The 15 Foods Everyone Should Have In Their Fridge
As millions of Australians continue to bunker down in our homes for the foreseeable future, we remain in constant contact with a trustworthy friend: the refrigerator. But when boredom, stress and a sense of just-plain-over-it set in, we can end up rifling for (typically unhealthy) foods and snacks far too frequently. It doesn’t have to be that way, explains nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge, who shares her list of the 15 foods everyone should have in their fridge. Best of all, it includes chocolate
Your fridge is like a charming dinner host: it invites you in and offers up a platter of delicious treats that will satisfy
your tummy and satiate your tastebuds. Just thinking about visiting makes you smile, because you know what pleasures await behind that door. The problem? Dinner parties come to an end and all the yummy leftovers stay at the hosts’ home, but your fridge is ever-present – especially now as many of us are either in lockdown or working
from home and the fridge is often right within arm’s reach of our desks. The pandemic has changed many people’s relationship with their fridges. Not only are we more frequent visitors due to the aforementioned stay-at-home -orders, but the mental toll that has made us feel more bored, tired and overwhelmed also has us turning to
our fridges for comfort. The challenge is making sure it is filled with the right kinds of foods – the ones that will sustain you, keep you full (but not stuffed) and most of all healthy. The bottom line is that a well-stocked fridge gives anybody the ability to whip up a healthy meal or snack, even when you are tired, stressed and, most
And it’s good for your wallet, too. You’ll have far fewer excuses to order takeaway when you have a fridge
that’s humming with health right at your fingertips.
Where to start? Here are 15 nutritionist-approved essentials to stock up on that will satisfy your hunger –
without sabotaging your health goals.
EGGS They are nutrient dense, protein packed and, perhaps best of all, inexpensive. They are also versatile – you
can have them for breakfast, on top of salad for lunch or whipped up in a quick, savoury, veggie-packed omelette for dinner. Buy organic when possible.
CHEESE Cheese is a long-lasting protein that can impart flavour to any meal, or pair with some crackers or celery sticks for a filling snack. My recommendations? Goat’s, parmesan or feta – either in cubes, shredded or
MILK If you prefer dairy-based milk, aim for organic when you can. For plant-based, I recommend almond,
coconut, oat or soy. Just be sure you choose the unsweetened variety, with no flavours added. Milk is great for healthy smoothies, baking and, of course, to add to your coffee or tea.
YOGHURT Great for your gut, enough said. Greek or coconut – unsweetened, with no added flavours – is the way
to go here. Yoghurt is excellent with granola, as a marinade or thickening agent, and as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream.
TAMARI (WHEAT-FREE SOY SAUCE) Add it to a stir-fry, in a marinade or use it to create an umami-rich dressing for
your fibre-filled veggies.
NUT BUTTERS Almond, peanut or seed-mix butters are full of good fats and amino acids, without the sugar.
Liven up your smoothie, breakfast bowl or toast. Hot tip: they last twice as long in the fridge.
GRAINS, PROTEINS OR LEGUMES Whip up a large batch of anything from quinoa to freekeh, lentils to lupins once
a week and keep in the fridge to use as a base for any meal or bowl during the week – and cut down on time spent
in the kitchen.
PESTO It’s loaded with phytonutrients and is easy to spread on a sandwich, drizzle on eggs and salads, or marry with a simple chicken or fish dish.
MUSTARD Dijon, not yellow. Flavourful and zesty, it helps to stop your food from tasting bland and boring.
OLIVES Salty, savoury deliciousness. Add to casseroles, sauces or salads, or simply enjoy as a pre-dinner nibble.
HEALTHY DIPS Hummus, tzatziki, salsa or tahini – whichever you choose, it can be a welcome addition to any dish.
Homemade is always the best (and easier than you may think). Look for minimum preservatives and sugar if buying from the shops.
FRUITS AND VEGGIES They last longer in the fridge. Try to include veggies at every meal, topped with herbs, pesto or a splash of dip. Or use them to build your meal out from a base of greens. Include lemons and limes for zest and juice. As for fruit? They’re some of the most portable and nutritionally balanced snacks out there.
FRESH HERBS These humble greens are flavourful and antioxidant rich. Store them in a slightly damp tea towel to help them last longer.
SPARKLING MINERAL WATER This inoffensive, easy refreshment coupled with a lemon slice is a nice break on an
AND FINALLY, CHOCOLATE Make it dark and 70 per cent cocoa, or above. Put it in the freezer for a crunchy then
melting piece of heaven in your mouth.
3 FOODS YOU DON’T NEED IN YOUR FRIDGE
Soft drink Sugar-laden or artificially sweetened drinks are so last century.
Left-over desserts When you are eating the occasional dessert, enjoy it and have no guilt about it. But you don’t need it around the next day to tempt you.
White bread This doesn’t need to be in the fridge. It has so many chemicals and preservatives, it could stay on your kitchen counter for weeks and weeks.
Michele Chevalley Hedge is an author, nutritionist and founder of A Healthy View.