As summer fades into fall, we may begin to trade in our bathing suits for blanket scarves and flip flops for fuzzy boots, so why not update your weekly meal prep as well? Here are eight meal prep tips perfect for the fall season.
During the hot and humid summer months, the scorching heat and stifling humidity leave many of us reaching for cooling foods like fresh fruit, salads and smoothies, but the cooler fall months beckon for us to channel our inner bakers. Whether you whip up a batch of apple pie, pumpkin bread or sweet potato muffins, fall is the perfect time to do some baking.
#2 Bust Out the Slow Cooker
A homemade dinner tastes delicious after a long day, but what tastes even better is a meal that’s already made when you arrive home. (Am I right?) Set up your slow cooker during the evening and prep all of your ingredients. Then, in the morning, simply turn your slow cooker on before you leave for work, that way you arrive home to a deliciously prepared meal. Don’t have a slow cooker? Try using your instant pot instead.
#3 Eat for the Seasons
During the warm summer months, our bodies crave cooling foods, like raw fruits and vegetables, which help keep us cool in the hot summer heat and humidity. However, during the cooler fall months, our bodies crave earthy, hearty foods like root vegetables. Swap out that frozen breakfast smoothie for a bowl of hot oatmeal and while you’re at it, give your lunchtime a fall makeover with a homemade bowl of soup or stew to warm you up on the chilliest of fall days.
#4 Get Some Granola
A super simple fall meal-prep staple is a batch of homemade granola. The blend of hearty rolled oats combined with crunchy nuts, salty seeds, a mix of warming spices and a small drizzle of maple syrup (or natural sweetener of choice) make the perfect fall snack. You can even enjoy it on top of your morning bowl of oatmeal, on a bowl of dairy-free yogurt or atop your favorite fall desserts. Plus, granola is easy to bake in bulk so you always have some on hand no matter how busy your day.
#5 Prep Your Fall Haul
Set aside a day and time each week to meal prep your fall haul. Thoroughly wash fresh fruits and vegetables then chop and store in sustainable containers so you can grab, go and enjoy with complete ease.
#6 Switch Between Savory and Sweet
The fall harvest offers a variety of root vegetables, some of which can help get you grounded for the fall season. Foods like acorn squash, apples, Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, pumpkins, spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes can all be created in both savory and sweet dishes, so mix it up each week. For instance, bake up a batch of savory apples to pair with your Chicken and Apple Breakfast Sliders then the next week, bake up some apples to add to your sweet loaf of apple cinnamon bread.
Tip: Can’t decide between sweet or savory? Roast up a batch of Brussel sprouts and sweet potato slices for the perfect combination of both savory and sweet.
#7 Visit the Local Farmers Market
Although summer is synonymous with local farmers markets, most farmers markets run through Halloween at the end of October, so swing by and pick up the freshest fall produce. Be sure to pack extra tote bags for your heavier fall haul. (We’re looking at you, acorn squash, apples, and pumpkins).
#8 Warm up with Warming Spices
Meal times don’t have to be boring, so get creative and top your seasonal dishes with a pinch of warming spices for an added touch of taste. Some warming spices perfect for the fall season include:
- Mulling spice
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Star anise
Tip: Spices and seasonings only pack a burst of flavor for about one year, so if you haven’t used that jar of cloves since last year’s bake sale fundraiser, it may be time to replace it with something new.
As you bust out your fall sweaters, remember to upgrade your meal prep tips for the fall season with these eight fall meal prep tips.
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Happy Fall Ya’ll!