What is in your refrigerator?

(Übersetzt ins Deutsche unter Blog-D)

If you buy a new refrigerator they get fancier and pricier as you go down the aisle. Lots of them are with build in WiFi and are so called “Smart Refrigerators”.

It is not very likely that you need a smart cooler. My mother’s refrigerator is half the size of mine. She stores only what is necessary in there and the rest is in cool stock room in the cellar. Not all of us have a cool storage room, but that does not justify to stuff your fridge with unnecessary food- because really, that means that your are stuffing yourself.

So, if you open your fridge, do you see things you are not eating or using on a weekly basis? Some stuff my clients love to collect are: salad dressings, sauces of all kinds, glazes, spreads and dips. Used once and then they sit in there way past their expiration date! Question what you are purchasing. The supermarket I shop in is huge, but in my opinion 95% of the groceries in there are no good.

Just like with your wardrobe, you should try to go through it. Empty it completely and clean the shelves and storage areas. Only put back in, what you are going to eat in the next week or so- ketchup, mayonnaise and yeast are some of my exceptions. Do you really want to feed your body anything that lasts more than a couple of weeks in your refrigerator? I even go to the next step and don’t store anything that has more than five ingredients.

Many items in your fridge can be easily made by yourself with fresh ingredients. The best examples are dressings. Here is a simple recipe that is done in minutes, even by the kids:

Fresh pressed lemon juice, olive oil and mineral salt. You can fancy this mixture by using an oil of your choice (sesame, hemp, sunflower…), sweeten it with honey, blend with an avocado or yogurt and add some fresh herbs or spices of your taste. Depending on who makes the dressing in our family, decides on its flavor and ingredients.

Same with dipping or simmer sauces. They can easily be done by using what is in your storage. Use fresh herbs, onion, garlic, spices and mix with sour creme or yogurt, or simmer in coconut milk or an oil of your choice.

The freezer compartment is another place that turns quickly into a black hole. Again, only store what you will eat eventually and try to make it a healthy place as well. Take a moment to empty your freezer and clean it out, putting in only what is eatable. The USDA recommends tossing uncooked roasts, steaks, and chops after a year in the freezer, and uncooked ground meat after just 4 months. Meanwhile, frozen cooked meat should go after 3 months.

When you come to our house on a Wednesday, it is very likely that the fridge is pretty much empty. We go grocery shopping on Thursdays and try to use the food all up. Very seldom do we go out to lunch or dinner. We cook almost every evening. Pizza, pasta, fish, meat are secondary to fruit, veggies and legumes. Our kids open the fridge often and say: ” there’s nothing to eat”. Well, I know there is, it just needs a little preparation.

You should involve your family to go grocery shopping and prepare meals and by the way, who says it is a women’s job? My husband was overwhelmed with just making breakfast; now he has his specialties that he prepares- not sure if he really likes it, but this is besides the point. Same with the kids. Whoever cooks, decides on what and doesn’t have to participate in the clean up later.

Grocery shopping should be done with a list to avoid buying things double or without a purpose.

I believe that an organized refrigerator, stocked with healthy food, is an important step in creating a simpler and better way of living.

In my line of work, I see the kitchen as the heart of the home”. -FRITZ Space Maker

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