Foods You Should Keep in the Fridge
Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.
Sure, you know yogurt, fresh fruits, vegetables and high-fiber crackers should all be kept in any well-stocked refrigerator, but what about these 10 healthy and tasty tidbits?
1. Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese
You like it in lasagna. This smooth, creamy, spread able cheese is a great source of protein and calcium (all dairy foods are) and it can be used in so many ways. Try this: toast up a piece of whole grain bread. Cover the warm toast with a thin layer of cold ricotta. Add a slice of fresh tomato and salt and pepper to taste. Easy, delicious and nutritious.
2. Apple Cider or Unfiltered Apple Juice
Much better than soda, apple cider gives you some vitamins, fiber and a shot of fructose - natural sugar for a natural boost mid-afternoon. Also satisfies the sweet tooth.
3. Homemade Iced Tea
How hard is it to steep a teabag? Forget the bottled stuff, make your own. Go with green tea if you're looking for a caffeine jolt (high in anti-oxidants), your favorite herbals for a non-jolt experience and a mixture for a mini-jolt. Not much in the way of nutrients, but a nice glass of iced tea is good for the spirit - anytime.
4. Hot Sauce - The Hotter The Better
Put it on eggs, any cheese dish - put it on your pancakes, it doesn't matter. Hot sauces, made with peppers of varying degrees of heat, contain capsaicin, now thought to be an anti-cancer agent. And it makes almost any food taste better.
Get 'em pureed, diced, crushed, minced - it's your choice, but keep a can in the fridge. Then try this. Boil up some linguini, or some other favorite pasta. Drain well. Lightly coat the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil then add the cold can of tomatoes to the top of the pasta. The combination of warm pasta and cold tomatoes is a summertime or any time treat. You can add canned tomatoes to soups, rice dishes, all kinds of things. And, you get some quality carbs, some vitamins and fiber.
6. Fresh Olives
Go to the olive bar at the supermarket and load up. Olive oil is thought to lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol. It's food, not fat! And they pack a lot of flavor into every bite so you can get by on a few and still feel satisfied. (Just don't overdo it; they are a little high on the calories.)
7. Veggie Burgers
Okay, today's veggie burgers have come a long way since the early attempts that produced an over-spiced, gelatinous hockey puck. Today, veggie burgers (loaded with soy protein) come in lots of flavors, they cook up in the microwave for convenience and you can get your hamburger fix without eating any animal fat. Add a slice of onion and a dab of low-fat mayo. You'll swear you're at a picnic.
8. Ice Milk
We'll slip this one in the middle. Look, we aren't going to be diet conscious all of the time, so when the urge for a snack drives you to the freezer, go for the ice milk rather than the high butterfat, premium ice cream brands. You'll cut out half the calories, grab a little calcium and you won't hate yourself the next morning.
Always. Consider it a staple, like milk and bread. Salsa has surpassed the all-American ketchup as the top selling condiment in the US. Try to get it fresh, but the jarred stuff's good, too. It's a salad in a jar so put it on everything - from veggie burgers to hard-boiled eggs. Speaking of which…
10. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are no longer the Darth Vader of foods, and in fact, nutritionists are now telling us to eat our eggs - at least a few each week. Great. So boil up a half-dozen and use them for a quick, healthy snack or even a quick meal. Try them with a little salsa on top. To die for.