Food Topic: 'Frig & Freezer Basics
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Last week’s show was about the basic herbs and spices to have on hand in the kitchen to be prepared for any recipe that you may want to make. Today, I want to continue along the same vein of thinking with refrigerator and freezer basics needed to have available on a regular basis:

 

  • Baking soda- keep an open box/container in the ‘frig and freezer to keep away smells (it really works!)
     

  • Bread- keep crusts in freezer until you have enough to make croutons, strata or bread crumbs
     

  • Butter/margarine- I choose butter and use sparingly due to the hydrogenated fats in margarine
     

  • Eggs- make your own egg substitute- use 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites, whisk together
     

  • Cheese- cheddar, cream, parmesan (can grate and freeze block cheeses for later use)
     

  • Coffee- I list here because keeping in the ‘frig or freezer keeps it freshest
     

  • Horseradish- great served with beef roasts, on sandwiches and the classic cocktail sauce
     

  • Jam/jelly- for sandwiches, ice cream topping, or add to plain, no fat yogurt for less sugar (and less cost) than commercially manufactured fruited yogurt
     

  • Juice- fresh or frozen concentrate- orange juice, apple juice
     

  • Ketchup- a versatile condiment used in BBQ sauce, meatloaf, cocktail sauce, sweet and sour sauce
     

  • Lemon/lime ade- for a quick last minute beverage that is better for you than pop
     

  • Maple syrup- pricey, but the flavor is incomparable to corn syrup-based syrups on the market
     

  • Meats- watch the flyers for sales and stock up, better yet (and better for you) order from a local farmer by the side or quarter
     

  • Milk- in my house we have whole, 1% and organic
     

  • Mustard- whole grain mustard has the best flavor for cooking
     

  • Mayo- low fat/no fat can be substituted in most recipes
     

  • Olives- a good fat for you snack, sliced into Ethnic dishes, added to a relish tray
     

  • Peanut butter- recommend natural (no hydrogenated fats), will separate if un-refrigerated
     

  • Pickles- a quick, no fat snack, sliced on hamburgers, added to a relish tray
     

  • Produce- fresh- fruits- lemons (far superior in flavor than the bottled juice), seasonal (ie. winter- oranges,
                                          spring- strawberries, summer- melons, fall- apples)
                    -fresh-vegetables- carrots, celery, cucumbers, onions, lettuce (choice, though head has little nutritional value),
                                                    fresh garlic (chop and store in olive oil)
                   -frozen-fruit- especially blueberries for pancakes and muffins
                   -frozen- vegetables- don’t recommend canned- all the vitamins are drained out with the liquid in the can              
     

  • Salad dressing- at least a vinaigrette- can also use as a quick marinade for meat and chicken
     

  • Sour cream- low fat/no fat can be substituted in most recipes
     

  • Worcestershire sauce- a basic ingredient in many sauces, marinades and dips
     

  • Yogurt- plain, no fat- great to add to dips (substitute half the mayo/cream cheese w/yogurt- the calories won’t be missed!),
     marinades, salad dressings, breakfast smoothies, homemade fruited yogurt (great as a fresh fruit dip)
     

  • Other items you may randomly need: buttermilk, cabbage, chocolate syrup, half and half, heavy cream, pesto, pickle relish, scallions, peppers- sweet and hot, tofu, tortilla shells- flour and corn, yeast- dry active

 

 

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