by Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD of Milk & Honey Nutrition
I feel like I’m always getting asked what I eat, what I buy at the grocery store, what my pantry staples are etc. I think people just assume because I’m a dietitian that I’ve got this kitchen full of gourmet, organic, grass-fed, non-GMO, holistic-ish food… and that is just not the case. Yes, we eat healthily. Yes, I like to cook. But, we are also totally normal. So here are 10 things I always have in my refrigerator (and freezer)
I know cucumbers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we love them in our house! As a type 1 diabetic, I can’t just munch on crackers or other breaded-type snacks all day long, so cucumbers often satisfy that desire for something crunchy for me. (But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a good bag of potato chips too occasionally!) Cucumbers and hummus is also my go-to pre-dinner snack for my girls (ages 3 and 4) if they say they’re hungry before I’m able to get dinner on the table. Which leads me to the second thing I always keep on hand…
This bean-based protein-packed spread is so versatile. We use it as a dip, yes… but also as a spread on sandwiches, in place of dressing on salads, and on toast in the mornings! And it’s a great way to get my kids excited about eating more vegetables.
We keep a number of different kinds of milk in our refrigerator… almond milk for my coffee, whole milk for my girl’s smoothies and my husband’s tea, and Sneakz Organic milkshakes for my youngest. (Technically, the Sneakz milkshakes are on top of our fridge because they’re shelf stable… but they’re also up there because my 3-year-old would chug them all day long without supervision… )
4. Frozen Fruit
Moving over to our freezer for a bit, we keep frozen fruit (usually blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and sometimes peaches and cherries) on hand all the time. Frozen fruit is often far less expensive than fresh fruit and typically more nutritious thanks to the fact that it’s frozen immediately after being harvested. We eat it as is, on yogurt, or in smoothies typically!
5. Frozen Veggies
Just like frozen fruit, we always keep frozen vegetables on hand… specifically, I always have green beans and broccoli because those are some of our family’s favorites. And I can have them cooked and ready in no time. Just spread some frozen veggies on a baking sheet and put in the oven as is. Once they’re done roasting (on 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on what veggie it is) spray them with your oil of choice and season. So easy!
6. Whole milk yogurt
Fat plays a crucial role in stabilizing blood sugars, so I always opt for full-fat yogurt when possible. And all that fat is great for brain development in kids!
Heading back to the freezer for a sec, this is by far my kids favorite (healthy) baked treat that I make and I almost always have a batch frozen to pull out whenever we need them for breakfast or snacks.
While it is definitely super trendy currently, kombucha has actually been around for and consumed by Americans for decades. It also happens to be my husband’s favorite form of probiotics! I also love it as a (semi) non-alcoholic treat after the kids are in bed!
Likely a staple in almost everyone’s kitchen, we go through about 2 dozen organic eggs/week. For everything from scrambled to hard-boiled, to baked goods and pancakes!
Spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, turnip greens… I always have one form or another on hand in my fridge. I like to use them sautéed as a side for dinner, lightly massaged with oil in salads, or in smoothies or muffins