Fridge & freezer essentials
When you have little time or energy to cook or you haven’t had a chance to go to the supermarket for your weekly shop, having some essentials in the fridge & freezer can be very helpful! Read on to find out what we recommend keeping stocked up on to help during these times.
To keep in your fridge
Your favourite fruits & vegetables
Some fruits such as apples last around 4-6 weeks in the fridge, and certain vegetables also can keep for 4 weeks – including cabbage, carrots and beetroot. Buy what you know you will eat, to reduce waste. Our go-to for quick meals are cherry tomatoes to add to pastas or salads, as well as sugar snap peas and pak choi, which are delicious in a quick stir fry,
Keep some fresh lemons & limes in the fridge, as these are long lasting and a great way to add flavour to meals. Not only that, but you can also use them to flavour water, and for cleaning too!
Pick a few of your top proteins to keep in the fridge. Ours are eggs as they are so versatile and quick to cook. We also will have some fresh fish or meat in the fridge, depending on what we are cooking that week.
If you eat dairy, keeping these options stocked in the fridge is helpful. Milk will get used quickly, as will cheese (think cheddar, parmesan, cream cheese and feta), for a variety of dishes throughout the week. Another is Greek yoghurt, which is our go-to with granola and fruit for breakfast, or as a change for mayonnaise for a creamy flavour.
Or if you are dairy-free, then choose plant-based alternatives of the above will keep in the fridge well.
Your favourite condiments & dips
These will add flavour and enjoyment to meals, so stock up with your top choices. Ours would be mustard, Worchester sauce and hot sauces like sriracha and Tabasco. We also love keeping sundried tomatoes and olives in jars, as these add a further layer of flavours to meals.
We can’t forget some hummus, which is not only fantastic to have as part of a snack but is also delicious as a dip in a main meal. If you enjoy salads, then a quick and easy homemade dressing is essential. We do vinegar, olive oil, mustard and garlic powder, which can be kept in an airtight container for 7-14 days.
To keep in your freezer
Always keep a range of vegetables that have minimal prep time and can be quickly cooked, to boost the nutrient content of meals. Not only are frozen veggies a fantastic way to bulk out meals, but they are also often more nutritious than fresh as they are frozen shortly after harvesting. And they last for months, so no worry about them going off quickly!
Our favourites include frozen peas, sweetcorn, peppers, butternut squash & spinach. Not forgetting frozen garlic, ginger and onions – our staples when cooking, and having these pre-chopped and frozen saves a lot of time and effort in the kitchen!
The best part of having a freezer full of fruit is that you can enjoy it all year around, even when the fruits are not in season! We love frozen berries with our oats, or pineapple and mango in our smoothies.
Bread freezes really well, it’s a great way to prevent waste if you struggle to go through a loaf before it goes stale. Just freeze the sliced loaf and take out the slices as needed. Bread will defrost at room temperature within 10 minutes, but you can also toast them from frozen!
Other items such as pitta and soft tortilla wraps also freeze well and are quick to defrost for easy and simple meals.
Such as frozen prawns, which are not only significantly less expensive than fresh, but they can be used in a wide range of recipes – including stir fries, curries or tacos.
If you are not a huge fan of shellfish, regular fish fillets are great to keep in the freezer. Such as frozen salmon or cod – sometimes these can be cooked from frozen too, which is a bonus if you forget to defrost something for dinner! Or some other of our favourite frozen fish options include classic fish cakes and fish fingers (great for adults and children!)
Burgers made from beef mince are a good option for a quick burger night dinner. Also don’t forget that other meat proteins such as sausages, chicken breasts & thighs, turkey or beef mince freeze very well.
Buy frozen edamame (soya) beans, as these are a fantastic plant-based protein addition to any meals, and a great way to boost the fibre content.
Freeze leftover herbs to ensure you reduce food waste and for easy ways to boost the flavour of meals in the future. It’s best to freeze the herbs in an ice cube tray – add a little water so they can freeze, and then use as needed. Specific herbs that freeze well include basil, mint, coriander, lemongrass and dill.
Some of our top tips!
If you use the last of an ingredient in the fridge or freezer, add it to a list so you know what to get on your next shopping trip!
- Keep a list of what is in the freezer, for your own records – sometimes when the freezer is fully stocked, we can forget what’s in there and this can lead to food waste or unnecessary spending.
- Buy some good quality freezer safe containers or freezer bags, to store leftovers or any extra meals you make.
- If you notice something in the fridge is close to its expiry date and you may not get a chance to eat it – can you freeze it?
For tips on cupboard food essentials, you can read our blog here.