You get home from work, you swing the fridge door open and the shelves are looking like a graveyard: a half moldy cucumber, a few condiments, which you cannot remember last using. Does this sound familiar?
Let’s be honest, before I embarked on the mission of eating a healthy plant-based diet organising my fridge was at the bottom of my list of priorities.
If your goal is to make healthier choices I would say start with your fridge/freezer. By organising your fridge and stocking it up with goodness you are setting yourself up for success. I am so happy to have collaborated with AO.com to bring you some tips and hacks on how to organise your fridge for eating healthy.
Here are some tips to put healthy eating within hand’s reach:
- Choose the rainbow: I always make sure my fridge is fully stocked with colourful fruit and veggies because different colours mean different nutrients. If you find yourself short of time when you get home from work, wash and prepare your berries and fruit when you get home from the grocery store so they are always ready to go. Peel and chop melons or watermelons and place them in containers (I love using glass containers). Place the fruit at the front of the fridge so the bright colours will catch your eyes.
- Wash and chop your veggies: Wash and cut your carrots and celery into batons and again place them in containers. These are a great to dip in some hummus or to have them while you are cooking dinner. Greens (kale, chards, salad leaves, rocket, spring greens) – wash them as soon as you get home, roughly dry them by either using a tea towel or a salad spinner if you have one. I put my cotton bags under the tap and then fill them with my washed greens so they stay fresh and crisp for the whole week. Having so many vegetables already prepared will save you so much time during the week and mean you’re always minutes away from a nutritious snack or feast.
- Pre-cook whole grains, pulses & beans: At the end of a long day, waiting for brown rice to cook is really no fun. I like to cook a batch of a different wholegrain each week. I try to rotate them so I can get different nutrients and vitamins plus also have a bit of variety. The same for beans and legumes. Of course you can buy tinned beans but I personally prefer cooking my own as I find them much easier to digest. All you have to do is soak them for 8 hours or overnight and then cook them in your pressure cooker for 20-25 minutes. As per fruit and veggies, I like to store them in glass container or Kilner jars.
- Keep your nuts fresh for longer: Nuts and seeds (especially in hot climates) can go rancid quite quickly so I store them in glass jars in the fridge. They are also a great snack so I always keep few jars on the top shelf so I am more prone to grab them when the hunger strikes.
- Healthy drink options: If you find it difficult to give up fizzy sugary drinks this one is for you. As much as I like water, it can get boring at times so I like to keep a few other options in the fridge, which are definitely more exciting but still very healthy. My favorites are kombucha (a fermented drink, which tastes like a cross between prosecco and cider and is rich in probiotics), coconut water and homemade nut milks for when I fancy something sweet.
- Homemade Dressings: I normally try to stay away from readymade dressings, they tend to be full of sugar, additives and preservatives. Making your own dressing is super quick and easy. These are my two favorites which I use in salads and Buddha bowls and they can be easily stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Balsamic Dressing: in a jar mix together 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp of yellow or wholegrain mustard, 1 tsp of maple syrup, a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake the jar really well until it’s all combined.
Tahini & Miso Dressing: In a jar mix together 2 tbsp. of tahini paste, 1 tsp of miso paste, 1 tbsp. of Tamari sauce, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp of maple syrup and a dash of water to thin it out. Mix it very well and add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency.
When it comes to the freezer these are the things that I always have on hand
- Chopped and frozen bananas & steamed sweet potatoes: These are always the base my smoothies or nice creams.
- Frozen berries: Fresh berries have a very short shelf life so I always keep some frozen ones in the freezer for toppings for porridge, overnight oats or smoothies
- Veggie burgers or falafels: As much as I like to make everything from scratch, sometimes I simply don’t have the time so I like to keep some pre-made veggie burgers from brands I trust in case of emergency.
- Frozen peas/broad beans/sweetcorn: These veggies are so handy to keep in the freezer as you can throw them in so many recipes, like stews, chilies or stir fries without requiring barely any cooking. They are also frozen immediately after being picked so will have their full complement of nutrients.
- Leftover curries/soups or stews: These have been lifesaving in so many occasion, especially after coming back from holidays when your fridge is bare. It’s great to have a selection of leftovers on hand that you can just throw in the microwave for a healthy and nourishing dinner in no time!
For the past few weeks I have been using my new Samsung Family Hub Fridge and Freezer and I am absolutely in love with all the different features that this fridge has.
- Impressive 593 litre capacity: The equivalent of 32 bags of shopping! Although it might seem big and bulky it’s actually incredibly sleek and stylish and it fits so well in our kitchen. I almost feel it has always been there!
- Innovative Wi-Fi Touch Screen: Built directly on the door which lets you communicate with your partner or family effortlessly. You can leave notes to each other or share calendars and even photos! Through this screen you can also stream music, TV or videos so you can dance and sing while you are cooking! (Something which I definitely enjoy doing! ;))
- 3 interior cameras: These can be linked to an app on your smartphone and allows you to see what you have in your fridge while you are out shopping. I don’t know about you but I never remember to check my fridge before I go shopping and always forget something so this feature has already saved me an extra trip to the shops so many times!
- Water and ice dispenser: This feature has been so handy especially in the recent weeks with the weather sweltering. It’s also brilliant for entertaining or when hosting dinner parties.
- Holiday Setting: This can help save you energy while you are away. This function allows the freezer to work as normal whilst the fridge is set to a specific temperature while empty with the doors closed.