Food Friday: Staples of the Fridge and Freezer 

As promised, this week we are going to see how the healthy fridge and freezer look. The lists below are my idea of what you will need to put together healthy meals and snacks all week long for you and your family.

Take a critical look at your fridge and freezer. How healthy are the contents ? Can you tell what the contents are, or how old they are ? Lets hope so, otherwise send it to the compost. Take a gratifying step further and clean out the whole refrigerator. Here are some tips to having what you need, being sure of its safety, and making it easy to prepare healthy meals and snacks. 

  • Shop twice a week
  • Buy only healthy items such as those listed here. 
  • Make a deliberate point to use what you buy. Do not plan a meal without looking in the fridge first. Factor in the what needs to be used as well as the balance of the meal. Do not, however,  be tempted to save a couple bucks and use questionable items. 
  • Make sure to have a set of good clean containers to use for subdividing bulk purchases and for storing leftovers. Containers which hide their contents tend to go unused and spoil. 
  • Have a couple sizes of ziplock bags also for subdividing bulk purchases and for storing leftovers. Sometimes its easier to store things this way instead of in a giant clear box. 
  • Label and date all your unlabelled containers. 
  • Search for recipes or even techniques which use your healthy ingredients, and keep them simple. 
  • Use your freezer to enhance your nutrition. Buy good food on sale, in bulk and in season, divide it strategically and freeze it. 


Here are some healthy contents which should be in your fridge and freezer. 


The freezer

nuts: i.e. cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts

pestos in ziplock bags

frozen concentrated juices i.e. orange juice concentrate for sauces

chili paste, clearly labelled

coffee or cacao (raw chocolate) bean

bags of frozen fruits, home made or store bought, for pie, cobbler, tarts, smoothies

frozen vegetables such as corn and peas

fish, meats, poultry, in bulk or divided by you into single servings

bulk items like ziplock bags of garlic cloves

ziplocks of good leftovers which you cant use quickly enough

dried fruits which are moist and apt to spoil

cheeses : block parmesan, shredded cheddar, shredded parmesan

ice creams and sorbets


The refrigerator



milk, half and half, cream, butter,

certain oils like toasted sesame  

soft cheese: cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, mozzarella

hard cheese: cheddar, pre-sliced and shredded, shredded real parmesan

eggs- at least two dozen

Meats, poultry and fish which are thawing, marinating, preserved, or leftover. 

Cultures for home made yogurt, yeast to make bread


salad greens like romaine, spinach, arugula, cooking greens like kale and chard,

Hard vegetables like carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, cucumbers,

red and other various colored peppers

vegetables ad infinitum  


Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, other soft fruits like pitted fruits, i.e. peaches, apricots, etc (Tomatoes, bananas, apple and oranges are stored at room temperature ) 


pickles, sweet and dill, olives, ketchup, mustards, mayonnaise, salad dressings, opened jams, jellys, chutneys, salsas, Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, Siracha or other hot sauce, lime and lemon juice, fresh ginger, garlic


It takes some time to adjust your meal planning, cooking and eating habits to include all the good things all of the time and very few of the bad things very seldom. But having fridge, freezer, and pantry filled properly will help. It is also necessary to realize that healthy eating takes a little extra time at first. But healthy cooking, once learned is minimalistic simple cooking, and can be made to be very time efficient. 

I hope these lists will help healthy eating become easy and enjoyable.