what my kids are eating/wanting to eat. I have found that a few minutes or even an hour in one day makes a major difference in our week and in my meal preparations. I have been buying my fresh fruits and vegetables once every ten days or so (remember that I live an hour away from the grocery store). When I get home (even though I’m exhausted from an all-day trip shopping with little ones), I have started a ritual.
My first step is to get everything out of their bags/containers, and into the sink with some fruit and vegetable wash to let them soak and get all of those nasty chemicals off of them. I dump everything into one sink together, and rotate as needed if there isn’t enough room. I use the fruit and vegetable rinse from Sunrider and love it, but I know there are alternative washes/methods out there. This is just one that works wonders for me. When all of the fruits and veggies are out of the sink and you see all of that dirt in the bottom, you KNOW it’s working! I have also noticed that my produce stays fresher longer in the fridge after using this, and it tastes a lot better (especially broccoli/cauliflower). While the produce is soaking I put away the rest of my groceries.
After washing, I set everything out to dry on my microfiber dish drying mats. I have two of these and they are a necessity in my house. I don’t have a dishwasher and wash all of my dishes by hand. These mats are life savers and I use them every day.
When everything is dry I get out my Tupperware and start chopping! It doesn’t take long before I have beautiful containers full of ready-to-eat veggies and fruit for my family to grab anytime they want.
My girls can never wait until I’m completely finished before they are snitching from my containers, but I love the sight of them coming back over and over again for some peppers! By prepping my fruits and veggies each week, I have saved myself a lot of time and grief. If I don’t have a meal ready now I just grab all the containers I can and set them on the table with some ham and cheese or yogurt and we have a fresh meal. I have also really loved having things a little more prepared for when I’m cooking certain meals. Having my mushrooms cut up and ready to go, for instance, makes me more likely to use them all the time. I have been steaming a lot more broccoli and cauliflower since doing this, because it’s right there cut up and washed. I don’t have to go through any trouble, just toss it in my pot and go.
It may not seem like a huge time saver, but it gives me peace of mind to know that everything is washed and ready to be consumed. My girls can grab an apple any time or their favorite veggie container and have an easy, healthy snack. Besides that, my fridge looks beautiful every time I open it with all of those colorful containers set out! It’s not hard, it doesn’t take much time, but preparing your produce ahead of time like this is something that will make your life easier and your family more likely to eat more of the good stuff.