We are doing a project on transforming our kitchen into Wellness Kitchen, one that resonates with our health and wellness goals; and helps us achieve them. I am posting a weekly blog which has some tried and tested simple tips which I have implemented in my kitchen. Read Week 1 blog here.
Organizing fridge is so underrated when it comes to taking measures for a healthy kitchen. Is your fridge filled with cold storage items, sauces and ketchup and all other packaged food? It’s time to clean it all up. Fridge should be well organised to make space for things that complement your health goals.
Because when you are hungry, you open the fridge door and stare at it blankly. What looks good? If your fridge is crowded with junk items and boxes of leftovers, long expired products and mushy veggies in the bottom drawer, it’s very hard that you can find something healthy to eat. So you’d rather reach out for the bag of chips in the kitchen cupboard or get a home delivery.
By failing to prepare , you are preparing to fail !
Who would not reach out to the nicely cut bell peppers and cauliflowers in a glass container? You would, right? Don’t hide those veggies in the box below, they need to be right up there where you have kept boxes of leftover delivery orders.
Let’s start with these 10 smart ways to organize fridge so that it helps us to eat healthy.
1) Clean it out to begin with. Empty expired products, smooshed veggies and anything that’s been lying in your fridge which you’ve not eaten in a while.
Throw away the below foods which are very high in sugar and fat.
-Mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce (I keep only peri-peri to zing up any stir fry)
-Packaged Salad dressings
-Packaged drinks, sodas, juices
-Processed marmalades and jams
-Processed meats, cold storage packets (I keep very minimal though for occasional use)
2) Always, always spend 15-20 minutes over the weekend to clean up the fridge. Remove the smooshed veggies, things that are past dated etc.
3) Wash, clean and cut the produce right when you buy, preferably over the weekend. I learnt this habit from my mother-in-law, whose fridge is goals when it comes to organizing. It is so convenient during the week to pull out clean veggies for cooking. This keeps the fridge clean and veggies put fresh for a longer period.
4) Buy insulated glass boxes to store all the cut veggies. Glass boxes look pretty and things look colorful and attractive in it. It’s a high chance that you’ll pick it up than an opaque plastic box.
5) Slice and dice veggies in various cuts and store it in separate boxes. I usually have 6-8 boxes in my fridge which usually have veggies cut for the entire week depending on how much we want to consume.
~Bell peppers box – 4-6 thinly sliced bell peppers kept in 3 separate heaps (green, red, yellow) in one single box.
~Cauliflower box – small flowerets of one cauliflower cleaned and washed kept in a single box.
~Broccoli box – ditto as cauliflower
~Mushroom box – mushrooms should be washed only before use. Just slice the mushrooms and store. Do not wash and store as it might get spoiled. Also, mushrooms are best kept in brown paper bag instead of air-tight containers. Try using a brown paper bag to keep them fresh for entire week.
~Zucchini box – Thinly sliced zucchini
~Cabbage box – a box full of grated cabbage
~Pomegranate box – this one is my favorite snack.
~Greens box – separate heaps of various green leaves.
You can store almost all your favorite veggies this way. Tip is to keep it well washed, cleaned and ready to use or even binge on. We use these chopped veggies for every meal including snacks. So it’s a whole lot of veggies.
Quick Snacking tip – take handful of mixed bell peppers from the box, add some peanuts (even walnuts for that extra!), add in a spoonful of lemon juice and chat masala. It tastes amazing! You can use it as a side with grilled chicken breast or sautéed shrimps.
6) Protein – Always keep enough protein supplies in your fridge. Eggs, Meats and Poultry, seafood, paneer, tofu, boiled soybean nuggets, sprouted green lentils. Always ready in my fridge and compulsorily included in every meal. Eggs, chicken, tofu, paneer, boiled soybean and sprouts; all of these take roughly 5-10 mins on the stove to cook. Talk about quick cooking!
7) Fridge should always be stocked with yogurt. Add in pomegranates or churn the yogurt with some fresh strawberries, so quick and refreshing. See how I made this Blueberry and Kiwi yogurt at home.
8) Make a rough list of items you would cook the next day. I use sticky notes to write breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner for the next day; and put it up on the fridge door.
9) Minimalism – Don’t over stuff. Too many groceries make it congested and it becomes difficult to see what is there in the fridge. If don’t see the healthy items first when you open the fridge door, chances are you won’t eat them.
10) Maintain – Consistency is the most important yet underrated factor in anything. Now that your fridge is clean and organized, keep it that way. Five minutes every day just to scan through and see what’s fresh and what’s gone bad; will help you immensely in eating clean. Re-organize to bring in healthy items in the front.
These steps have helped me tremendously in sticking to healthy eating habits. I consume less junk and packages stuff; because fresh cut veggies and marinated meats are freshly available in my fridge. Hope this inspires you to organize your fridge. Wish y’all a warm Sunday evening!