10 Refrigerator Staples for the Healthy Foodie

  1. Eggs – My favorite thing in the fridge. There are so many options. Try to get your eggs from more reputable stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or your local health food store…even better: your local farmer.

  2. Organic Baby Spinach – On average, I go through a pound of this a week. You can add spinach to so many things without even tasting it (not that I mind the taste!) Its great in eggs, salads, rice/quinoa/pasta dishes, as garnish, in smoothies…wherever really. Its an easy way to get your greens. I add it to everything.

  3. Organic English Cucumbers – Cucumbers are hands down one of my favorite foods. English cucumbers taste better and are easier to prepare than traditional thick-skinned cucumbers. You do not need to peel them as the skin is very thin and pleasant tasting. They are great to freeze for smoothies, or use raw in salads, as a snack, pickle, or as crisp garnish in other dishes.

  4. Dairy-Free Milk – Homemade or not, dairy-free milk is usually leaps and bounds better than traditional pasteurized cows milk. Cows milk is essentially indigestible to humans…I know its hard to accept because its so good! Better choices are almond, flax, hemp, coconut, and brown rice. As usual, homemade is best, but you can find acceptable organic store-bought versions out there. I do not recommend soy milk, as it is highly processed, 80%+ chance its genetically modified, and heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides. It also is known to have hormonal effects that can be harmful. The best brands tend to be from your local health food/juice bars, Whole Foods Market 365 Organic, Karma, Tempt, Omega, SoDelicious, etc. The less additives the better. Almond milk is super easy to make and I will post a blog about that eventually and link it here!

  5. Brown Rice Tortillas – I die for these. Better for you than corn and wheat, and they crisp up into great flatbreads, chips or quesadillas. I find Food for Life brands to be the best ones, though good backups are Trader Joes, or Engine 2 brand. Just watch for long lists of weird additives. The best ones only have a few ingredients.

  6. Organic Tamari Soy-Sauce – Technically this can be a pantry item, but I chill mine. Like I said above, I do not recommend soy often. The only soy I encourage people to eat are safer, organic, fermented versions like miso and tamari. Traditional soy sauce contains wheat which I find to be a filler ingredient (therefore pointless). Tamari is wheat/gluten-free soy sauce and tastes almost exactly the same. It is imperative you buy soy products ORGANIC for the reasons above (#4). Most grocery stores now carry San-J Organic Tamari and they also sell a reduced-sodium version if that suits you. There are small-batch mini brands popping up all over which are also great to try. Tamari is great as part of a dressing, in marinades, soups, or as a seasoning.

  7. Organic Living Butter Lettuce – Obviously great for salads and sandwich lettuce, but I really like these for refreshing crisp lettuce wraps/cups when I don’t feel like eating a heavier piece of bread. Good stuffed with chicken/tuna salad, beans, leftover fish, seared mushrooms, veggie patties, taco fixings, and so many other things. I like Happy Living Butter Lettuce but there are many more brands popping up in markets. Bonus: because the lettuce is still semi-alive, it stays fresh longer!

  8. Goat/Sheep based cheeses – If you eat cheese (its my vice), I highly recommend primarily sticking to goat and sheep based varieties. Many people (including myself) have a much better time digesting these alternatives rather than cows milk. Its not just chevre anymore. I’ve found goat cheddar, smoked goat cheddar, goat mozzarella, goat gouda, goat feta plus typical sheep-based cheeses like manchego and pecorino. The better quality brands are found at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, health food stores and your local farmers markets.

  9. Gluten-Free or Sprouted Grain Bread – In the earlier days of the GF-craze, bread was hard to come by. This lead to a very distorted view of the lifestyle, making the masses think this meant a low to no-carb diet when its quite the opposite. Years later, there are hundreds of alternative products on the market not to mention full businesses dedicated to this way of living. That said, it can be tricky to comb for the best versions since many products have unhealthy fillers. The best GF bread I have found in most grocery stores is Canyon Bakehouse 7-grain. It isn’t perfect, but its damn near it. The overall texture, and ingredients are best in this one. Besides that, I find good versions at local bakeries, for instance a Buckwheat bread (buckwheat is not wheat) at my local Russian bakery. The best traditional bread you can get in most grocery stores is Ezikiel bread products. Made from sprouted grains, they are super easy to digest even for some people with gluten sensitivities.

  10. Coconut Water – Natures Gatorade. Great for hydration, in smoothies, and homemade frozen desserts. If its affordable for you, the best brands are Harmless Harvest (raw AND organic), Taste Nirvana (steam sterilized, and glass option), or better yet, fresh from a young coconut! The real deal is becoming easier to find in markets now. Food Babe has a pretty good article on most types. Ideally, coconut water should be both raw as possible, and organic.

More pantry, freezer, and other kitchen staples to come!

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