So what do we do now after Chef has lovingly cooked the meals, portioned it out carefully into bento boxes for you, and our friendly third-party driver has delivered it to your home?
If you have bento boxes, it would be great if you own a shelf in your family’s refrigerator too. 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 meals as soon as possible within 3 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 4 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 meals?
We deliver twice weekly on Sunday and Wednesday to make sure you can get your meals just right. Our chilled meals have been tested by our team before we launch it, to make sure those meals can be kept in your fridge for 3 to 4 days. The ideal temperature being about 4°C. We also keep a set of meals in our kitchen to make sure the food is okay within the same week as a precaution on our part. And we at Team Nutrify eat the same meals you do for that week too.
How do I heat up my meals?
This is where the fun begins, because how you heat up your meals is a skill that is going to perfect your meals. Underheating makes your meals 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: 1 to 2 minutes if on high (100% power). Or 3 minutes if on medium-high (70% power). What we notice is different models work differently. Fancy microwave ovens have a DEFROST button which brings your meal to ambient temperature before the optimum 90-second re-heat.
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
Bonus tip: Fried rice, anyone? 🙂 If you ordered rice as your carbs, consider pan-frying it? You can add an egg. Scramble your egg in a wok. A non-stick one will save you calories from adding a bit of olive oil. Afterwards, add your rice, protein (cut into smaller pieces) and vegetables. Mix it around which gives your version of pan-fried rice! If you like, you can add in your own extra seasonings like garlic or onions!
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. (Or did you notice the DEFROST button on your oven?)
For Nutrify Prep packs, you might want to portion it out prior to freezing or 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!)