Be honest, if you were to open your fridge right now and take a look inside, what are you likely to find? We bet it’s not the healthy fridge it could be!
For some of us, a quick glance into our fridge will reveal leftover takeaway cartons, a half-empty tub of spread, a lonely block of cheese, and something that vaguely resembles a head of lettuce, strewn across the shelves in no apparent order.
Well, at The Leisure Lounge we’ve done some *ahem* research, and we’ve got some top tips on how to help you keep your fridge contents fresh, and as healthy as possible.
When it comes to keeping a healthy fridge with food as fresh as possible, it’s all about how you arrange your fridge contents.
Typically, the warmest part of your fridge is the door, so this is an ideal place for condiments and sauces, as well as drinks, while the top and middle sections of your fridge are perfect for storing eggs, dairy, cooked meats and leftovers – basically anything that’s ready to eat straight away.
The bottom of your fridge is the coldest, so this is where you should keep your raw meat and fish. Storing meat lower down also makes it less likely for any juices to drip onto other food.
Finally, most fridges have a dedicated drawer for fruit and veg, where the temperature and humidity are just right for keeping delicate items fresh.
There’s often some confusion around putting certain types of food in the fridge, so let’s clear things up once and for all:
Tomatoes – putting tomatoes in the fridge stops the ripening process and robs them of their flavour, so keep them out.
Onions – never put onions in the fridge: not only do they stink, they also become mushy or mouldy very quickly.
Potatoes – the cold air in the fridge will break down the starch in potatoes and leave them sweet or gritty – it’s best to keep these somewhere dark and dry.
Bananas – putting bananas in the fridge when they’re ripe can cause ‘fridge burn’ which will turn the skin black very quickly.
Garlic – it’s best to keep garlic out of the fridge, as otherwise it tends to sprout and go off pretty quickly.
So now you know how to fill your fridge, it’s time to decide what you want to fill it with! With healthy living at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we’ve come up with some fresh food fixes that are essential to any healthy fridge…
Veggies – let’s start with the obvious, vegetables are the perfect choice to stock in your fridge. The darker and greener the better, with broccoli, kale and spinach topping the list – they’re versatile and packed with nutrients.
Fruit and berries – another obvious choice, go for dark and colourful fruits like blueberries (a ‘superfood’ in their own right) which are crammed with vitamins.
Meats – lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken breasts or lean ground meats are easy to prepare, incredibly versatile proteins that can be used in a variety of dishes. Turkey is a great healthy alternative too!
(Healthy) snacks – when it comes to healthy snacking, nothing beats some raw chopped veggies and some hummus for dipping. Try carrot, cucumber, celery and pepper, and with a range of hummus flavours out there, you’re sure to find the perfect after-work treat.
Fruit juice – full of flavour and vitamins, just watch out for the sugar level, and avoid anything from concentrate.
Natural nut butter – forget peanut butter, there’s a whole host of nut butters out there! Why not try almond or cashew butter? Natural nut butters are best kept in the fridge and can be enjoyed as a tasty treat.
So, how do you fill your fridge?