TODAY   |  November 06, 2012

21 foods you should always have in the kitchen

TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer shares the foods you should keep on hand in your fridge, freezer, and pantry so you’ll always be ready and able to whip up a quick and healthy meal.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "take it off today" healthy foods to have on hand in your fridge, freezer and pantry. "today" contributor and nutritionist joy bauer say these staples will help you whip up a quick meal to help keep you on your diet track. first of all, happy birthday .

>> thank you.

>> joy bauer.

>> a national shutout.

>> i got the birthday tingles.

>> on election day .

>> very nice.

>> there's three things. we've got your fridge, your freezer and your pantry and things you should have in there to keep from you going off the healthy eating .

>> there are a gazillion healthy items but these in my opinion are some of the best of the best .

>> starting in the fridge, your eggs.

>> one egg supplies you with six grams of high quality protein, and they are so versatile, from breakfast to dinner. make fritattass for dinner all the time, reduced-fat cheese and so many brands and get the same amount of calcium and protein and less calories and less of the bad fat.

>> and they used to taste kind of rubbery, not anymore.

>> as lange as it's reduced fat. you want to avoid the fat-free but this tastes like the real mccoy .

>> you say use hummus.

>> every refrigerator should have a brand of a non-fat plain yogurt, either greek or regular because you can use it instead of sour cream for dips and recipes.

>> greek yogurt has become so hot now.

>> so hot and a lot of proteins.

>> and, of course, vegetables.

>> veggies.

>> a few that i want to sort of feature, one bell pepper has more than twice the amount of vitamin c as an orange, and we're getting into cold and flu season so we want to boost the immune system and when it comes to the green vegetables , kale and baby spinach leaves. it's like having a multi-vitamin. they are packed with everything from "a" to "z." anti-oxidants that promote short vision and a fun fact. baby spin each leaves, al, have more nutrients than fully matured spinach because the young leaves are more biological and active.

>> i don't know if that's a fun fact, but it's an interesting one, not so much to me.

>> fun if you're a nutritionist. we're a little warped.

>> going to the freezer.

>> when it comes to the freezer, i look to stock my nuts and seeds in the freezer because it keeps them fresher longer. great snack or extension for diabetics because it won't spike your blud sugar.

>> edamame in the pod, i call them magic beans .

>> the magic bean is packed with protein and fiber and kids love them.

>> fresh versus frozen.

>> just as much nutrition. don't be afrase frayed of frozen vegetables and fruit and there's no ways and on the added season month they are more available.

>> and then to the pantry. this stuff won't go bad.

>> oats, whether it's quick-cooking oats or the pope of oats.

>> the pope of oats.

>> it's all whole grain, all loaded with finer.

>> can also be the rabbi of oats.

>> or the rabbi of oats, that's right.

>> not just for breakfast because you can use it to thicken soup and because of junkie refined bread crumbs as a binder of things like turkey meatloaf and turkey meat balls, what do you think?

>> absolutely.

>> whole grain pasta and marina sauce. everybody needs this in their pantry. when it comes to marina sauce, it could be a salt bomb . you want to look for brands with no more than 350 milligrams of sodium, two or less.

>> salmon.

>> this is wild salmon, either in the can or in the pouch. it's got more heart healthy omega three fats and whenever you can swap your tuna salad fortuna salad, add this with hot sauce , drink this stuff like crazy in my house. go with nut butters, so many great ones.

>> lentils.