Whenever I post a picture of my fridge on Instagram, I get questions from you guys about storing and organizing various kinds of produce. I figured I’ll group some of my answers and thoughts in this post!
Earlier this year, I got into the habit of reorganizing my fridge on a weekly basis. I usually do it on the weekends after visiting the farmers market and getting inspired by the beautiful produce. The whole process of taking everything out and then rearranging things neatly for my productive week ahead and planning in my head what to cook with the things I got is a nice domestic break that feels sort of like a meditation to me and also gives me a much needed sense of control over my busy life. Not to mention, regularly reorganizing my fridge helps me avoid wasting food forgotten at the back of a shelf, or accidentally buying duplicates of something I already have.
Fridge Organizing Tips:
- To clean, before a shopping trip, remove everything from the fridge at once so you can clearly see what you already got. Wipe down shelves and drawers with a half-and-half water and white vinegar solution.
- Say NO to plastic and switch to GLASS. I use both rectangular and round tempered glass containers that are heat & cold resistant, and also reuse store-bought food jars from butters, dressings, dairy for nuts and seeds, leftovers and greens.
- Herbs like parsley, dill, cilantro, etc as well as green veggies like celery and asparagus can be kept alive longer in glass jars filled with water at the bottom, think of it as a bouquet in a vase. When I get veggies with leafy tops (carrots, beets) I cut the greens off and put them in jars for future pesto or salad toppings, and store the roots separately to prevent the leaves from sucking all the juices out of them.
- I keep nuts, seeds and their oils and butters in the fridge so they don’t go rancid. Or in the case of butters, so they don’t become too liquid in the summer heat on a counter. This includes coconut oil, butter and butter cups, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hemp seeds, sunflower pepitas, chia, and flax.
- Keep stone fruits, avocados, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears on the counter until they reach your favorite level of ripeness and then transfer them to the fridge to slow down the process. I’m weird in that I prefer my fruits on the sour side and avocados with a tiny bit of crispness, so I place those in the fridge as soon as I get them home.
- Raw meat and fish should go on the super-cold bottom shelf in a glass container or bowl to prevent cross-contamination if the juices drip.
- Make sure everything is visible (store leftover and and need-to-eat-soon items on the middle shelf at eye level) and there is enough space between the items: cold air needs space to flow and circulate!
- For smaller items like condiments, I got a clear storage bin that a) prevents various jars of mustard, curry paste, anchovies, capers, and soy sauces from falling over, b) helps me on the cleaning days when I can pull all of them out as one piece together and then return back on the shelf saving time.
Things you can always find in my fridge:
- Eggs: they are a source of complete proteins, both saturated and unsaturated fat, and many essential nutrients! I often poach or soft boil them to add to my salad and soup bowls.
- Salad greens: baby kale, baby arugula, spinach, microgreens, sprouts —
all the good stuff to throw together for a quick and healthy lunch or as a dinner side.
- Veggies: I try to go with the seasons when shopping both at the farmer’s market and the grocery stores and buy organic whenever possible. I really like baby bok choy and almost everything from the cabbage family. I also love beets, cucumbers and eggplants… I should just stop here or this list will keep growing. Most often I either eat them raw or quickly roast them with spices.
- Grains: I try to keep at least one variety cooked and ready in a jar for when I want some extra richness in my salad bowl. I most often go for farro, quinoa and buckwheat.
- Fats: ghee, butter, avocados, cheese. I’m on a mission to lower my carb intake and replace it with fats which results in improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation and better metabolism. Fats are friends, but make sure you choose saturated fats (butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard), monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado), polyunsaturated fats (meat, fatty fish) but avoid trans fats.
- Coconut Butter: aka the decadent brother of coconut oil. I keep them side by side in the fridge, but you can also store it on a counter if you prefer it to be liquid. Eat it as a snack, for desert, drizzle over your berry and yoghurt bowl, add to smoothies, or eat it by a spoonful like I do. Warning: pretty ADDICTIVE!
What are your fridge staples and organization tricks?