Friday, 13 September 2019 / Topics:
The calendar has flipped over to September which means spring has officially sprung! What’s not to love about this time of the year? The days are getting longer and warmer, the flowers are in bloom, there’s an abundance of delicious spring produce available and everyone always seems to be in a good mood. It’s also the only time of the year we (well at least some of us) get excited to do a big spring clean that leaves every inch of the house sparkling, especially the kitchen. For most, a clean kitchen looks like clear counters, stovetops free of grime and a splashback so shiny that it pretty much doubles as a mirror. But there’s one spot in the kitchen that often gets forgotten… the fridge!
Not only does cleaning out your fridge help ensure that your food is safe to eat, it can actually help you to make better food choices. How many times have you opened the fridge to the unappetising sights of limp veggies, mouldy cheese and an array of condiments that have definitely surpassed their use-by dates and thought to yourself ‘maybe I’ll just order a pizza’? Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us! Cleaning out your fridge, keeping it clean and making sure it’s always stocked full of a variety of fresh foods is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy all year around. All it takes is three simple steps: remove, refill and restock.
Step 1: Remove EVERYTHING
Taking everything, we mean EVERYTHING, out of your fridge serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it means that you can give all the surfaces in your fridge a good soapy scrub. Secondly, and possibly most importantly, it means that you can actually see all of the food that’s in your fridge. During this step it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll discover at least a few items you didn’t know were there or have definitely passed their use-by date. If your fridge is clean and free from off smells you will be much more inspired to eat the food that’s in it!
Step 2: Refill with the produce you want to keep
The next step is to put everything (except for the items you removed in step 1) back into the fridge. Now, the trick here is to not just shove it all back in, but to do it in an organised fashion. Fridge organisation is a real thing and it’s important! How many times have you opened your (full) fridge and said “there’s nothing to eat” or been intimidated by an overstocked fridge that feels like a mountain is about to fall on you? Keeping your fridge organised and making sure every food has a specific spot means that at any given time, you will know exactly what’s in your fridge. This will also help reduce food wastage and help you save money! The average Australian household throws away more than $1000 worth of food each year! Imagine what you could do with all that extra cash… perhaps a short holiday? Pay off the credit card debt? Come to 10 Sprout cooking classes 😉?
The best way to keep your fridge organised is to store foods from the different food groups together. So, for example keeping all your dairy products together on the top shelf or keeping all your meat together on the bottom shelf. That way when it gets to four o’clock in the afternoon and you’re at work thinking to yourself “What on earth am I going to cook for dinner tonight?”, you can think back to your fridge and know that you have some meat to use and a heap of veg in the crisper, or maybe you’re running low and need to stop in the shops on the way home. Either way, it’s easier to know or recollect what you have in your fridge and it’s going to be a better outcome than getting home and scrounging around trying to find something to eat!
Step 3: Restock
The third and final step involves keeping your fridge well stocked. Keeping your fridge stocked with a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy and lean meats is key to eating a healthy diet. It’s simple – if it’s not there, you’re not going to eat it. If it is, you will. Essentially, having a variety of nutritious foods in the fridge will mean you’re setting yourself up to make healthier choices. It will also help to make cooking more enjoyable and will ultimately mean you turn to takeaway less.
Some important fridge staples include Greek yoghurt, eggs, milk, fresh fruit, a selection of herbs, plenty of leafy green vegetables, cheese and at least one type of meat, chicken or fish.
So, what are you doing this Sunday? You too could have a clean, healthy fridge in three simple steps!