Stacks of takeout boxes. Bunches of market-fresh vegetables. Two dozen bottles of beer. Every fridge tells a story as unique as its owner. That's why people all over America are snapping #fridgies (like selfies for their refrigerators) and sharing their food stories with the world. But no matter what shows up on your shelves, certain items should always make appearances. Here’s our rundown of 10 foods that deserve a space in all the best-stocked refrigerators.
Milk, eggs, butter: The first step to preparing a classic omelet? Having the right ingredients on hand.These basics appear in countless recipes, so make them permanent fixtures on your grocery list.
Baking soda: Mom and Grandma got it right—storing an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator really does help counteract food odors. Just replace it every three months for optimal freshness.
Vegetables: We snack on what’s available, so there are few better ways to encourage healthy eating than to make sure there are wholesome options within reach. Keep crisp carrot sticks, celery and cucumbers handy to satisfy cravings when you’ve got to have something with crunch. (See also: hummus.)
Pre-chopped garlic: Whip up sauces and marinades in a snap with a spoonful of the pre-chopped stuff—and say goodbye to dried-on garlic-press messes.
Hummus: Prepared hosts know how to throw together snack platters with minimal fuss. Veggies, pita chips and hummus are all you need to turn an impromptu gathering into a social event. Just spoon your favorite store-bought hummus into a festive bowl and you’re good to go. Extra points if you add a shake of paprika and a drizzle of lemon juice on top.
Coffee: Ground coffee stays fresher in the fridge than in the cupboard, so make room next to the milk for your favorite caffeine fix.
Pre-washed spinach: U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines suggest filling half the plate with fruits and vegetables. Spinach is one of the most versatile leafy greens—keep a box or bag of fresh, pre-washed spinach around for quick sautés with a little of that garlic, or enjoy raw leaves as a salad alongside grilled fish and lean cuts of meat.
Lemons: Nothing brightens up a recipe like a dash of fresh lemon juice. Keep a bag of unwaxed lemons in your crisper drawer to add a tart finish to sauces, stir-fries and baking projects—good right down to the zest.
Hot sauce: A few drops of the spicy stuff can add interest to simple dishes or revive leftovers. It’s a low-calorie way to introduce flavor, and remind you to keep drinking that water.
Chocolate: Connoisseurs may turn up their noses, but chilling your chocolate helps it stay fresher, longer. Just make sure your chocolate bar is wrapped tightly before you hide it at the back of the dairy drawer, and allow it to reach room temperature before indulging.
Now that you have the staples for a well-stocked fridge, keep them in reach and in view so they don't go to waste. The new 4-Door French Door Refrigerator from Whirlpool® was designed with the most flexible storage available*, so every item you’re eating has its perfect place.
*Among leading brand French Door Refrigerators with external refrigerated drawers based on combined refrigerator and freezer storage options and adjustable features.