Refrigerator staples food items

Here is a list of refrigerator staples you should always keep stocked to whip up a healthy meal without a trip to the grocery store.

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: Always keep at least 2 fresh fruits and 2 fresh vegetables on hand. They make great snacks and quick side dishes for weeknight meals.
  • Reduced fat milk: Choose 2%, 1%, or fat-free milk. This calcium-rich drink makes a healthy snack and an easy addition to sauces and other recipes. 
  • Whole wheat and corn tortillas: They keep longer in the refrigerator and opting for whole grain or corn gives a boost of fiber.
  • Fat-free yogurt: The plain variety can be used in some baked goods recipes. The flavored variety makes a delicious snack or ingredient in a homemade fruit smoothie!
  • Reduced fat cheese: Save a few extra calories and fat and opt for reduced fat cheeses. Keep a couple varieties on hand, as they keep for a few months and are frequently used in recipes.
  • Eggs: Can be cooked and eaten as is or used in recipes. Eggs are very versatile! 
  • Minced garlic: Save an extra step and buy minced garlic in a jar instead of mincing your own.
  • Salad dressings: Keeping your favorite oil-and-vinegar salad dressings handy makes it easier to choose a healthy salad for lunch!
  • Salsa: This staple’s uses extend beyond a simple dip for chips. Add it to your Southwest dishes for extra flair, put some in your morning omelet, or use it in place of salad dressing on a taco salad.
  • Butter: A popular ingredient in many recipes. Remember: Use this staple sparingly!!
  • (Shakera Williams, M.P.H. is Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent- FCS for Webster/Claiborne parishes. Contact her at (318) 371-1371.)