Stocking your Kitchen: Tips to help you Stock your Fridge & Freezer

By Dr. Laurie Teitelman, ND

Start your year off right! Now that the stocking stuffers are behind you, why not stuff your kitchen with all the best goodies? Use this list to help keep you and your family one step ahead of the game when it comes to eating wisely and keeping healthy this year. Let’s begin with your fridge and freezer…

Fridge

milk

When buying regular milk, I always look for organic sources of rBST-free and antibiotic-free milk and preferably from grass-fed cows. The taste of milk is so much more delicious when it comes from a clean, reliable source! I also love Almond Milk (unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate) since it tastes great on cereal and in coffee, and is a great alternative to regular cow’s milk.

unsalted butter

Salt levels vary from butter to butter; opt for unsalted so you can control the saltiness of your meals and baked goods. As with any dairy product, I only buy rBST-free and antibiotic-free butter from animals who are grass-fed.

plain low-fat Greek yogurt

Always a healthy snack with a drizzle of raw honey, or mix with some fresh lemon juice for a creamy potato salad dressing tossed with fresh herbs. Any cheese that I use must be rBST-free and hormone-free from grass-fed animals.

hunk of Parmesan

A large piece of Parmesan will last longer and maintain flavor better than pre-grated cheese (and it’s economical.) To ensure longevity, wrap the cheese in parchment or wax paper first, then loosely with plastic wrap or in a glass container.

lemons

Lemons will liven up any dish. Nothing beats fresh. Squeeze some lemon over your steak or over steamed vegetables, make a homemade vinaigrette, or whip up a quick hummus with chickpeas, lemon and garlic.

large organic eggs

Scrambled, soft or hard-boiled, eggs are the ultimate easy and inexpensive meal and they make a great protein-rich breakfast! The eggs I choose to use are from cage-free and rBST-free chickens; free-range if possible. These animals are preferably fed grain free of hormones, preservatives and additives.

fresh ginger

Wake up your taste buds by grating a little fresh ginger into anything from scrambled eggs to soups to vinaigrettes. Ginger isn’t just for Asian cooking, but can be used in fresh chunks as a warming addition to any tea or warm beverage.

low-fat sour cream

Make a fast and refreshing dip for raw vegetables with just a sprinkle of paprika. As above, I only choose to use dairy that is rBST-free.

wild Alaskan salmon

A great choice because it’s good for you and good for the oceans. Try to avoid GMO fish if possible.

almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachio and pine nuts

Whether you need a snack or need to add life to your salad, oatmeal or pasta. Come to think of it, add them to just about anything. You can even create your own blend of flour to use while cooking using simply ground nuts!

condiments

Dijon mustard and hot sauce are great to have on hand.

Freezer

frozen peas, corn, broccoli and spinach

Flash frozen at the peak of ripeness, frozen vegetables are nutrient-packed and so convenient.

whole-wheat baguette

Wrap in foil and freeze for freshness. Reheat in oven or let defrost directly from freezer. Once heated through, unwrap and bake a few more minutes to crisp up the crust.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Good to have on hand as they thaw relatively quickly when you’re in a pinch. Choose your meat wisely: antibiotic and hormone-free, organic chicken is the wisest choice.

ground beef, turkey or chicken meat

Opt for ground chuck or sirloin rather than generic ground beef, which is often ground with less popular cuts of beef. Lean, organic beef that is antibiotic an hormone-free, as well as grass-fed is optimal. Great for a quick sauce, homemade meatballs, or tacos.

whole-wheat pizza dough

What’s better than having pizza at your fingertips, and for a quarter of the price? It’s often sold in the freezer section, or pick up some fresh dough from your local pizza guy.

pesto

Whether homemade or store-bought, pesto freezes well and will round out any meal that’s in need of a boost.

ravioli

Nearly a meal itself—top with sautéed zucchini and pine nuts and dinner is ready in 15 minutes.

frozen fruit

Choose frozen fruit without added sugar or preservatives for a healthy and convenient option when fresh fruit is out of season.

corn tortillas

Always terrific to know that tacos or huevos rancheros are a possibility for dinner. Thaw them first, then cook according to package directions. Try to find non-GMO corn if possible.

shrimp

Shrimp often arrives to the butcher frozen, so why not buy it frozen and thaw it when you’re ready?

Last but not least…

  • I love organic foods if they make sense with your budget. The label is meant to ensure that a product is not grown with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and, in the case of animals, raised without hormones or antibiotics. Better option for your body and for the environment.
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