Healthy food does not need to taste like “health food”, if you know what I mean. I think healthy food gets a bad rap. Healthy food doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it. Oh, but it is. Discovering healthy, yet delicious, food begins by stocking your refrigerator with healthy food staples. Staples are simply those items that should be in your refrigerator or freezer at all times. Below is our Healthy Food Guide to help stock your refrigerator with healthy food staples. Mix ‘em and match ‘em and enjoy!
- Greek Yogurt: for breakfast, snacks, or cooking. Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium and can be blended with fruits, grains or herbs for many flavors and health benefits. Greek Yogurt gets the most versatile healthy food award.
- Apples: Apples are full of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. An apple a day…..you know the saying. Keep your fridge stocked with a variety of these healthy treats. Combine them with nut butters or low-fat cheese for a sumptuous snack.
- Whole Grain Cereals, pastas and breads: Whole grains are a very important part of the healthy food guide. They provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whole grains are also slow to digest which keeps your blood sugar stable and hunger pangs to a minimum.
- Parmesan Cheese: Yes, cheese is on the healthy food guide Parmesan cheese is lower in fat than most cheeses and higher in calcium. Just a bit grated over your veggies adds a rich and savory flavor.
- Seltzer Water: Craving a bit of the bubbly? Seltzer is a fantastic healthy alternative to any bubbly drink. Add a little lemon or lime for a refreshing twist of flavor.
- Walnuts and Almonds: Protein, healthy fats, fiber…..nuts are a delicious healthy food. Sprinkle them over whole grain pasta or salads. You can also snack on them raw for some serious fiber and healthy fats. Buy them as nut butters for a special treat.
- Eggs: Eggs are low in calories and high in protein. Mix one egg with two tablespoons of milk. Add chopped tomato and basil. Salt and pepper to taste. You have just made yourself a meal for under 150 calories. What a powerful way to start the morning. Slice them on your salad or top a slice of whole grain bread with one perfect egg. Eggs are a lovely healthy food.
- Carrots: Carrots are fun for dipping. Dip carrots in hummus or Greek yogurt mixed with a little curry. A heavenly healthful snack. Nothing adds more beauty to a dish than thinly sliced carrot curls. Filled with nutrients and fiber carrots are a healthy food guide must.
- Celery: Celery is a great source of fiber and is fun to dress up. Fill a celery stick with almond butter or greek yogurt mixed with fresh herbs. Slice these healthy stalks into soup or stir fry for added flavor and nutrition.
- Garbanzo beans: Garbanzos are a healthy food protein powerhouse. Hummus is usually made with garbanzo beans. Hummus is so easy to make and you can add basil, tomatoes, onions to it for added nutrition. I eat it with my carrots or on a slice of whole grain bread almost every day. Garbanzos’ are a perfect addition to a salad or soup, as well. Cook them with turmeric and curry for an exotic side dish. My refrigerator is never without garbanzo beans.
- Garlic: Us a little or use a lot. The point is you can use it on almost anything. It is good for your heart and it is good for the soul.
- Basil and Cilantro: Herbs pack a flavor punch to any meal. Use them in salads, soups, on top of fruit or with your favorite meat or vegetable. Process them together with garlic and a little olive oil, salt and pepper for a favorite pesto spread. Toss your whole grain pasta with it for a flavorful side dish or healthy lunch.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: EV Olive oil might just be my first love. Olive oil is a healthy fat which lowers bad cholesterol and heart disease risk. Find out more about fat facts here. Use olive oil for frying, baking, cooking, salad dressings and dips. Once you discover its flavorful health benefits, it truly will become a healthy food staple in your home.
When making a snack for yourself or your children, combine food groups. For example pair a vegetable with dairy such as carrots filled with Greek yogurt dip. Other great choices include, carrots and hummus, celery filled with a nut butter, apples and almond butter (to die for), whole grain bread spread with hummus and topped with tomato and basil. Use the myplate.gov website to help you combine and plan for healthy meals and snacks. You can find more information about the MyPlate program here.
What is in your fridge?
Now you know what is in my fridge. What healthy food staples are in yours?