9 Seriously Easy Freezer Meals to Make Before Giving Birth
Pre-Packaged Smoothie Bags
Start your day on an easy, stress-free note with pre-packaged smoothie bags that are chock-full of all the good vitamins you'll need to power through the day. "You can just dump and blend when you're ready to eat," says Moncel, the microbiologist-turned-food-blogger behind Budget Bytes, which is dedicated to healthy, easy and affordable recipes. "You can even stuff fresh spinach and kale into your smoothie bags."
Some nursing moms even swear by lactation smoothies to generate more breastmilk. Parents' Mega Green—made with baby spinach, avocado, and cucumber—is one such ultra-healthy sip.
Veggie Breakfast Sandwich
If your stomach yearns for something a little more filling in the a.m., the food blogger's freezable veggie-packed breakfast sandwiches are ideal for busy mornings when you just need something to grab quickly. With plenty of protein and iron, along with vitamins C and D, it's jam-packed with nutrients.
Bean and Cheese Burritos
Moncel also likes simple yet delicious bean and cheese burritos because they can be customized easily. Add scrambled eggs for breakfast, pulled pork and pineapple for a tropical twist, or roasted veggies for a nutrition boost. "Burritos are a great item to keep stocked in the freezer because you can take out one at a time, as needed," says Moncel. "You can reheat these in the microwave without thawing first, making them great for last-minute meals."
Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
For snacking, you'll probably crave something substantial and comforting. Think black bean quesadillas, which take about 15 minutes to whip up, and you can freeze a whole gallon-sized bag of them to have on hand for later. "Because they're so thin, you can reheat them straight from the freezer in a skillet over low heat," says Moncel.
Another Moncel go-to, freezer-ready mini pizzas, are a fun riff on frozen pizza bagel bites. She simply tops English muffins with marinara sauce, cheese and veggies and bakes them for 15 minutes. To defrost, just pop them back in the oven and voilà, you have a tasty pick-me-up.
Moncel recommends soups and stews like her basic chili recipe as meals that are easy for freezing. We love this recipe because she walks readers through customizing the dish to their liking, whether that means making it vegetarian or adding beer to create an earthier flavor. "Soups and stews can be defrosted in a soup pot with a lid over medium-low heat, stirring often, until it has melted and heated through," Moncel advises.
Slow Cooker Curry Lentils
The blogger's slow-cooker coconut curry lentils is a vegan dish that packs a punch with sweet, spicy and savory flavors. There's only 30 minutes of hands-on time, and you can let the Indian-inspired dish simmer in the slow cooker for the remaining four hours while you pack your hospital bag, write your birth plan, or tie up any other loose ends before baby arrives.
After a marathon session of tending to your little one's needs, a comforting bowl of spaghetti and Italian meatballs might be your one saving grace. "Meatballs are great because you don't have to thaw the entire batch. And because they're so small they reheat and cook quickly, so they often don't need thawing first," says Moncel. "Just pop them into a pot of sauce and let them simmer until cooked through."
Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork
Keeping a big batch of slow-cooked meat on hand like Budget Bytes' chili-rubbed pork can be used in a variety of dishes. "I freeze that in its juice so that I can take out a little at a time to make things like tacos or burritos," says Moncel. "Having the meat pre-cooked makes dinner so much faster!"