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Refrigerator Health: What to Toss and Keep to Stay Healthy

Posted by Terra's Kitchen on Fri, Jan 6, '17

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The refrigerator is the focus of any kitchen. It’s the keeper of our foods, whether they’re healthy or unhealthy. How many times are you guilty of opening the fridge during a late night craving just to stare, bypass the good stuff, and then go right for the junk? Honestly, we’ve done it too, but now we’ve developed a few tips on maintaining good refrigerator health so next time your stomach rumbles, you’re getting a good view of the healthy stuff.

A clean fridge is a happy fridge. Show of hands here, how many of us have brought home something delicious and put it in the refrigerator only to have it be pushed back further and further into the deepest depths of the ice chest, and then completely forget about it until a smell begins to form in a week or two? Our hands are totally raised. Experts found that leaving leftovers in the refrigerator for too long can be damaging to our health. Toss leftovers after 4 days, regardless of smells.Do a deep clean quarterly, as well. That entails taking everything out of the fridge, turning off the power, and wiping down shelves and drawers. If you prefer a natural cleaning solution, you can use a homemade solution of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part warm water instead of harsh chemical sprays. Remember, keep your fridge at a chilly 40 degrees or cooler to ward off any bacteria.  

Storage is key! Always, always, always, keep leftovers in storage containers with lids. Lids help prevent spills or food contamination. A good rule of thumb for leftovers is to stash them within 2 hours of cooking, or 1 hour on particularly hot summer days. 

Keep the healthy foods front and center. We mean this literally and not-so-literally. If you keep healthy foods such as yogurt, hummus, cut veggies and cold-pressed juice in plain sight, more than likely that will be the foods you reach for when hunger hits. You may not be able to keep foods like fruit and veggies totally out in the open, but we recommend storing them in clear containers so when your eye wanders down, it sees the bright and beautiful colors of the produce. 

Always keep certain staple foods in stock. When you make stocking up on staple foods a priority, you’ll never have a shortage of healthy snacks at hand. We recommend always having these gems around: skim or 1% milk, fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, hummus, lunch meats, veggies, and low-fat cheese. When you keep the good stuff around, you’re less likely to reach for that bag of chips. 

Out with the old. As we mentioned before, it’s really easy to forget about those leftovers you put in the back of the fridge last week, but keeping an eye out for moldy, expired food is extremely important. You don’t want the bad stuff contaminating the good stuff. 

Get rid of junk! Though it’s admirable to not want to waste, sometimes you just have to get rid of the things that will deter you on your path to health. When you’re doing a deep dive into your refrigerator, take a look at the less healthy eats, and decide if they’re really worth keeping around. Will you truly enjoy eating this? Will it knock me off of my clean eating kick? If the answer is no, toss or donate it. Seriously. Your body will thank you!

 


 

Now that your refrigerator is clean and ready to be stocked with healthy foods, check out our full menu of meal delivery kits with pre-chopped ingredients, ready made snacks, cold-pressed juices, a la carte proteins and more.

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Topics: #TKWay