11 Foods Your Fridge Shouldn't Be Without

Lemons: Lemon juice is ubiquitous in recipes. Perk up a glass of ice water with a fresh slice, squeeze on fresh fish before cooking or use lemon juice as a low-fat salad dressing.

Carrots:Carrots are a ‘root’ vegetable, and can stay fresh and yummy in the bottom of your vegetable bin for a couple of months.  Pull them out for a healthier alternative to chips for dipping, to grate on top of a salad or shred for your sandwich when the lettuce has long ago turned brown. 

Whole-wheat wraps: They’ll keep better than whole wheat bread in the bread drawer. Full of fiber and whole grain goodness, use them to wrap up just about anything, especially if it has to be ‘to-go’.  Particularly good are leftover grilled meats or scrambled eggs.

Nuts: Nuts keep best cold, to prevent oxidation of their oils. Nuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and are a proven heart healthy addition to a daily diet when eaten instead of (not in addition to) high fat meats or dairy. A handful of walnuts or almonds is a satisfying snack, or good for adding crunch and nutrition to cereals, salads, and even pasta dishes.

Natural peanut butter: It will keep best in the fridge. Pull out a little ahead of time to give it time to soften and become more spreadable. Use instead of butter to spread on morning whole grain toast for more protein and healthier fat. Mix it with a little soy sauce and sesame oil to top hot, whole-wheat noodles for a quick, savory lunch or dinner. Peanut butter is the ubiquitous, perennial go-to food when all other options fail to please. Keep that box of whole-wheat organic crackers in the cupboard to help prevent eating the peanut butter by the spoonful. The calories can add up to quickly otherwise.

Reviewed by Susan Janoff, MS RD LD/N

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