This is the fourth article of the series, Healthy Foods Creating Healthy Relationships. See the third article now.
For many households, most meal preparations done together revolve around holidays and large events. It begins with delegating who is going to bring each type of dish. Next, everyone either fully cooks or brings assembled items to the host location. Then, the selected “host” works to prepare the remainder of the meal. Many hands go into the process. That’s what makes it (most times) successful! This does not have to be limited to only family events and large gatherings. There is a magic in meal prepping foods.
Although I live alone, I have had the opportunity to meal prep with my boyfriend, a couple close friends and my parents. Each experience has been different. Nonetheless, they all yielded a similar outcome: spending time together preparing meals to reach health goals and save time and energy later in the week. No, the adjustment did not happen overnight. And no, not all of them continued with the process on their own. But, it allowed me to create successful organization in the kitchen. And with that, you can make foods like these lemon blueberry chickpea donuts. Before we get to the recipe, let’s focus on how to get this magic in your kitchen.
Three Tips to Experience the Magic of Meal Prep
- Select meals.
There is no better way to have family involvement like getting input and options for weekly meal planning. Each week, sit down with your loved ones and maybe create a meal planning calendar, white board or cork board to display what foods will be made. For kids, I recommend giving only two or three options they select and you choose the main protein or carbohydrate. For example, you might want to make chicken with sweet potatoes and allow the kids to decide which vegetable to add and the seasoning for the chicken. I remember baking cookies with my mom growing up. Although they were not “healthy cookies”, the idea is mom would have me use the scoop to scoop batter onto the pan and that was my designated job. Sometimes I even got to grind up nuts for banana bread.
Meal prep can be fun for everyone!
- Gather the needed materials.
I wrote a blog about 5 steps to meal prepping for beginners
. Within this post, I shared some of my favorite materials for meal preparations. Recently, some additions have been my crock pot, glass storage containers instead of plastic, zip lock baggies to separate out servings for things like nuts, trail mix and dried fruits, and having extra foil and plastic wrap to separate and organize different flavored foods during cooking. When you have all your materials, it saves from extra trips to the store. Not only do you need materials, but also the groceries! I love grocery shopping with family. It does not have to be an extended trip, especially when you have a list of items to buy. Make it a game or competition to see who can find the best discount or all their grocery items first.
- Families that cook together, make meal prep magic together.
Last but not least, dedicate time to cooking the food together. Just like the holidays, delegate tasks or locations in the kitchen for each person and let the fun begin! Turn on some music and get the items going. Depending on what you make, someone could be in charge of meats on the grill, someone could manage the stove, another could chop veggies and fruits and another could put meals into individual containers. It’s all about what you make of it so don’t be afraid to switch up the system.
You can even meal prep at a tailgate and keep the options fairly healthy for everyone!
Now that you are ready to make magic in your home, let’s get to these magical protein donuts. I enjoy chickpeas in hummus and have made a few baked goods with them. This time, I wanted to try some donuts because my donut tin needs some love.
I also had just bought some blueberries and thought why not make lemon blueberry donuts? I just need to get the lemon flavor with my hydrolyzed caseinate from True Nutrition
and some lemon juice. Bam! This recipe uses flour, but you could easily omit to make a gluten free version. I think it adds more fullness to the consistency. Chickpeas are pretty neutral in flavor, a higher protein content bean and bring added vitamins to your baked goods.
Store these donuts in the fridge for about a week, if they last that long. My liquid egg whites from Egg Whites International
come in a handy container that I attach a pump to the top! Each pump is the equivalent to one egg white. Talk about easy for recipes! I am an affiliate of the company and would love to offer you a discount on them if you are interested.
Check the recipe for these six lemon blueberry chickpea donuts and start your magical meal prep.