November 20, 2020 4 min read
So what do we do now after Chef has lovingly cooked the food, portioned it out carefully into 500g vacuum-sealed packs for you, and our friendly Grab driver has delivered it to your home?
For Nutrify Prep vacuum-sealed packs, you might want to portion it out prior to chilling your food. That way, it will be easier for you to take out what you need and cook it for the day. Please DO NOT MICROWAVE THE SOUS-VIDE BAG (it might melt or go boom!)
If you have our prep packs, make sure you own a shelf too in your family's refrigerator. If you own the whole fridge, lucky you! Do remember that there's no preservatives in our meals so for the best taste, please consume the food as soon as possible within 3 to 5 days.
If you're planning to keep them longer, we recommend a lower temperature like your chiller drawer if you have one, or the freezer, if you don't. Do reheat them properly before consuming them as soon as possible and exercise all caution to check your food.
Why we don't freeze our meals from the start. Because tastes and textures, especially in vegetables, may change after putting them in the freezer so we highly recommend consuming your meals within the 3 to 5 days' window!
"Some foods deteriorate suddenly when they get below certain temperatures. This often occurs when the food freezes. Other foods undergo subtler changes when they get too cold, such as some tropical fruits and vegetables. Foods like lettuce are mostly water, so they freeze easily when in temperatures below 0°C and when they thaw you can see the cell structure has been destroyed – they turn into a jelly-like mess."Fridge Temperature Guide
What temperature should my fridge be? Fresh food: between 0°C to 4°C. Freezer: close to -18°C. Chiller compartment: close to 0°C. Read more about refrigeration details here >>
How long can I keep my delicious food?
We deliver twice weekly on Sunday and Wednesday to make sure you can get your meals just right. Our chilled food has been tested by our team before we launch it, to make sure the food can be kept in your fridge for 3 to 4 days. The ideal temperature being between 0°C to 4°C.
How do I heat up my food?
This is where the fun begins, because how you heat up your food is a skill that is going to perfect your meals. Underheating makes your food cold at the core; overheating makes the meat too tough and dry.Now what's the Goldilocks method that will make it just right? Whatever do we mean?
Microwave: 90 seconds to 3 minutes if on high.What we notice is different models work differently. You might want to find your perfect timing that heats up your meal just nicely so that it's steaming hot(you're making sure its core temperature is at least 75°C.) And when you open the container, you want to see steam coming off it but not overcooking your protein. Lift up a corner of your bento box to prevent the box from expanding due to the steam from the food; it keeps the moisture in when microwaving... also...
"Having it uncovered -- particularly if there's fat or liquid in there -- means it can tend to explode. I would cover anything in the microwave, even if it's just using paper towel. That stops it from splattering all over your microwave."10 Dos and Don'ts For Microwave
Steaming: Unload your proteins, vegetables and carbs onto a suitable container. Fill a pot to about 20% capacity with boiling water. Put your container into the pot, and steam it for 10 minutes. Why steam you might ask? This adds moisture back to the meals that might disappear from keeping the food in the fridge. If you like your meals to be more moist and juicy like me, do consider steaming.
Oven: Unload your proteins, vegetables and carbs onto a suitable container. Sometimes there are covers for these glass containers too to seal in moisture. Preheat your oven to about 150°C, slot your container into the oven, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes. This method is more suitable for those of you who enjoy more toasty flavours, while the oven forces out the moisture and juices from the proteins. Again, with different oven models, you might need to test what works best for you. It could be 120°C for 10 minutes too.
Air-frying: Our patrons tell us 150°C to 180°C for about 5 to 8 minutes. It apparently makes the food crispier too. We have not tested this option extensively; you can experiment and tag us on our socials to let us see your results! @NutrifyMeals
How does temperature affect food storage and quality?
One of the main reasons we deliver your meals chilled is to retain the freshness and quality, as well as the nutritional value of the meals that we take pride in serving to you.
When our meals are chilled, it can last much longer as compared to when we deliver it to you freshly cooked, whereby you have to consume it within a day.
Chilling the food slows down the process of food spoilage; freezing prolongs this process by a lot more than just chilling. However, freezer burn causes frozen food to be damaged by dehydration and oxidisation. Hence, we encourage you to eat our chilled meals within 3 days so that you get to enjoy the tastes and textures that were intended, with little loss in nutritional value.
IF FROZEN, do thaw overnight in the fridge before heating it up the next day.
Read more articles here at Blog.NutrifyMeals.com