The Best Way to Reheat Leftovers
Whether you are an avid meal-prepper, kitchen cook, or restaurateur – at some point during the week, you will most likely have some food to reheat. When it comes to reheating leftovers, how you handle them is the key to staying healthy (and keeping the food tasting fresh). Here are a few tips on how to reheat your leftovers for optimal health:
- Eat your fridge leftovers within two days of the original cook date.
- If you’re taking leftovers from the freezer, eat within 24 hours. Make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before heating, by leaving them in the fridge beforehand or using a microwave (with a damp paper towel over the food).
- Reheat your food until it is piping hot throughout. If you’re using a microwave, be aware that they do not always heat evenly throughout, so take your food out halfway through the cooking time and give it a stir before placing back in the microwave.
- Never reheat leftovers more than once. If you have a big pot of soup, for example, it’s better to take out what you need and reheat it in a smaller pan. Equally, don’t refreeze leftovers. The more times you cool and reheat food, the higher the risk of food poisoning, as bacteria can multiply when cooled too slowly or reheated insufficiently.
So now that you’ve got the basics down, here are a few tips for getting around drying out your leftovers when reheating:
- Sprinkle some olive oil over your leftovers before covering them in an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator.
- Always cover your food when you are reheating it. Oven: use foil; microwave: use a damp paper towel.
- Depending on the meal, you can also sprinkle some filtered water or chicken/vegetable stock over the meal you are going to reheat. This will not only give it a bit more flavor, but will help prevent drying it out.
- Whether microwaving or using the oven/a saucepan, heat for less time than you normally would, as leftovers tend to dry out a big in the fridge overnight.
- When reheating leftovers, you can play around with the dish and make it your own! In a saucepan, add some olive oil, garlic, onions, and any other fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand. Then add in your leftovers to make a whole new dish. This not only spices the dish up, but can help your food to feel less ‘reheated.’
At IONutrition, our meals are refrigerated, but never frozen. We use eco-friendly insulated packaging to deliver fresh, ready to eat meals. Our ultra-portable, refrigerated meal management bag keeps meals fresh anywhere right up until the moment you are ready to eat them. With IONutrition, you won’t have to worry about your meal-prepped food being dry due to the manner in which we handle, cook, and packaged our meals. Freshness is our priority!