Eating a tupper (or tupper) during the week is a great option that, in addition to helping us save, allows us to control the quality of the food we eat daily. The problem is that we don’t always organize ourselves well. This week Juana María González, Technical Director of Alimmenta , has collaborated with Prensa Ibérica giving some advice when preparing healthy tuppers and we want to collect the best ones here.
Tips for preparing healthy tuppers
- Choose a container of the right size for your portion. Avoid excessive or too tight volumes.
- Square or rectangular containers are best stored.
- Use airtight tuppers to transport liquids such as creams or soups.
- If you’re eating a salad and can handle the ingredients at work, cut the tomato, avocado, or fruit just before eating. This way you will better preserve the texture and avoid oxidation.
- Cook perishable foods like eggs, fish, or meat thoroughly. As long as the food is at room temperature (above refrigeration) there is a greater risk of contamination if the food is raw or undercooked. When in doubt, refrigerate it.
- Keep the tuppers in the fridge until the moment of consumption.
- If you prepare the tupperware the day before and refrigerate it, make sure this refrigeration is maintained during transport and until consumption. Use insulated bags and you can also use ice sheets to maintain the temperature during the transport of food if you see that the temperature may increase before arriving at work.
- If you prepare a hot meal, you can transport it hot in an isothermal bag, preventing the food from cooling down to room temperature. Try not to put refrigerated food (for example, fruit or yogurt) in the same bag. Avoid contamination: Your hands must be clean, as well as kitchen towels, preparation surfaces and containers. Prevent food once cooked with temperature, come into contact with raw food, unwashed vegetables or dirty kitchen utensils.
- Cook thinking about planning several tuppers. For example, prepare several servings of vegetable and tomato ratatouille that can be served to accompany a grilled chicken one day and to consume it with rice 2 days later. Some cooked chickpeas can be used to prepare a hummus container with carrots and for another salad container with chickpeas. Steamed vegetables can serve as a garnish for meat or fish one day, and another day as part of a complete salad.
- Avoid heating tuppers with tomato sauces or fatty foods. Whenever possible, heat and serve the contents on a plate.
- Accompany your homemade tupper with the dessert that we would eat at home: a fruit, yogurt or fresh cheese.
Frequent mistakes when preparing tuppers
- Prepare monotonous tuppers. Many times this monotony is due to ignorance of how to handle food or dress salads when preparing the tupperware. We do not want to arrive at work and find our tupper with some limp leaves or rusty foods, such as apple or avocado, which must be cut at the moment and not the day before. In general, vegetable ingredients are best seasoned and prepared on the spot. Another important factor when preparing monotonous tuppers is to abuse some foods, such as cans of tuna.
- Opt for cold tuppers. We can also put meat or fish stews, vegetable creams or stewed legumes in a tupper.
- Always repeat the same food combinations. Our salads don’t always have to be lettuce and tomato. Many ingredients can come into play in a salad: Potato, couscous, vegetables, chicken, cheeses, fruits…. There are multiple options.
- Resorting to not very balanced meals. Some examples would be the classic pasta tupper with minced meat, to which ideally we should incorporate a good portion of vegetables, or the option of salad with tuna and egg, which would lack carbohydrates (for example, rice or pasta). Many times in the salad what is missing is the protein food: a garden salad is prepared with rice and we forget to add a little chicken, tuna or egg.
Tips for defrosting tuppers
When defrosting the tuppers it is better to remove them the day before from the freezer and allow the food to defrost slowly and at refrigeration temperature. If we defrost the same day, part of the food may not have been defrosted and also, at room temperature there are more hygienic-sanitary risks because microorganisms at room temperature can grow rapidly increasing the risk of food poisoning.
In general, it is recommended to avoid freezing fruits , they have a lot of water and when defrosting they lose their texture. Whole eggs cannot be frozen either, but yes once opened. Better to beat them first or separate the whites from the yolks. The whites can be frozen well. If we have bought them packaged and we have not used the entire container, they can be frozen.
The creamed vegetables can be frozen, but the defrost water is removed. This is a drawback that is solved by reheating them and in the process, the creams regain their texture. Stews can be frozen, but care must be taken to do so in suitable containers and with as little air as possible because this air softens the product, especially the fish.
The foods containing more fat as ham or sausages can be rancidand therefore they have a shorter freezing life because the fat fraction has a slow freezing and needs lower temperatures.
You can freeze ginger, cheese (better in portions or grated to use in pasta or gratin), cooked ham and cream.
If after these tips from the dietitian-nutritionist Juana María González you want more tips to organize your meals in a tupperware, we recommend you watch this video from the nutritionists of Alimmenta Adriana Oroz and Cristina Lafuente.