Kitchen Essentials: Fridge/Freezer
Your fridge/freezer is the central part of your kitchen, keeping it organised and well stocked is the key to making eating healthily and appropriately for your goals realistic and manageable.
Instead of providing an exact list of foods, as this will change with the seasons and depending on your individual tastes and goals, I’ll give some examples of what my fridge/freezer usually looks like.
As you can imagine there is a high turnover rate with things going in and out of the fridge. But these are general staples which always come in handy:
Seasonal staples of veg like carrots, broccoli, spinach, corn, cauliflower, celery, capsicums, etc.
Salad staples like cucumber, lemons, limes, fresh herbs, ginger, chillies, mixed lettuce leaves, etc.
Seasonal fruits like blueberries, apples, pears, etc.
Most of the veg gets chopped up ahead of time and put into containers that allow for greater ease when it comes time to cook, and fewer hurdles to stop me from not cooking if I don’t really feel like it.
Meats and Fish
Most weeks I will have a selection of:
Chicken breasts, sometimes thighs
Good quality minced meat, either beef or a combination of pork/beef
White fish fillets
Usually a block of hard cheese like cheddar or parmesan
I don’t use a lot of milk so I generally don’t have it as it doesn’t last, but occasionally I will get some whole milk, or Soy milk just for the fact that it lasts longer.
Opened condiments and other things
A big jug of water, of course, usually with wedges of lemon or lime in it.
Generally a few beers and a bottle of wine also.
Generally I will make a bit more than I need of most things, and avoiding the temptation to eat it all at once, save some for lunches or dinners the days after. As a rule of thumb I stick to no more than 2 days after cooking as the timeframe for having these pre-cooked meals.
The freezer is also great for storing pre-cooked meals to be thawed and eaten later, just seperate into portions before freezing, these can generally last a few weeks.
Other things in the freezer:
Fruits for making smoothies, bananas are great, peeled and put in a container, they may brown but don’t worry they are ok. Bags of frozen mangoes and mixed berries are also a must.
Frozen veg like peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach come in very handy and last a long time.
Strange perhaps, but I don’t often eat much bread, so this way it lasts longer and tastes great when toasted
Wraps and Pita bread also work great frozen before being used when you need them.
Plan, organise, do the work beforehand (chopping up veg, etc.), and your process of eating healthily to your goals will be so much easier, and more enjoyable.