Meal prepping is handy any time of year, and the summer is no exception. The best part about meal prepping for summer is there are all kinds of non-cooking items we can prepare for ultra fresh, totally healthy meals — and that’s what we’ll be doing in this 10-step summer meal prep!
I know everyone says some variation of this, but does it not feel like 2019 is absolutely flying by? I can hardly believe we’re already in the middle of July. I feel like I’ve been in a complete daze this summer so far (Winter wouldn’t seem to end, spring was abnormally cold, and then BAM! August is around the corner).
Anyway, with summer comes all the good things. Lots of sunshine (including my very first experience with heat stroke #notfun), warm evening walks, time with friends and fam, and of course, all the delicious food.
And why not squeeze a bit of meal prep in there, too? Meal prepping is the best way to have all kinds of goodies stocked up in your kitchen for easy meals and snacks. It’s handy any time of year, and the summer is no exception. The best part about meal prepping for summer is there are all kinds of non-cooking items we can prepare for ultra fresh, totally healthy meals. And this is exactly what I’ve done for this meal prep that I’ve put together for you. A couple items require cooking, but for the most part, we’re focusing on foods that don’t need it. Hooray for that!
If you’d like to see how I do this summer meal prep, watch my step-by-step video below. Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly videos on all things healthy, simple living:
For this summer meal prep, these are the items and recipes we’ll be making:
- Frozen bananas (for smoothies and banana ice cream)
- Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Almond Milk
- No-Bake Almond Hemp Protein Balls
- Herbed Hemp Seed Dip & Dressing
- Chopped cantaloupe
- Chopped veggie sticks
- Collard green wraps
Summer Meal Prep
There are 10 basic steps for this summer meal prep all of which take place while a couple items are cooking away. As such, you should be able to complete this entire process in under 45 minutes. Turn on some music, get your kids or partner involved (or not, whatever floats your boat), and let’s dive in!
Depending on your schedule, meal prep is often best done on a weekend such as a Saturday or Sunday so you’re ready to go for the week ahead. Whichever you choose, there are two things you’ll need to very quickly do before you begin the main steps:
Step 1: Soak almonds. Because we’ll be making almond milk, you’ll need to first soak your almonds. Almonds need to be soaked for about 8 hours (or a minimum of 4), so this is best done the night before. Simply add roughly 3/4 cup of raw, unsalted almonds to a bowl and cover with water (they’ll swell up a bit). Set aside.
Step 2: Freeze bananas. We’re freezing some bananas for this meal prep because this is basically just a great thing to do. Frozen bananas are ridiculously handy. For smoothies, but also… Nice Cream! (dairy-free banana ice cream).
I have a reusable silicone bag that I like to use for this sort of thing.
Now that we’ve done some soaking and freezing, we can get to the good stuff the following day.
Step 3: Roast sweet potatoes. This is my starch of choice for this summer meal prep, although you can opt for a large batch of rice or quinoa instead, if you prefer. But roasted sweet potatoes are a wonderfully nutritious and flavourful addition to a variety of meals.
I’ll usually use 3 when I batch cook them, but you can use more if you have a larger family. For instructions on how I like to roast them, check out my Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe.
Step 4: Cook green lentils. Lentils are a great protein- and fibre-rich food and are my primary protein of choice for this summer meal prep. Other protein options can be roasted chicken, fish, or another type of animal protein or legume.
To cook dried lentils, follow package directions. Generally, you’ll want to rinse and drain them well before cooking in a 1:3 lentil:water ratio, uncovered, over medium heat. Transfer to glass container once softened after about 20 minutes.
Step 5: Make almond milk (+ save pulp). Almond milk is a great item to have handy in your refrigerator for smoothies, porridges, or on its own.
For the recipe, click here. Make sure you save the pulp!
Step 6: Make No-Bake Almond Hemp Protein Balls. These are great little bites to have on hand for a snack or to enjoy with breakfast and they’re rich in fibre from the leftover pulp from making almond milk. Get the recipe here.
Step 7: Make Herbed Hemp Seed & Dressing. This dip can be used for veggies, as a salad dressing, or as a spread similar to mayo. It’ll take you a minute or two to whip together in your blender. Get the recipe here.
Step 8: Chop cantaloupe. Having some kind of freshly washed and chopped fruit in your fridge makes for very easy and healthy snacking. I love melon in the summer so I recommend cantaloupe, honey dew, or watermelon, although any fruit will do! Simply chop, place into glass container with lid, and store in refrigerator.
Step 9: Chop veggie sticks. A classic snack that pairs delightfully with the Herbed Hemp Dill Dip. You can chop carrot, celery, cucumber, or red pepper sticks. Whichever you’d like. Use enough to fill a 500ml glass jar and fill with water.
Step 10: Prep collard wraps. Collard greens make for fantastic grain-free tortilla wrap alternatives. They’re inexpensive and incredibly nutritious. I love making Tuna Salad Collard Green Wraps!
To make collard green wraps, give them a good wash, pat dry, and lay flat. Take one collard green and slice off the bottom of the leaf to remove the long stem. Then with your knife, shave the thickness of the hard stem traveling up through the leaf. This will allow the leaf to bend easily. You can prep as many collards as you’d like (1 bunch should suffice).
At this point, your sweet potatoes should be done roasting and the lentils should be nice and softened (make sure you’ve been checking on them just in case!) Transfer them to glass containers and store in refrigerator.
Meal & Snack Ideas
Here’s some inspiration on ways to use these prepped items:
- Spring mix topped with roasted sweet potatoes, green lentils, hemp seeds, broccoli sprouts (and any other toppings of choice), and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or Herbed Hemp Seed Dip & Dressing.
- Roasted sweet potatoes are also great re-heated and eaten with eggs in the morning.
- Use the Herbed Hemp Seed Dip as a dip for veggie sticks, as a salad dressing, or as a spread in place of mayo
- Try my Tuna Salad Collard Green Wraps
- Almond milk can be used in porridges, chia puddings, smoothies, or enjoyed on its own!
- Use frozen bananas in smoothies or for making Nice Cream (dairy-free banana ice cream). You can make this by simply blending a few frozen bananas! A splash of almond milk can help aid blending.
I’d love to hear how this meal prep goes for you if you give it a try, or any of the recipes individually 🙂 Tag me on Instagram @meghanlivingstone.