Learn how to stock your kitchen like a registered dietitian to make healthy eating a breeze! This post focuses on dietitian kitchen essentials to keep in your fridge.
Last week, I debuted this four week Dietitian Kitchen Essentials series with a post about how to stock your pantry. From olive oil, to beans, to nut butters, the list is pretty extensive! After a few weeks of shopping, you should have a fully stocked pantry with items to help make healthy eating easier.
I’m excited to share my refrigerator essentials with you today! I store a variety of foods in my fridge. Some are fresh and only last about a week, while other items, such as condiments, last for several months. Both the perishable and longer lasting items are important for making delicious, healthy meals.
By regularly stocking your fridge with healthy fruits and vegetables, the more likely you will be to eat them! The fruits and vegetables I included in this list are meant to be a guide. Please feel free to swap out produce based on your likes and dislikes, and what recipes you plan to cook each week.
Dietitian kitchen essentials: what to keep in your fridge
Salad greens: I always buy a bunch of salad greens for the week. I like to rotate which variety, but some of my favorites are romaine, baby spinach, baby kale, and arugula.
Broccoli: This is my favorite vegetable! I love broccoli as a side dish, in a stir fry, or simply roasted.
Mushrooms: I add mushrooms to dishes for a savory flavor and meaty texture. Mushrooms can be a great meat alternative if you are looking to eat a more plant based diet.
Bell pepper: Bell pepper is a versatile ingredient that is great raw or cooked. Slice a pepper and use it for dipping for a snack, or add it to stir fries, soups, or chili.
Cucumber: Cucumber is a salad staple for me. I always toss it into a big green salad, and sometimes make refreshing cucumber salads.
Baby carrots: When I need a quick, refreshing snack, I often choose baby carrots and hummus. No slicing or peeling required!
Note: I store the following vegetables at room temperature, not actually in the fridge.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes might be my favorite starchy carbohydrate. I love to make sweet potato fries, throw them in a side dish with other vegetables, or make stuffed sweet potatoes for a quick and easy meal.
Onion: Onions add a base of flavor to so many meals. Use onion to make your own sauces, homemade soups, or make quick pickled onions to top sandwiches and salads.
Garlic: Because garlic makes everything better! Store a few bulbs of garlic in a cool, dry place to add to stir fries, roasted vegetables, and homemade dips and dressings.
In season fruit: I prefer to buy fruit when it is in season for maximum flavor and nutrition. In the fall and winter, I’ll stock up on apples, pears, persimmons, citrus, and pomegranates. When it warms up, I love to buy fresh berries.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is such a versatile ingredient that can really take a dish to the next level. I use lemon juice when cooking fish, in salad dressings, and with roasted vegetables.
Lime: If you love Mexican flavors, lime should also be a staple in addition to lemons. You can easily make delicious sauces, dresses, and guacamole with a few ingredients!
Avocado: One of my favorite healthy fat sources, avocado has so many unique uses in recipes. I like to eat it on toast, as guacamole, whipped up into a sauce, and simply sliced onto a salad or grain bowl.
Note: I store bananas at room temperature, not actually in the fridge.
Bananas: We buy a bunch of bananas every week to add to oatmeal bowls, smoothies, and sometimes banana bread, when the mood strikes. I also love a banana with nut butter as a snack.
Dairy and Dairy Alternatives
Plain yogurt: I eat plain Greek style yogurt or skyr almost every day. I often have a yogurt bowl with fruit and granola/cereal for a quick breakfast, and use it as a substitute for sour cream in recipes. I also love to keep siggi’s flavored skyr cups on hand, because they are lower in sugar than other flavored yogurts. A siggi’s cup + a spoonful of nut butter is one of my favorite snacks!
Unsweetened almond milk: I always add steamed almond milk to my matcha in the morning. Ben uses it for smoothies, and we use it as a milk alternative in recipes.
Cheese: I typically have 2-3 types of cheese in my fridge. Usually, I have a soft or crumbled cheese (feta or goat), in addition to a harder cheese like parmesan. I add cheese to salads and pasta dishes.
Ketchup: I am a ketchup lover! I love to dip roasted potatoes or sweet potato fries in ketchup.
Dijon mustard: I definitely prefer mustard over mayonnaise, and will use dijon mustard in a variety of recipes. I always add it as an emulsifier in salad dressing.
Hot sauce: Ben and his family love spicy foods, so we always have a few varieties of hot sauce on hand. Add it to eggs, stir fries, or sauces to make them spicier.
Sambal Oelek: This is an Indonesian chili sauce that adds a lot of heat and flavor to any dish. I use it when I make Asian-inspired dishes, like peanut sauce.
Tomato paste: This is not necessarily a condiment, but nevertheless, I always have a tube of it in the fridge. I add it to tomato based recipes, like chili or soup.
Eggs: As a pescatarian, I rely on eggs as a main source of protein. I like to buy pasture-raised whenever possible. Eggs are an easy and inexpensive way to add protein to meals – you can add hard boiled eggs to a salad, fried on avocado toast, or in a frittata.
Tofu: I usually bake crispy tofu once a week for a stir fry. I like to toss leftover baked tofu on a salad.
Jam: We usually have a jar of jam or jelly in the fridge. We like to make PB&J sandwiches for hiking or the beach, and Ben’s favorite snack is a rice cake with almond butter and jam.
Hummus: Hummus is a great staple to use for healthy snacks. It’s also a good emulsifier for homemade salad dressings.
Fermented foods: I like to keep a jar of fermented food in the fridge because they provide gut-healthy probiotics. We love kimchi and sauerkraut!
Olives: If you love Mediterranean food, keep a jar of Kalamata olives in your fridge. I add them to Greek salads, grain bowls, homemade pizza, and baked fish.
Nutritional Yeast: This cheesy-flavored food is high in vitamin B12 and protein. It is a great addition to vegan meals to add a cheesy, savory flavor.
Flax meal: Ground flax is a good source of fiber, omega 3’s, antioxidants, and plant-based protein. I use it for vegan baking as an egg replacement, and add it to smoothies and stirred into oatmeal.
Chocolate: Being the sweet tooth that I am, I always have a few chocolate bars open. I store them in the fridge because they last longer when opened.
Be sure to check back next week for the third post in the Dietitian Kitchen Essentials series. Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!