Meal Prep and frozen ready meals. Uncovering Meal Prep’s elephant in the room!

There’s an elephant in the room for Meal Prep… Frozen Meal Prep By Nick Raimondo.

Meal Prep Tips
Meal Prep and frozen ready meals. Uncovering Meal Prep’s elephant in the room!
Nicola Raimondo

Nicola Raimondo

Co-Founder at Marvin's Den

Reading time:

4

min

On the Marvin’s Den mobile app you can find both chilled and frozen ready meals and meal prep - but why?

Isn’t frozen food by definition not fresh, lower quality, bad for you, not as delicious and so on?

Let’s clarify it all with actual science (not in a boring way I promise)

One of the Meal Preppers who does frozen meals is Batch & Thyme, and how do they introduce themselves?

“No one should have to compromise on food quality, even if time is short. We all deserve fresh, wholesome food, and what better way than to order a batch of home-cooked meals, created by experienced chefs using the best ingredients, and flash-frozen to lock in exceptional depth of flavour?”

A few things to unpack here. Let’s fact check our own Meal Prepper.

  1. ‘Time is short’

Some do not want frozen meal prep or ready meals because there’s the perception that the meals take longer to prepare or reheat than chilled meal prep.

There’s truth to that, chilled meals on average take 2-3 minutes whereas frozen meals may take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes in the microwave and 20-40 minutes in the oven.

“Woah! 40 minutes, I might as well cook my own food!”

Somebody may say this and, again, there’s a bit of truth to this however it has to be said that this is a period of fully unattended time and that in the vast majority of cases it does not require you to wash up dishes at the end of it.

Think about all that you could do in the 40 minutes of the meal getting nice and warmed up in the oven and coming out like a freshly baked French pastry on a Parisian Monday morning!

You could perhaps get a workout in and then enjoy the meal nice and ready - that’s what I call efficiency!

  1. ‘Fresh’

Let’s pick out another word from the verbatim from earlier.

This is the biggie against Frozen Meal Prep. The food is not fresh anymore.

But while that’s technically true…why do we even care about freshness of food?

Quality, Safety & Nutritional Value - those are the 3 reasons why!

Does Frozen food fail in any of these? Well let’s check the science.

Quality: The area of concern in terms of quality loss for frozen meals is that when food freezes - as it contains water - such water will turn into ice crystal which when melted, will damage the structure thus potentially worsening the texture of the meal. However, today’s flash frozen techniques minimise the build up of ice crystals, therefore the loss is so minimal in many cases that it is not even perceptible to us.

Safety: Bacteria at -18 becomes dormant and does not reproduce at a rate that’s concerning to pose a safety

Nutritional Value: In terms of the macros, frozen foods almost always do not experience a change in the content of carbs, fats or protein and vitamins and minerals are also retained. If anything, frozen Meal Prep may provide you with even more nutrients compared to chilled meal prep depending on how many days the meals have been stored for.

  1. ‘Batch cooked’

This concern refers to the idea that frozen food processing is attributed to large food manufacturers cooking in big batches and, thus, compromising the taste of the meals.

At Marvin’s Den, this would not be a problem because on our app we only have independent meal prep producers which are rather more artisanal than industrial, the quality & the care is simply exceptional!

Batch & Thyme is a prime example of that as their chefs hand prepare the meals in Mission Kitchen (New Covent Garden, London) which is a proper kitchen rather than an industrial production line!

Conclusion:

So which one should I order… Frozen or Chilled?

Well, that depends on your unique situation.

If you intend to order for not more than a week’s worth of meals or you’re confident that you’ll not miss the meal days, then chilled meals are likely to be the best option for you. And if you intend to order very large batches of meals or if you need more flexibility with use-by dates, then frozen meals probably are right for you.

The benefits of frozen meals as opposed to chilled meals in terms of nutrient retention, quality and safety outweigh the annoyance of longer times to reheat as days pass by. If you need to bring the meals to work or to the library and you do not have easy access to a microwave or oven, then chilled meals will be your option so that you can consume the meals at room temperature.

Batch & Thyme produce small batches of restaurant-quality meals, portioned to suit your household, and frozen as soon as they are cooked.

No food waste, no compromise, just delicious meals delivered, wherever you are in the UK.

Order Batch & Thyme now on the Marvin’s Den Mobile App - Explore, Order & Get Meal Prep delivered straight to your door from a selection of the best Meal Preppers.

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