2018 Life Logs, Day 30—Staple Foods in Your Fridge
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Weather: Cold with Snow; High 33, Low 18 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Staple foods are the foods that make up the bulk of your diet. I think we have all heard that eating less meat and more vegetables is the healthy way to go, and this morning I got an email listing the healthy stable foods a plant-based cooking instructor keeps in her fridge. Whether or not you eat a 100% plant-based diet, it is important to stock your fridge with healthy foods. I was very pleased that when I read the list, opened my fridge, and found 12 of the 16 things listed were in there. For tonight’s blog, I’m going to list the 16 items with some of the good information about each. If you are interested in reading the full article, you can go here: https://foodrevolution.org/blog/healthy-staple-foods-fridge/?utm_campaign=frn18&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-automated&utm_content=3467&utm_term=existing-email-list&email=judithmhandley%40gmail.com&firstname=Judy&lastname=Handley
Edited version of the article:
Consider Keeping These Healthy Staple Foods in Your Fridge
Every Sunday, I sit down and plan out the week’s meals along with a corresponding grocery list. I make sure my fridge is always stocked with these basics.
1) Shredded Red (Purple) Cabbage — The Most Affordable Health Food
This affordable cruciferous vegetable is the biggest nutrient bang for your buck.
Red cabbage contains 47,594 antioxidant units per dollar compared to goji berries at 10,442 and cranberries at 10,662. It keeps for several weeks in the fridge. And it adds a pop of color and crunch to salads, bowls, and stir-fries. The antioxidant powers of red cabbage prove that you don’t have to spend a lot to reap the benefits of a plant-powered diet.
2) Broccoli – The Original Green Superfood Is Still One of the Best
Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, contain a phytonutrient called sulforaphane, which has been found to inhibit cancer cell proliferation.
3) Cut-Up Veggies — The Healthiest Snack for Kids and Grown-ups
It’s important to eat the rainbow. And colorful veggies, like carrots, celery, cucumbers, and red peppers, are delicious snacks. But, unless you cut them up right away at the beginning of the week, you may accidentally let them rot in the vegetable drawer. Here’s what you can do: Set aside time on Sunday night or another time early in the week to prep some of your vegetables for the week. If you can, enlist the help of family members. And then, put the veggies in convenient individual containers at the front of the fridge. But try to choose organic veggies, particularly celery and red peppers, if possible because they are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides.
4) Pre-Washed Baby Greens – An Incredibly Healthy and Convenient Food
Dark leafy greens are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. But, sadly, most people hardly eat any of these nutrient-rich powerhouses. Pre-washed boxed or bagged baby greens can get pricey, but they are tender, delicious, and perhaps most important – convenient. (Even though they are pre-washed, it’s still ideal to wash these greens yourself. But, if taking the time and effort to wash your greens will prevent you from eating them, it’s probably better to just go ahead and eat them than to miss out. I love having a big arugula salad for lunch most days. Arugula has a bold, peppery taste and can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
I also add baby kale to smoothies to boost the immune system. And I add spinach to sandwiches, wraps, soups, and smoothies.
5) Hummus — The Tastiest and Healthiest Protein-Powered Dip
Whether store-bought or homemade, hummus is a flavorful bean-based dip. Hummus is perfect for dipping your cut-up veggies. It’s also a protein-packed spread for veggie wraps and sandwiches.
6) Salsa — A Ready-Made Sauce that Makes a Meal
Fresh salsa is the perfect meal maker for tacos, burritos, salads, and bowls. I always have a container of my favorite mild salsa in the fridge. This way I can have a Mexican night any night!
7) Mirepoix — A Convenient Way to Start Soup
This mix of diced onion, celery, and carrot is the perfect base for a variety of soups. Having it available in your fridge is a great way to encourage you to make a batch of healthy vegetable or bean-based soup each week.
8) Berries — The Healthiest Fruit
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in phytochemicals. And they are associated with a lower risk of oxidative stress, inflammation, dementia, and certain forms of cancer. If possible, it’s best to buy organic berries, especially strawberries because they are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides.
9) Organic Tofu and/or Tempeh — Clean Plant Protein
It’s not essential to eat soy foods if you follow a healthy diet. But for many people, tofu and tempeh can provide a delicious source of clean protein.
10) Miso — Rich Complexity for Soups and Sauces
This salty, fermented soybean paste provides a flavorful base for soups and it adds aged complexity to vegan cheese sauces, like fondue. Miso also has the added advantage of delivering a modest helping of probiotics, which are beneficial to gut health.
11) Apples — Eat One Every Day!
This fiber-rich fruit really might keep the doctor away! Apples have been found to help with weight loss and fight several forms of cancer. When buying apples, choose organic if possible because apples are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides.
12) Avocados — A Smooth and Creamy Delight Like No Other
This whole food source of plant-based fat has been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Avocados are delicious in salads, guacamole, and avocado toast. And some people simply eat them straight with a spoon — sprinkled with a dash of lemon juice, salt, and pepper!
13) Homemade Vegan Parmesan — Enjoy this Guilt-Free Condiment Every Day
This super-easy, 3-ingredient, nut-based “cheesy” sprinkle is perfect on pasta, salads, and soups. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts and has B vitamins from the nutritional yeast.
Make this often and store in a jar in the fridge for convenience and freshness. Use it anywhere you might use traditional dairy-based parmesan.
14) Pre-Cooked Beets — Sweet, Heart-Healthy Gems to Add to Salads
Beets are one of the few plant foods that are high in lysine, yet low in arginine, making them an excellent addition to the diet for cold sore sufferers. Beets are also rich in dietary nitrates, and they may help lower blood pressure by improving the ability of our arteries to relax and dilate. My latest favorite lunch is an arugula salad topped with 3 sliced precooked beets, ½ of an avocado, ½ can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed,) a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a grinding of freshly ground black pepper. It makes me feel good all afternoon.
15) Ground Flax Meal — Nutrient-Rich Seeds for Healthy Brains
This omega-3-rich seed is an essential add-in for your morning oatmeal or smoothie. The omega-3 fatty acids found in flax are critical for brain health. Storing ground flax meal in a jar in the fridge helps keeps it fresh.
16) Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Wraps — Wrap Up Lunch… In A Wrap!
Keeping wraps (large, whole-grain tortillas) in the fridge makes it easy to throw together a quick lunch. Simply spread on some hummus, stack with baby spinach or other greens, shredded carrots, red cabbage, sliced red pepper, cucumber, sliced avocado, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.
What about you? What healthy staple foods do you keep in your fridge?
End of article.
I am now going to switch from healthy food to unhealthy politics. It is almost time for the State of the Union address, so I shall sign off for tonight and watch the “show.”