These are some basic foods I try and keep in my refrigerator and freezer at all times.
- Bread: I always keep all of my bread in the freezer. Since I buy bread without any added preservatives, it doesn’t last long on the counter so it goes straight into the freezer when I get home from the store. A few slices of bread thaw on the counter quicker than you might think and usually I am toasting it anyway. Try it! Plus think of all the counter space you can free up if you don’t have a big bread box.
- Kale – I always have a giant bag of organic kale in my freezer ready to toss into smoothies. I usually default to the organic pre-washed, pre-chopped kale in large bags from Whole Foods because this is a time saver, and since I’m blending it into smoothies anyway I am not that picky about the size of the kale. When I buy kale to cook with, I always get it fresh and wash and strip the leaves myself.
- Bananas (broken into about 2 inch pieces)
- Chopped spinach
- Mixed mushrooms
- Various flours (see Part 2 of this installment series for more information on this)
I love Reditainer Extreme Freeze Deli Containers for freezing my fruits and vegetables. I almost always use glass containers in the kitchen, but I make an exception for these for freezer use. They seal very tightly, are large enough to hold a freezer bag full of an item, and really cut down on freezer burn. They are also BPA free and very affordable. I also see Vivian Howard using them all the time on “A Chef’s Life” and that is reason enough for me. On nights where you are scrambling, you can toss some frozen broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms into a pan with some eggs or tofu and bake up a frittata in about 20 minutes, after which any berries you took out of the freezer will be thawed for dessert. Don’t forget the whole grain toast you took out of the freezer as well. I just made a meal almost only out of your freezer. This is why it is so important to keep your kitchen stocked!
- Hemp seeds
- Ground flax seed
- Chia seeds
- Medjool dates
- Various nut butters
- Unsweetened almond milk
- An assortment of condiments and homemade salad dressing (but don’t have too many, as condiments can quickly overtake your fridge!)
- Cleaned and chopped vegetables in Oxo Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keepers.
I always keep two different types of washed greens in my large produce keepers, usually baby spinach and a lettuce mix. I also always have peeled and cut carrots and cut up celery, and usually sliced bell peppers and cucumbers. Want to eat more vegetables? Have them ready to go! There is a reason why so many people grab a granola bar for a snack, it’s convenient. If you want to eat more of a certain food, make it convenient. Plus, it makes putting together salads a cinch, just grab your containers out of the fridge, know that everything is already cleaned and ready, and throw it all into a bowl. Super salad is done.