Fall Fridge #StockedAndStoked
I’m giving you a peak inside of my fridge today, after lots of wonderful questions from you via social for tips on stocking a more whole-foods centered fridge. I love sharing about these sorts of things, because it shows how your choice of food is really more than a ‘diet’ - it’s a lifestyle. And by filling your shelves with colorful fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, etc - you’re preparing yourself for meals that will provide nourishment and energy. Doing this crowds out more processed foods items, too. I always say we will eat what we have, so if I don’t want to eat it (i.e. if it won’t nourish my body and mind) then it isn’t in our house.
I was thinking back to when I first went vegan almost seven years ago, and if I had seen a fridge that looks like mine today I would have felt incredibly overwhelmed (I hope to share more on my experience going vegan sometime too). I think it’s important to recognize where you are at, and where others who you are gaining inspiration from are at as well. I can tell you from these past seven years of learning how to create a lifestyle around these life giving foods - learning the ebbs and flows of the seasons and preservation techniques - the journey is what’s wonderful. Don’t feel like you need to skip a few steps and jump to where someone else is in order to have ‘arrived’ and be ‘doing it right’. There is no ‘arrived’, there is only the way you are learning and growing today - which is perfect for this present moment. Take joy in every step.
Although the items in our fridge can change a bit weekly, and definitely a lot monthly/seasonally, I wanted to show a snapshot of our fridge this fall. More importantly I’ll share the methodology behind how I choose what to prep and purchase. Hopefully this is helpful, inspiring, or fun in some way. I know peaking in other people’s cupboards and refrigerators always gets me excited too ;). As always, this is what we do and is by no means what you need to do - there are so many ways to approach a plant-centered, whole foods lifestyle. Choose foods that you love.
Okay, on to the goods!
The first thing I think through before prepping ingredients or assembling a meal, is what will deliver the satiation and calories we need. Most plant foods are very low in calories, so you have to eat more of them to meet your daily needs and to stay full. There are some, however, that carry larger quantities of energy than others. These foods serve as the base for all of our meals. Such as bananas, potatoes, whole grains, and beans/legumes. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, slow digesting carbs, and fiber. We love them!
You will always find bunches of bananas ripening on our counters with a few dozen in the freezer, a bucket of potatoes at the base of our pantry, and pre-soaked/cooked beans and grains in our fridge.
Next is what greens will grace our meals for the week. It’s fall, so we are focusing on the sturdier greens for cooking, such as kale, chard, and broccoli greens. There is always a jar of broccoli sprouts too for an extra punch of nutrition. Broccoli florets, and their stems, are a fall favorite that we know we can include in a variety of recipes too.
Eat the rainbow:
Now we get to the rest of the fruits and vegetables which build up the bulk of our meals. I always think in terms of the rainbow, and select one or two from each color category that are in season. Right now purple mean red cabbage, beets, and frozen blueberries; green is green beans, celery, and the mineral-rich greens mentioned above; yellow is the bananas and mango in our freezer (not seasonal, but staples for us still); orange is kombocha squash/pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes; and red is apples (plus the jarred tomato sauce in the pantry).
Lastly I think about how I’m going to impart extra flavor into our meals. Every ingredient is an opportunity to layer in more nutrition. So we focus on fresh citrus juices from lemons and limes, mineral-rich nut and seed butters such as tahini (and sauces such as cashew cream), fresh herbs, and a pantry stocked with spices, fresh garlic, and onions. So much could be listed here, but you get the gist.
Tea for digestion (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds), tea for my nerves (lemon balm), tea for my hormones and iron (raspberry leaf and nettle). Homemade plant milk, made with a mixture of almonds and brazil nuts. Fresh dates and dried mulberries (because we live in a warm and humid climate I keep them cool). Carrots and celery, washed, trimmed, and stored in a bucket of fresh water. Broccoli sprouts, and a jar of washed and trimmed beets (for steaming or juicing). (Plus a little red cabbage that wouldn’t fit in my crisper.)
Wrapped greens and herbs. Chopped broccoli florets, stems, and leaves. Prepped kombocha squash. Lots of roasted sweet potato wedges. (See how I prep most of these in my last post.)
Homemade jar of hummus. Leftover tempeh. Freshly cooked navy beans, french green lentils, quinoa, and a brown basmati and wild rice mix. Plus a huge jar of tahini. (We’ve been buying this brand in bulk.)
In the crisper: green beans, brussels sprouts, brown bagged mushrooms, more red cabbage, and a few cucumbers.
Lemons, limes, green apples, and red apples. (Again, because we live in a warm and humid climate, I store these cool.)
Fridge door (not pictured):
Jars of raw nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Condiments: mustards, tamari, and coconut aminos. Others: olives, capers, and tomato paste.
Freezer (not pictured):
Ripe, pealed bananas. Bags of blueberries and mango. Lots of local sourdough bread, sliced.
And that is a snapshot of our fridge lately! Did you enjoy this kind of post/should I do one each season? If you’d like, comment below and let me know. I’ve been using the hashtag #stockedandstoked on Instagram for a while now when I share my fridge with you, and I’m thinking we should open this up and contribute as a community, yeah? Tag your stocked fridge photos with the hashtag to share, inspire, and connect us together as we try to prep our fridges with more plants :).