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What is Ready to Eat Food?

Estimated time to read 6 minutes

No matter if you’re a meal prep pro or novice, there’s just something satisfying about making sure meals are good to go before you need them. Having favorite foods at your fingertips saves time, hassle, and stress … sounds like a good deal to us!

Ready-to-eat foods (RTEs) have increased in popularity recently. Maybe you’ve heard about them on social media or through friends and are wondering what ready-to-eat foods are, anyway. You’re in luck! Today we’re breaking down the definition of ready-to-eat foods and how you can incorporate these convenient foods into your routine.

READY TO EAT FOOD EXPLAINED

Wondering how to wrap your head around ready to eat foods? We’ve got you covered!

READY TO EAT FOOD DEFINITION 

In short, ready-to-eat food no longer needs to be cooked before serving, and this food does not necessarily need to be cooked or reheated. Often, ready to eat foods are cooked in advance to serve either hot or cold. Some of the most common ready to eat foods or commercially prepared food sold at grocery stores are fruit salads, deli meats, luncheon meats, and prepared sandwiches.

TYPES OF READY TO EAT FOOD

Ready to eat foods often come pre-cleaned, precooked, and ready for consumption. Common ready-to-eat foods include salads, cooked meats, smoked fish, desserts, sandwiches, and cheese.

BENEFITS THAT MAKE YOU LOVE READY TO EAT FOOD

As a shopper, there are sooo many benefits of ready to eat food … both for your waistline and the environment! Meals that are ready to eat are typically portioned with only the servings you actually need, which can reduce waste!  And, convenience is at an all-time high with ready-to-eat prepared food. They reduce the time and energy needed to prepare a meal at home while never compromising on food safety, variety, and selection.

8 IDEAS FOR GETTING YOUR READY TO EAT FOOD DAILY

The easiest way to make ready-to-eat food a part of your daily routine is to find a brand you really love and stock up! :) Proper Good meals are shelf stable and importantly, no refrigeration needed, making these ready-to-eat meals healthy AND low maintenance! We’re sharing a few favorite Proper Good ready-to-eat meals below. 

IDEAS FOR GETTING YOUR READY TO EAT FOOD FOR BREAKFAST

Ahhh, breakfast–the most important meal of the day! But sometimes you just don’t have time to cook a homemade breakfast, and this is where ready-to-eat foods are helpful. Let Proper Good oatmeals save the day! 

All pouches come in a BPA-Free Microwave Safe pouch. Proper Good oatmeal requires zero prep, which means there’s no water to add or waiting to soak oats, and no washing up needed!

CARAMEL PECAN OATMEAL

This flavor of oatmeal is the PERFECT blend of sweet and savory for days when you’re craving a treat, but want to keep it healthy! This caramel pecan oatmeal feels like dessert in a pouch with caramel, pecan, cinnamon, orange peel, and date flavors. But it’s never too sweet, and chia, flax, and hemp seeds balance out sweet flavors nicely.

Caramel pecan oatmeal - Eat Proper Good

Did we mention it’s plant-based and gluten-free? A ready to eat food, indeed!

BLUEBERRY COCONUT OATMEAL 

One of our online customer reviewers said, “I absolutely love the blueberry and coconut! I thought it would be a weird combo but it’s great.” We’re tooootally guilty of pushing the boundaries of food pairings and have a blast sharing those combos with our customers!

Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal - Eat Proper Good

This ready-to-eat blend comes with a stir-In topping packet that’s next-level tasty... with juicy blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, crunchy pumpkin seeds, maple syrup powder, and butterfly pea powder, this will transform your bowl into a blue wonderland with a strong aroma of sweet coconut and blueberry! 

And to add a fun touch, the oatmeal changes color while you stir! Who said grown-ups can’t play with their food?!

PERFECTLY PLAIN OATMEAL

There are times when you just want a classic, traditional oatmeal, and this Proper Good Perfectly Plain Oatmeal delivers outstanding texture and flavor! Steel-cut oats keep you feeling full for hours and pack a whopping 5 grams of protein. 

Perfectly Plain Oatmeal - Eat Proper Good

This ready-to-eat meal is a good choice for folks who prefer to add favorite toppings or experiment with new toppings! The fun part is that it's up to you to get creative with toppings... and you can have different toppings every day depending on your mood! Maybe a sliced banana, almond butter, and a dash of maple syrup? Or make it savory with a fried egg, avocado, and cheese! You choose!

PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL

While this oatmeal flavor is reminiscent of autumn, it’s perfect to enjoy year-round! Pumpkin pie spice, pure maple sugar, and pumpkin seeds join forces to make for a seriously decadent-tasting, yet healthy, breakfast blend. A flavor that feels like a warm hug, fuzzy socks, and snuggling up under a blanket all at once. ;)

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal - Eat Proper Good

IDEAS FOR GETTING YOUR READY TO EAT FOOD FOR LUNCH OR DINNER

When we’re in the middle of our day, it’s tough to take a pause to nourish our bodies. And at the conclusion of a long day … we have the same issue! But it’s more important than ever to eat healthy foods to keep us fueled and energized.

Ready to eat foods are a great solution for those who have busy professions or home lives because of the convenience.

PROPER GOOD SPLIT PEA AND KALE SOUP

Some people love green vegetables, while others aren’t as fond of them. For people who don’t like raw greens, cooking them in a tasty soup or chili can help!

There are so many health benefits of kale, too. It’s nutrient-dense, loaded with antioxidants, can help lower cholesterol, and packed with vitamins C and K! 

Split Pea and Kale Soup - Eat Proper Good

Which kind makes this ready-to-eat food the perfect choice for low-maintenance noshing. Our split pea and kale soup mixes these health benefits with flavor derived from oregano and paprika spices.

CHEESY TOMATO SOUP SPAGHETTI

Spaghetti requires minimal cooking (of the noodles), making it an excellent ready-to-eat recipe to make ahead of time and enjoy all week! Proper Good tomato basil soup makes up the base of this spaghetti sauce, and you couldn’t possibly be in better hands (if we do say so ourselves! ;) ). 

Tomato Basil Spaghetti - Eat Proper Good

Many canned tomato soups are packed with sodium and sugars to offset the acidity of the tomatoes. But not ours! With no sodium or added sugars, our tomato basil soup is one you can truly enjoy guilt-free … and a coconut milk base gives this soup a creamy texture perfect for spaghetti sauce.

PROPER GOOD CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE

What’s more versatile than a casserole dish? For big family holidays all the way to regular, everyday meals, casseroles are often packed with healthy veggies and protein. This chicken and rice casserole can be made on a Sunday night and eaten throughout the week. It gets an A+ for convenience and tastiness, using our quinoa and brown rice blend, cream of chicken soup, and just frozen vegetables tossed together and baked in the oven.

Chicken and Rice Casserole - Eat Proper Good

Perfect for busy parents with kids and ultimately ready-to-eat goodness!

RED PEPPER AND MEATBALL BAKED ZITI

Savory and wholesome, our sweet red pepper and meatball soup is a customer favorite. So we thought … why not as the base for a ziti dish! (a stroke of brilliance! ;) )

Red Pepper and Meatball Baked Ziti - Eat Proper Good

Grass-fed bone broth is the base of this hearty soup and couldn’t possibly be better for you! Bone broth is nutritious and protects the joints, prevents osteoarthritis, and reduces inflammation in the gut. This ziti is an excellent ready to eat dinner choice. Try combining all ingredients in an oven-safe pan and wrapping it highly in foil. Then, when it’s time to eat, take this dish out of the fridge and make it fresh … no muss and no fuss required!

Ready to eat meals don’t have to be complicated, and they certainly don’t have to be thrown together! With just a few simple ingredients and a tiny bit of prep time, ready to eat food is more seamless than ever.

If you’re looking for more ready to eat prepared foods, here are a couple more Proper Good foods that fit the bill! No chopping or meal prep required–just 90 seconds in the microwave and long-lasting shelf life:

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