What is a key ingredient of long lasting weight loss?
Have a guess…OK I will tell you: Making sure you can stick with the program!
Making sure that you can make your own food so you know exactly what is inside it, and the key to being able to cook great tasting food whenever you want; is to make sure that you have a well-stocked store cupboard and fridge freezer!
This guide will show you some essentials that you can easily get from your local market, to get you started.
I have also included a few pointers to help you to use your fridge & freezer correctly and get the most from them.
How to use this list
You can do as you wish with this guide, but I would suggest printing off a copy and putting it somewhere you remember, an obvious place is your refrigerator.
You can also use this in conjunction with our 7 day food healthy food guide.
So let’s get into it…
The Well-Stocked Cupboard
- Pasta & Noodles
- Rice: Long grain, Arborio, Risotto, Pudding etc.
- Pizza Bases
- Nuts: Pinenuts, Walnuts, Almonds etc.
- Dried Fruits, Pulses etc.
- Stock Cubes: Fish, Chicken, Pork, Beef etc.
- Various spices & herbs
- Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- Flour: Plain, Self-raising, Wholemeal, Cornflour etc.
- Dried Yeast
- Baking Powder, Cream of Tartar, Bicarbonate of Soda
- Tea, coffee, cocoa powder etc.
Bottles & Jars
- Tomato Ketchup & Purée, Tabasco Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Sweet Chilli Sauce etc.
- Various Pasta Sauces
- Thai Fish Sauce
- Curry Paste
- Various Chutneys
- Pickles, Olives, Capers etc.
- Jam, Marmalade, Honey etc.
- Chopped & Whole Tomatoes
- Fish: Salmon, Tuna, Anchovies etc.
- Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils etc.
- Coconut Milk/ Cream
- Various Fruits
NOTE: Health Form takes our planet seriously, so wherever possible please make sure to only use responsibly sourced fish
Fridge & Freezer Storage Advice
So because this is a health & wellness website, we would be remiss to not share with you some important storage advice.
If you are not careful with how you stock your refrigerator and freezer, you could end up with some pretty nasty bugs…some a bit more serious than others 🙁
- Cool Down cooked food to room temperature before putting it inside
- Wrap or cover all food, except fruit & vegetables
- Practice good fridge discipline:
- The coldest shelves are at the bottom so store all your raw meat, fish & poultry there
- Always separate cooked foods from raw foods to decrease chances of contamination
- Don’t overfill your fridge
- Don’t put hot food inside
- Try to keep the door closed as much as possible to keep it at a constant temperature
- Clean it regularly and it will reward you with a long life, (the fridge that is, not you!)
Your freezer is a really important part of your kitchen and if you understand how to use it properly, such as batch cooking, you will save time & money.
Always make sure to allow your frozen food enough time to thaw naturally, or if you want to be a super savvy freezer user; you can put your frozen meal into your fridge overnight and it will be ready to cook as soon as you get back from work!
You can store loads of different types of food in your freezer, such as:
- Vegetables & Fruits (but expect them to kind of melt due to cell destruction)
- Cream & Milk
- Stocks & Soups
- Herbs (I bet you never thought of this one!)
How to Store Your Food in the Freezer
- Freeze your food as soon as is possible after purchase
- Get into a habit of labelling cooked foods with the date you froze it and the name of the food
- Portion for perfection. Use smaller portions of food to freeze in order to save time thawing & cooking
- Never put hot or warm food into your freezer; wait until they are room temperature first
- Check the make of your freezer for instructions and how to use it correctly
- Don’t ever refreeze food after you have thawed it
What NOT to Store in the Freezer
- Whole Eggs – Freeze the whites & yolks separately
- Fried Foods – They will become soggy and lose their crispness
- Certain Vegetables – Cucumber, lettuce & celery contain too much water and will crystalize and the cells will break down, i.e. they will become a soggy mess!
- Certain Sauces – Mayonnaise and similar sauces will separate under extreme temperatures hot & cold
Proper Freezer Care
- Defrost it regularly: It’s a horrible job and we all hate it, but if you want to prolong the life of your freezer and keep your food tasting great; you just have to do it
- Keep it full up: This will ensure that the temperature remains even which is a very important factor for frozen foods
Thawing & Reheating Best Practices
Follow the instructions given, but you can follow these rules of thumb:
- Some foods such as vegetables, soups & sauces can be cooked straight from frozen, either by putting them straight into boiling water or gently thawing in a heated pan
- Ensure all other foods are completely thawed before cooking – Very, very important
- Cook your recently thawed food, as soon as you can
- Make sure that your food is completely, piping hot all the way through after cooking – You can check out the website for details about kitchen equipment to do this
So there you have our brief overview of how to use and store your food correctly, which really is the foundation of a healthy diet.