Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What's in your fridge?

If you are serious about healthy eating, you need to clear out the fridge, wipe down the shelves and sort through everything – throwing out anything which has wilted or expired, or is no longer recognizable as food - before repacking.
Every fridge should contain:
Eggs: Eggs can make a quick, complete meal. I only ever buy eggs by the half dozen, and I keep them on the top shelf of the fridge – rather than in the door – because the temperature is more consistent. Continual temperature fluctuations (opening and closing the door seven or more times a day) will eventually weaken the shells and make them more susceptible to cracking. Cracks in the shell allow bacteria access.

Yoghurt: I buy a LOT of yoghurt – up to five litres a week! Wipe the edge of the container when you have finished serving, it helps keep the container closed properly and prevents residue drying and flaking next time you take it out. I buy fat-free yoghurt with live cultures, and at least one is natural (unflavoured) to use in cooking in place of cream.

Cottage cheese/fromage frais/crème frais/feta cheese: again, I buy fat-free or reduced fat products. Again, wipe the container lip before re-sealing and putting back in the fridge. I keep hard cheeses, like parmesan and low-fat mozzarella, and butter in the cheese compartment of the door.

Vegetables: mixed lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, courgettes, aubergines, sugar-snap peas/mange-tout, baby corn, spinach, rocket, watercress, broccoli, etc.

Fruits: apples, pears, oranges, berries, grapes, papino, melon, mango, etc.

Milk – fat-free (skimmed) or low-fat (2%).
Fruit juices: unsweetened pure fruit juices.

Inevitably, you will have a shelf devoted to pickles, pastes and prepared herbs such as pickled garlic, gherkins, curry paste, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped coriander, mustard, low-fat mayo, low-oil salad dressings, etc. Keep these bottles and jars clean.

You probably have a ‘chiller’ drawer, too. Use this to store animal proteins you will use within the next three days – fresh chicken, fish or meat – or cold/cooked meats. However, do NOT put cooked and raw meats in the same space because of the potential for contamination. And, of course, this drawer must be kept scrupulously clean.

No comments: