Crockpots/slow cookers are extremely underrated! They are a great tool for people with busy schedules who want to eat healthy.
Not sure where to start or perhaps want to try prepping crockpot freezer bag meals in advance? Check out my key tips below:
- Gather some crockpot recipes on Pinterest
- Add recipes into a menu plan. Try to plan your slow cooker meals for your busiest night so dinner is ready when you get home.
- Spend a day making a bunch of freezer bag meals. Better yet, get a family member or friend to join you and create an assembly line.
- Make a grocery list for your freezer bag prep day. That way you have one for the next time you do a big prep.
- Keep things in stock such as dried beans and vegetable stock.
- Save your not so pretty vegetable scraps for crockpot recipes
- Be sure to buy heavy duty freezer bags to avoid leaks
- Use a permanent marker to label each meal, how long it needs to cook for, and the day you made it.
- Be sure to clean out your freezer before you start the process. Create a section in your main freezer (or spare if you have one).
- Crockpots can be finicky. Recipes may call for a certain time but unfortunately some crockpots cook slower or faster than others.
- When you are ready to each your meal, thaw it in the fridge overnight so you can dump it in the crockpot before you go to school/work. However, you can put the recipe in the crockpot frozen but you may just have issues squeezing it in.
- Like any meal prep tips I give, I recommend you start washing, peeling, and chopping right when you get home from the grocery store. This will make your freezer bag prep go by faster when you have time to do it.
- If a recipe doesn’t call for a lot liquid that is fine. Meats and veggies release liquid when cooking – the recipe is likely accounting for that.
- These meals can be stored up to three months. It might be fine for longer but just check for freezer burn
- If you are doing a bit prep consider making a few of the same recipe to cut down on time
Freezer Bags are Not Just for Crockpot Recipes
Although the focus is on crockpot freezer meals, there are a lot of other foods that you can prep and freeze.
- Try making large batches of energy balls, healthy zucchini/banana/apple bread, smoothies (see next slide), pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, and other desserts.
- Make a big batch of healthy pancakes and/or waffles and pop them in the toaster.
- Make big batches or energy balls, muffins and granola bars. Unthaw them Sunday night so they are ready for lunches for the week.
- While you are making a mess, batch cook your favourite breads and healthy desserts. Pull them out when company is coming over
- Smoothies freezer bags
- Use small to medium sized freezer bags
- Fill them with your frozen and fresh fruit, avocado, protein powder, greens, and anything else you like to add (i.e. hemp seeds).
- Label your bag with the recipe name, and the date you made it.
- All you have to do it pull it out, add your liquid and blend.
- Some people actually freeze plant-based milks in ice cube trays to make their smoothie extra creamy. You can do that and even add them to the bag.
- Instead of wasting overly ripe bananas, remove the peel, cut into small chunks and place in the freezer. This also makes smoothies more creamy.
Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 container of vegetable broth
- 4 cups of water
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 package of NuPasta or other konjac noodle brand of choice OR I like to add rice noodles closer to when its going to be done
- Add all the ingredients to a crockpot except the noodles
- Cook on low for 8 hours
- Shred the chicken before serving and add the konjac or rice noodles