Spring Fridge #StockedAndStoked
I’m back with a spring edition of #stockedandstoked :) it was really fun sharing my fridge with you last fall, so I think we will make this a little series! Spring is looking vibrant and fresh as always. It’s getting me really excited for summer and all of the water-dense fruit and veggies to come. I know packing your fridge full of plants can be a little intimidating, but I hope my last post on produce prep helped in a way - and know that it’s always okay (and smart) to start slow and find your rhythm.
We definitely didn’t have this many fruits and vegetables on hand when we first went plant based seven years ago, it’s been a steady crawl upwards as I’ve learned how we can store and eat them all in a week or two. So start small (if this applies to you) and know that any step closer you get to eating more plants is something worth patting yourself on the back for. Your mind, body, family, and planet is thankful for you :).
Here is a breakdown of how I think through what I’d like to have on hand (a more encompassing approach), and then what is on each shelf in the photo above (a snapshot of what was prepped after our farmers market day). I hope you find this inspiring and useful in some way! And whether you’re eating one or a dozen spring plants this week, I hope you enjoy them wholeheartedly.
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 usually some sort of cooked beans and grains in our fridge.
Next is what greens will grace our meals for the week. It’s springtime so we have plenty of crisp salad greens such as romaine and red leaf lettuce, fresh spinach for smoothies and pestos, herbs such as basil and cilantro, lots of broccoli, always kale, and some sprouts for sandwiches and lunch bowls 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 means red cabbage and blueberries; green is snap/snow peas, scallions, asparagus, cucumbers, 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 carrots and sweet potatoes; and red is radishes and a few lingering apples (plus occasional tomato sauce).
We always include healthy, whole food fats in each of our meals to help with satiation and vitamin absorption - not to mention, they are delicious! A few favorites of ours currently are avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, nut butters, and tahini. I have a variety of nuts and seeds in jars to rotate through when making a batch muesli, nut milk, or snack balls too.
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, fresh herbs, and a pantry stocked with spices, fresh garlic, and onions. We really love our dijon mustard and coconut aminos, too.
Radishes sliced and soaking, snap peas, scallions, asparagus, blueberries, broccoli and alfalfa sprouts, a few snack balls, and some dried fruit and nuts that wouldn’t fit in the door shelves (we live in a warm and humid environment most of the year, so cold storage is best for these).
Salad greens, broccoli, broccolini, fresh herbs, kale, and baked sweet potato wedges. (See my spring produce prep post here.)
Tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and homemade hazelnut milk. A few sauces, here is a basil avocado pesto and an herby tahini dressing. Cold brew coffee, peppermint green tea, and a few containers of lentils I cooked up for some recipes during the week.
In the crisper: ginger root, red cabbage, a bag of spinach and basil, and a container each of sliced cucumbers and carrots.
Lemons and a few red apples. When our countertop avocados ripen, we pop them in here too so that they will last all week. (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, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Condiments: olives, mustards, tamari, and coconut aminos. Others: homemade nut butters, jars of tahini, and sometimes a homemade jam (currently strawberry).
Freezer (not pictured):
A tray of ripe, pealed bananas. Bags of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mango, and local sourdough bread, sliced.