Eating healthy can sometimes seem like a daunting task. The grocery store is loaded with unhealthy options, and even the simplest of items are often full of sugar (like why do you need sugar in salad dressing?!). Having a grocery list in hand heading into the store can really help you stay on track. Today I’m sharing a list of my fridge & freezer whole food essentials. These are the ingredients I try to always have on hand to make sticking to a healthy diet easier.
There are lots of mixed opinions when it comes to whole vs. skim milk. Whole milk is less processed, but skim milk is lower fat. Depending on an individuals health goals and food philosophy, you will hear very strong preferences for one or the other, choose whichever best aligns with your goals. For myself personally, I try to limit the amount of processed foods I consume, and since whole milk has less processing done to it, that’s what I use. I also use yogurt with whole milk whenever possible.
- whole milk
- yogurt (plain – I flavor it myself)
Sauces / Dips
Most condiments are loaded with sugar so you want to keep an eye on the ingredient list. When I can’t find sugar free versions, I try to make some condiments myself, or I’ll just substitute with something else. As a result, I don’t often have a lot in my fridge at any given time.
- soya sauce
- nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.)
- hummus / veggie dip
For both my fruits and veggies, I have certain staples that I always buy, and then I have my “others” that I will rotate through. I try to eat produce when it’s locally in season as much as possible, but definitely don’t achieve 100% local, especially during the winter when the options are super limited.
- citrus (lemons, limes, oranges)
- berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
- other : mangos, grapes, kiwi, pineapple
- greens (spinach, kale, arugula, chard, etc.)
- other : broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, beets, cucumber, celery, asparagus, etc.
- Nuts : almonds, pecans, cashews, macademia, etc.
- Seeds : sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax
If I’m not using my meat the day I bought it or the next, it goes into my freezer. I mix up what kinds I buy but my most regularly used cuts are :
- chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
- ground pork
- pork tenderloin
- ground beef
Fruit / Vegetables
I keep lots of fruits and veggies in my freezer for smoothies, baking, snacks, etc.
- Bananas (usually also have fresh ones on the counter, but frozen are better for smoothies & banana ice cream)
- Raspberries / Strawberries / Blueberries
- Mango / Pineapple
- Spinach / Kale
Did you know flour can go rancid if not stored in refrigerated temperatures (particularly whole wheat flour)? For this reason I keep some whole wheat flour in my pantry (because I use it regularly), but I keep most in my freezer. I also keep some other flours that I use on occasion (almond flour, whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, etc.) in my freezer because I don’t go through them as fast.
- bread & tortillas
This is how I get through weekdays. I always have at least a couple meals in my freezer for weekday lunches, and emergency dinners when I get stuck at the office late. This is a total lifesaver to avoiding take out every night!
So there you have all my whole food essentials for the fridge and freezer. If you missed my other kitchen essentials posts make sure to check out my list of pantry staples, and must have kitchen gadgets.