9 Staple Ingredients For Your Fridge
Last year I wrote a blog post about the top 10 kitchen essentials I try to have on hand to make sure that even when I'm tired and can't be bothered a nutritious meal is just a couple of minutes away (hello, eggs on toast!). Have a read here, if you haven't yet. I'm a big believer that you have to do what works with you, so for me having a fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with nutritious staples means that's what I'm going to cook and eat. So today I thought it might be helpful to look at some of the ingredients I buy every week that go into my fridge. Fruits and vegetables will vary with the seasons, but below are the staples that I will have in my fridge every week. As you will see they are all very basic ingredients. Eating well doesn't have to mean spending lots of money on fancy ingredients, but rather learning to cook basic wholesome ingredients, and consistently filling your plate with nourishing whole foods. Below are the fridge basics that I like to consistently eat.
1. Milk - I drink milk daily, I use it in my tea and coffee, and if i'm having oats. Everyone has their own opinion on milk, and which one is best, but I use cow's milk as it's a good source of protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin D, and I enjoy the taste. You do what works best for you, but if you are choosing a plant based milk (soy, almond, oat etc.) just make sure it has been fortified with calcium.
2. Meat - We have a couple of serves of red meat per week, which is helpful to make sure I'm getting enough iron in my diet. A serve of red meat is only about 100g raw or ~65g cooked, so it's not a massive amount. Once again, some people may choose to not eat red meat, or any meat at all, and that is a personal choice. If you aren't eating any red meat it is important to make sure you're getting enough iron, zinc and b12, if this is something you're not sure about it's a good idea to talk to an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
3. Fish - I try to have fresh (or frozen) fish once per week in addition to tinned tuna once or twice per week. Oily fish contains heart friendly healthy fats, and regularly eating oily fish is associated with reduced risk of developing dementia in older adults.
4. Eggs - inexpensive, versatile, and a nutritious source of protein. Eggs are the perfect addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks! Scramble them with veggies, boil them to add to salads, or bake them in a veggie frittata. They are certainly one of my no fuss dinner go-tos.
5. Cheese - I love cheese, and we usually have tasty cheese in the fridge to have with our pasta, or as a snack with crackers or veggies.
6. Yoghurt - I eat yoghurt most days for breakfast, a snack or if i'm still feeling hungry after dinner with fruit. Yoghurt is an still an easy to digest source of vitamins and minerals (including calcium, potassium, and b12) and high quality protein.
7. Fruit - fruit is the perfect snack. It's a perfect delicious parcel filled with carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. It depends on the season, but I usually go for bananas, apples/oranges/mandarines, and then whatever is in season - I love stone fruit, melons and berries in Summer. Eating a rainbow of different coloured fruits makes sure were getting a range of different vitamins and antioxidants in our diet.
8. Vegetables - filled with fibre, and rich in vitamins and minerals to help you feel your best, vegetables are a staple in our fridge. Most main meals revolve around vegetables so I make sure to get lots of variety. What I buy depends on the season but at the markets last week I picked up: cos lettuce, red cabbage, cucumber, red capsicum, corn, avocados, sweet potato, broccoli and mushrooms.
9. Nuts and seeds - a great source of healthy fats, protein and fibre, nuts and seeds and a fantastic addition to many meals and snacks. I add seeds to my overnight oats, and as a crunchy addition to salads, and nuts feature as part of my daily snacking.
I'd love to know what the staples are in your fridge in the comments below.
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The information in this article is general in nature, for specific information related to you, book into see an Accredited Practising Dietitian (like me, click here to book).