We all know batch-cooking dinner is not only good for our bank accounts, but also for our time – when we don’t have enough of it! But have you ever thought spending more time in bed in the morning and batch-cooking your brekkie?
Overnight oats is a surefire way to save time, but if you’re a bit over that, Suzanne Mulholland – aka ‘The Batch Lady’ – has some suggestions for you.
Her latest cookbook – The Batch Lady: Healthy Family Favourites – has more than 100 easy recipes you can easily store in the freezer for when you’re short on time. Cooking without the stress, what more could you want?
Prep: 5 mins I Cook: 5-10 mins I Serves: 4
“These delicious pancakes can be frozen and then quickly reheated in the toaster,” says Mulholland. “I like to make a big batch of these, so why not double the recipe and fill the freezer.”
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup (60g) whole meal plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
splash of milk (optional)
To serve: Low-fat natural yoghurt and sliced banana. Or yoghurt, hazelnut and chocolate spread and sliced banana.
1. Peel the bananas and add to a large bowl, mashing against the side with a fork until smooth. Add the eggs, flour, cinnamon and baking powder and whisk to a smooth batter. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk to loosen slightly. Set aside for 10 minutes to rest.
2. Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a ladleful of batter to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden underneath, then flip and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a rack to cool while you make the rest of the pancakes in the same way. The pancakes are now ready to serve with your choice of toppings.
To freeze: Leave the pancakes on the rack to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a large, labelled freezer bag and freeze flat for up to three months.
To reheat from frozen: These can be defrosted and reheated quickly in the pan, or cooked from frozen by putting them in the toaster until fully defrosted and piping hot all of the way through.
Blueberry French Toast Bake
Prep: 10 mins I Cook: 30-40 mins I Serves: 4
“This breakfast feels really celebratory and weekend worth and is actually low in both sugar and fat,” Mulholland says. “Any leftover blueberries can be frozen and used when serving the banana pancakes, or just enjoyed with a bowl of yoghurt and a handful of a granola for another delicious, easy-win breakfast.”
8 slices bread, cut into 2.5cm (1in) squares
1½ cups (195g) frozen or fresh blueberries
2½ cups (600ml) semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tbsp maple syrup
To serve: Low-fat natural yoghurt and blueberries spooned over. Or yoghurt, maple syrup and extra blueberries spooned over.
1. Scatter the squares of bread over the base of a large baking dish and spoon the blueberries over the top.
2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat together with the milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and maple syrup.
3. Scatter the squares of bread over the base of large baking dish and spoon the blueberries over the top. Pour over the egg and milk mixture and set aside to soak for 30 minutes. Once soaked, transfer the dish to an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 30-40 minutes, until golden and well risen.
To freeze: Layer the bread and blueberries in a large, labelled freezer bag and pour over the egg and milk mixture. Carefully seal the bag, expelling any excess air and freeze flat for up to three months.
To cook from frozen: Remove from the freezer and defrost in the fridge, ideally overnight. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and cook as described left, until golden and well risen.
The Batch Lady: Healthy Family Favourites is out now, published by HQ.