I get asked all the time, “What types of foods do you keep in your fridge?”. I get it, when you’re busy and trying to make lifestyle changes, knowing what to shop for can bring on some stress. So, I thought I’d give you a little insider knowledge of what my refrigerator has in it, on any given day. When shopping, I try to make sure I have a variety of items that can be mix and matched to make quick and easy meals and snacks. That way I’m not always pre-planning a meal but I know in a pinch there is enough in the fridge to pull together something my family will enjoy. Even if you aren’t shopping with a particular menu in mind, I do recommend a grocery list. This will help you resist buying things that aren’t good for you and wasting money on unneeded items.
So let’s start with my staple items. Every Sunday while everyone is eating I prepare individual, medium-sized mason jars full of food items like quinoa, chickpeas, and lentils. These are my “emergency plan” items when I need something quick to add to base items for a quick filling meal. Quinoa, for example, can be used in soups, salads, energy bars, as a rice substitute and much more. The great thing with a staple like quinoa, it’s not just versatile but it also is bursting with nutritional goodness. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can consume and it has twice the fiber of most other grains. So that means by adding it in a meal, you will be fuller longer.
We don’t do a lot of dairy at our house but you will find the occasional feta or mozzarella cheese. I buy a variety of the alternative cheese options. You won’t find cow’s milk in there but almond milk is a must-have item. Instead of greek yogurt, we like to eat coconut yogurt. It’s so yummy. Also, if you ever hear me talking about a recipe that calls for coconut cream, I’m using coconut milk in the resealable cartons that I keep in the fridge. That way I don’t have to throw it out after opening it like with the cans.
What about condiments? My fridge is not lacking in that department. You will always find a jar of homemade salad dressing that I prepare each week. By preparing my own dressing I save money and I can control and eliminate some of the calories, saturated fats, sodium, and sugar that are found in most dressing bought at the store. Other condiments include pickles which are a family favorite, olives, mustard, lemon juice and a jar a Tahini for easy dressing and sauce recipes.
Things my kids love in the refrigerator is Sunbutter and Almond Butter. The Sunbutter, which is made from sunflower seeds, is used mostly for school items because of the nut-free rule.
The kids also like orange juice so I keep a carton on hand. I do however water it down to reduce the sugar per serving. What I quickly learned is if I add water straight to the carton my boys never know the difference. I also keep a lot of hummus on hand. I like to stuff bright orange and yellow mini peppers with hummus and they love it.
There is usually a container with cut up melons for easy snacking. I cut the melons up as soon as I get them home because I find they go bad and are forgotten about if they aren’t immediately in bite-sized pieces. I keep a bowl of hard boiled eggs in there too. They are high in protein, easy to grab and go, and the kids can have it for breakfast if we are running late in the mornings.
The last thing you will always find in my fridge is not a food item at all. It is a bottle of probiotics. Some of you might be wondering what are probiotics. Probiotics are a supplement that I would recommend everyone look into and begin taking for themselves. They have so many benefits and help with so many issues in the body. Probiotics are the key to a healthy gut. It is said that 80% of our immune system is located in the digestive tract. What that means is, if your gut is out of whack it can manifest in other seemingly unrelated issues in the body.
It has been shown that an unhealthy gut attributes to hair loss, skin conditions, joint pain, thyroid imbalance, autism, chronic fatigue, inflammation and so much more. So having a health gi track is imperative. Probiotics are bacteria that are found in the lining of your gut and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. We already naturally produce probiotics but the problem is that most of us aren’t producing enough of our own and it leads to digestive disorders, candida yeast build-up, autoimmune disorders and other conditions. So replacing the probiotics with a supplement is going to ensure your guts are happy and your health is amazing.
So that’s pretty much it. This is what is generally in my fridge. Healthy variety for easy cooking and snacking. I hope this gives you ideas on how to stock your own fridge. If you would like a peek of my actual fridge watch the video below.
To your health, xxx
PS Whats in your fridge? Head over to the Busy and Healthy Moms Facebook group and share your fridge staples.