What is a freezer meal, anyway?

Whether you recognize it or not, meal prep is a daily part of your life. Whether it’s gathering all the ingredients yourself (maybe even growing them!) and preparing your food, or just grabbing a pizza from the freezer, or even a do-it-yourself meal kit, preparation is part of your day.

Depending on what stage of life you’re in, the hunter/gatherer (aka grocery shopping for some of us) might feel like one too many things to do. That’s where pre-prepped meals can save your bacon. While that frozen pizza once in a while is great, our bodies and our mental health crave high quality, home-cooked meals. That’s where freezer meals step in.

Question: What is a freezer meal?

Freezer meals are a popular meal prep technique where you batch prep a lot of meals all at once, then store them in the freezer for future use. You might do the “dump” method, of tossing a protein and a bunch of seasonings and veggies in a ziplock bag, label it, and toss it in your freezer, or maybe you employ the aluminum pan for casseroles and lasagnas. 

Prepping yourself can be a lot of work. If you’re lucky, you might have a group of friends to do a “Freezer Meal Day” with and all bring a few ingredients, mix and bag all day, and then go home with a variety of meals for your freezer.  

In most cases, freezer meals provide the primary base, or protein, of a meal that is safe to freeze until you’re ready to use it. Here at Beehive Meals, that means fresh ingredients including a protein, spices and seasonings, and often veggies, vacuum sealed safely so you can store it in your freezer till you’re ready to pop it in a slow cooker. 

Freezer meals are not microwavable meals full of indistinguishable foods in a plastic tray that you zap in the microwave for 90 seconds. You won’t find your carrots and questionable looking peas separated into little compartments on a tray. Instead, you’ll see the bright colors of fresh veggies, the scent of beautiful herbs and spices, and recognizable proteins all in one convenient bag. 

Preparation is what sets freezer meals apart from other “premade” meals. Instead of tossing them in the microwave for an uneven cook, freezer meals are placed in a slow cooker for several hours, allowing them time to marinate and cook to perfection throughout the day while you live your life. Then, you add a few sides and — voila! — you have a beautiful meal at the end of the day. Easy and convenient.

Six ways freezer meals will save your life(and your sanity!)

If you’ve ever sat down with a friend and chatted about meal prep, you might have heard all about why freezer meals are the way to go in this busy life. We are big believers in the convenience and deliciousness of freezer meals. Here are six reasons why:

1. They’re just so easy. We throw around the word convenient all the time here at Beehive Meals, because it’s one of our favorite things about freezer meals. You can pop them in your slow cooker in the morning or at lunch time, go about your day, and come dinner time when the kids are rowdy and your partner just got home from work, you have something warm and delicious to put on the table. Not only that, but you can also keep food hot if your family is going a million directions. If you can’t all sit down together, everyone can still enjoy a delicious meal.

2. Designed for a budget. Whether you purchase meals from us or fully prepare the meals yourself, you'll notice the cost savings almost instantly. Our goal at Beehive Meals has always been to offer our meals at about the same price as it would cost to do the meal yourself expect you don't have to worry about the planning, shopping, and prep work. Depending on the meal size, our meals average about $3.00 per serving! 

3. Delicious and nutritious. Our meals at Beehive Meals contain fresh ingredients that are being cooked for the first time. Every time you zap your food in the microwave, or cook it down, it loses more of its nutritional value. So putting raw ingredients in your slow cooker gives you and your family a nutritious meal with delicious ingredients.

4. Choose your own adventure. We love all the various ways you can serve the same freezer meal. If you pop a pork roast in the slow cooker, you might serve it with potatoes. Or on top of bread for a fantastic sandwich. Or maybe with pasta. Or rice. Or in a stew. The options are endless. You’ll never get bored with freezer meals.

5. Eat on your own schedule. Because we use raw, fresh ingredients and vacuum seal them, you can place these meals in your freezer for 6-9 months. Then when you’re in a bind or you just don’t feel like cooking, you have something ready to go. Just because you ordered the October menu doesn’t mean it must be eaten in October. Cook at your own convenience, and enjoy freezer meals all year long.

6. Home-cooked feelings. Just because it’s been in the freezer doesn’t mean it has to taste like cardboard (*cough cough* frozen pizza). Freezer meals give you a longer storage time, but once you lift the lid of your slow cooker, all the aromas and flavors are as fresh as the day they were bagged. No one could guess you’ve used a freezer meal once you sit down at the table.