5 Fall Meal Prep Tips

As the carefree days of summer fade into the fall season, we are beginning to trade in our bathing suits for blanket scarves and our flip flops for fuzzy boots. We update our wardrobes for each season, so why not do the same with our weekly meal prep?

Whether you meal prep for a month at a time or meal prep for every lunchtime meal eaten at the office, here are five fall meal prep tips.

fall meal prep tips

#1 Bust out the slow cooker

A homemade dinner tastes delicious after a long day, but what tastes even better is a meal that’s already made when you arrive home, am I right? Set up your slow cooker during the evening and prep all of your ingredients. In the morning, simply turn on your slow cooker before you leave for work then when you arrive home, you will be greeted by a deliciously prepared meal. Don’t have a slow cooker? Try using your Instant Pot instead.

Allison Koch, Chicago-based sports dietitian, recommends rounding out your meal with a simple salad that’s easy to prepare and ensures you are getting your fill of veggies too!

#2 Channel your inner baker

During the hot summer months, many of us refrain from baking (well, unless you are practicing your holiday baking recipes), but as the temperatures begin to cool off, it’s time to channel your inner top chef and become a fall baker.

Registered dietitian and pumpkin expert Maggie Michalczy says that adding pumpkin puree to baked goods adds more vitamin A, C and fiber to every bite. Need some recipe inspiration? Try some of these fall baking recipes:

#3 Eat for the seasons

Throughout the summer season, our bodies crave foods to help keep our bodies cool in the hot summer heat and stifling humidity. Think foods like fresh fruit, ice cream, salads and smoothies.

However, during the cooler fall months, our bodies crave earthy, hearty foods like root vegetables, so swap out that frozen smoothie for a bowl of hot oatmeal. Give your lunchtime salad a fall makeover or try a bowl of homemade soup to warm you up on a cold fall day.

Not only does eating with the seasons taste great, but there are some benefits too. Koch reports: “It can be more cost effective to eat what’s in season as it generally costs less. It may also back a more powerful nutritional punch as the fruit or vegetable has likely been picked at the peak of perfection, which means the nutrients it contains are also at their highest level. Last, seasonal local produce has likely traveled fewer miles from the farm to your fork than perhaps a banana or mango grown many miles from the big city, so there’s an environmental benefit as well.”

For more fall veggie inspiration, check out this nutritional guide to fall produce or check out one of Koch’s favorite fall recipes, Apple, Oat and Tart Cherry Cookies. (Swoon!)

#4 Explore the farmers market

Although summer is synonymous with local farmers markets, most farmers markets run through the end of October, so swing by and pick up the freshest fall produce. Remember to pack extra tote bags for your heavier fall haul. (We’re looking at you apples and pumpkins). Looking for a local farmers market in your community? Check out this farmers market guide.

#5 Warm up with warming spices

Meal times don’t have to be boring, so get creative and top your seasonal dishes with a pinch of warming spices for an added touch of taste. Some warming spices perfect for the fall season include:

  • Allspice
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mulling spice
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Saffron
  • Star anise

Remember, spices and seasonings only pack a burst of flavor for about one year, so if you haven’t used that jar of cloves since your college bake sale, it may be time to replace it with something new.

Happy fall, y’all!

Want more from aSweatLife? Get us in your inbox!

Eat Hacks & Tips

About Ashley Martens

Ashley Martens is a Wellness Writer based in Chicago, Illinois. With a background in a digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more Ashley and her writing over at her blog, Three to Five a Day.