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Essential Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep


I am a huge fan of meal prep. I am all about taking part in anything that makes my life easier and helps support my health goals. It's not everyone’s jam, but if you are currently struggling with staying on track with your nutrition, it’s a skill that I really urge you to be open to giving a try!

Meal prep is something that I work with a lot of my 1:1 clients on. Over the course of your life you may not meal prep continuously, but it’s a great skill to have in your arsenal for your overall health when and if you need it-it can really be a GAME changer.



I get lots of questions on products I use so today I wanted to send along some of my favorite meal prepping tools and why I love them! ​


If you haven’t started meal prepping and would like to adopt the habit, this will be a great read for you! If you are a meal prepping pro, you might find a new product to try!


My Top 10 Favorite Products for Meal Prep


Glassware



A set of glass meal prep containers is a MUST for me. I love it when the containers fit together nicely in the cabinets, and stack easily in the fridge. I’ve linked my favorites with the snap on lids. You do NOT want to heat any foods in plastic and glass is nice because it’s non porous, doesn’t harbor smells, is easy to clean, safer, and better for the environment. You want something solid to store your food in and the matching glassware is pretty reasonably priced and has performed well for me.


Food scale



This is probably the cheapest and best tool you could get! Don’t spend a ton of money on a food scale. You can get one that will work just fine for $10-20. You just need one with a flat base that you can place your container on and “tare” or zero out and measure your food. If you have no experience weighing your food, don’t stress, just start with weighing your protein and learning what a proper portion looks like. You’ll notice over time you train your eye very well and that way when you are out and about you’ll know about how much protein is in a standard portion. I also LOVE using my food scale for measuring when baking instead of doing measuring cups, spoons, etc. It’s also much more accurate this way. Get yourself a basic food scale.


A Good LARGE skillet



When you are meal prepping for the week, nothing is more annoying than having to cook things is multiple batches. You’ll end up spending way more time in the kitchen and nobody likes that. Get a LARGE, non stick, non toxic skillet. My favorite is from Caraway. This is one thing I will spend money on with no guilt. The cheap non stick pans are often coated with substances that can scrape off and leach into your food. Would you like that meal with an extra side of chemicals? I’ll pass! I love the non toxic non stick because it requires less oil when cooking. Just remember to not crank the heat up too high as that’s not good for the surface of the pan.


Instant pot



This is one tool that gets used at least weekly in our house. We love the instant pot! Not only is it great for one pot meals like THIS or THIS, but we use it to quickly cook rice, hard boil eggs, and more. They are much safer than the old school “pressure cookers” and you really can’t go wrong with an instant pot. Out of an air fryer, crock pot, and instant pot, I vote instant pot time and time again. You can use it as a slow cooker as well and many times they have lots of fancy bells and whistles if that’s your thing. I typically prefer the larger size because if I’m cooking I’m going to be cooking for multiple meals.

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This thing is from pampered chef (they call it a mix ‘n chop) and I love love love it! It’s great for cooking ground meat and chopping it all up. Nothing grosses me out more than a big ‘ol hunk of what is supposed to be ground beef in my meal. I like it chopped up pretty small and this thing does the trick even when cooking 2-3lbs at a time!


Parchment paper



Every time I go to Whole Foods I load up on non bleached parchment paper. It lines all of my baking sheets before cooking. Not only does it make clean up easier, but it protects your baking sheets and keeps your food cooking on the paper and not the baking sheet. This is especially great if you have old baking sheets that are likely in need of replacement. (You know like I mentioned above-coating that is coming off and potentially leaching chemicals into your food? Hard pass!)


Good non stick spray



I love me a great avocado oil spray. Avocado oil is my go-to cooking fat as it’s easy to use, find, and safe at high temperatures. Fats like Olive oil are common to find in sprays as well but avocado oil is safer at high temperatures. I love the chosen foods brand (I get from costco) because it sprays really well and with a couple of spritzes you can lightly coat your veggies to roast or skillet to cook eggs, etc. I prefer to use non stick spray so I can keep the fat amount lower to roast. When using oil out of a bottle it’s much harder to use just a small amount and still coat your food! Fun fact: The nutrition facts usually specify there are zero calories in these oils however usually most bottles contain at least 1500calories so portions still do matter!


Measuring cups & spoons



Here’s another inexpensive purchase for you! Buy a couple sets of measuring cups and spoons. They are great to have on hand and if you’re doing a decent amount of meal prep you’ll likely need more than one set. My fav spoons are the ones that have all spoons connected to one but anything you buy will be fine-doesn't have to be fancy!


Baking sheet



You’ll need at least one good baking sheet to roast meat or veggies. I love my caraway stuff and have a large and small baking sheet that I use regularly. You don’t have to buy anything pricey if you don’t want especially if you cover with parchment paper as recommended above before roasting.


Instacart (or other grocery delivery) membership


Ok, time is money, am I right? You can’t get your time back. If meal prep is something that you aren’t currently doing and you are trying to implement the habit to improve your health, pleaseeee promise me you will try grocery delivery. I realize that this is a privilege, but I am also very confident that it will end up saving you money in the long run and save you time where you can either spend that extra time working to make more money to pay for it, or do something else you enjoy doing. I’ve talked before about my love for grocery delivery but it saves me HOURS every week and I spend that time prepping the food that's going to help support my goals and keep my family healthy & happy. When I get my food delivered I am not grabbing impulse buy items, extra snacks or treats, or anything that’s not on my meal plan. I order what I need for the food I plan on making for the week and that’s it. If time is something that you don’t have much of and you want to start food prepping-have you decided how you are going to make that happen? If you have to go to multiple stores and buy all of your ingredients you could save that time by getting them delivered and then use THAT time to do your cooking. The time has to be made somewhere and this is one of the things that I choose to help save me time. Big fan! There are different services depending on where you live but I use Instacart and if you want to try it, here’s a code for $20 off: IACAD8C143


​So, what do you think? Do you plan to purchase any of these tools? Have any questions about anything? I'm happy to help! Email me at erin@erinstimac.com

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