Basic Fridge/Freezer Staples for a Plant-Based Diet

Yesterday I shared my list of Basic Pantry Staples for a Plant-Based Diet. Today I want to share my list of staples that need to be kept cold in the refrigerator or freezer with a few exceptions for fresh produce. Making changes to a healthier lifestyle can be difficult. Use this guide to make your journey toward a plant-based diet a little easier.

basic refrigerator freezer staples

Basic Staples for the Refrigerator and Freezer

Freezer 

  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • breads
  • broccoli
  • cherries
  • corn
  • herbs
  • mixed veggies
  • stir fry veggies
  • strawberries
  • whole wheat pastry flour

I also like to freeze leftover soups and baked goods like muffins and breads. If I chop too many veggies I’ll store them in the freezer to use in a quick stir fry or soup.

 Refrigerator

  • applesauce
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • chia seeds
  • coconut milk coffee creamer
  • fat-free balsamic vinaigrette
  • flax seeds
  • jelly (with no added sugar)
  • lemon/lime juice
  • milk (we use rice milk)
  • mustard
  • natural nut butters
  • nutritional yeast
  • dates
  • maple syrup
  • salsa
  • sunflower seed butter

Many of these items are more like add on’s or condiments. I often feel like our fridge is full of things that aren’t really food. Some of these items could be stored in the pantry instead of the fridge but I live in the desert so it is typically hotter here so I store them in the fridge.

Fresh Produce 

  • apples
  • bananas
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • onions
  • oranges
  • peppers (jalapenos, bell peppers and sweet peppers)
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • spinach and other lettuces
  • tomatoes
  • other seasonal produce (cucumbers, pears, peaches, melons, etc.)

These are our basic produce picks. We buy these regularly and at any given time you will find them in our fridge. We try to stick to seasonal produce so you’ll rarely find asparagus in our fridge. We don’t store all of our produce in the fridge. Some things like potatoes and onions are stored in the pantry. Broccoli and spinach are always in the refrigerator. Other items like apples and peppers could be stored at room temperature or refrigerated.

I’m about to make this even easier! Here is a printer-friendly compilation of all my Basic Staples for a Plant-Based Diet! <<Click on the link for a PDF!

What are your top picks for Basic Pantry (and fridge staples)?  I’d love to see how they differ.

For more helpful information about getting started on a plant-based diet check out my ebook, The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide: How to Cook, Shop and Eat Well.

Plant-Based Diet Ebook

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Comments

  1. hi the stir fry veggies, are they frozen ones you buy from the grocery store? or you pre cut them and store them?? thanks
    gylsie

  2. Gylsie, Yes I like to keep a bag or two of pre-cut, frozen stir fry veggies in the freezer. Most of the time I use fresh veggies and cut them myself but having a bag in the freezer can help me get a quick meal on the table when when I don’t have much time or when my produce is running low. If I chop extra veggies that I don’t need I’ll often freeze them to use in a recipe later.

  3. Jessica Napoli says:

    Hi! I ran across your website while looking for guidance on transitioning my large family onto a plant based diet. I thought I was doing everything right by making everything myself…including most condiments like mayonnaise and butter. However, I recently I watched a documentary called “What the Health” and, after verifying information there, realized I had it all wrong.

    The problem I have is we have 6 children. As you can imagine, cooking for a family of 8 can get pretty expensive. I want to make sure I’m still offering my children all if the vitamin and nutrients they need, but I want to cut out all animal products. Did you know the average egg has the same amount of carcinogens in it as 5 cigarettes?! That’s so scary!!

    How do I reach my goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle for my children and family while keeping it within a modest budget of about $900-$1000 a month? I’d actually prefer to keep it closer to $850 but can stretch as high as the higher number if necessary.

    • Hi, Jessica Napoli, I just found myplantbasedfamily, too, and noticed your very recent comment. We have 7 children, adults now, so I understand the grocery budget question! While we are new to WFPBNO eating, we are old pros at managing to feed a big family on a tiny budget! You can do this :-). Animal products are so expensive. As you switch to plant-based eating, I believe you will find the meals more nutrient-dense and more filling. Avoid pre-packaged items and bake from scratch to save there–sounds like you are doing that. Drink water. Use home-baked goods, veggies and fruits for snacks. Garden for even better produce. I’m still figuring this out, but my friends further down this road report their grocery budgets are lower. Merry Christmas and best foodie wishes!

    • Hi Jessica,
      You will be surprised at how cost effective a plant-based diet can be. Animal products are expensive, especially when they take up a bulk of your plate.
      Focusing on whole foods will save you money. Oatmeal, potatoes, beans, grains like brown rice, are all inexpensive. Then, round out what you are eating with seasonal fresh fruit and veggies or use frozen if needed.
      You can search this site for “Cheapest Plant-Based Meal Plan” it was designed for a family of four to cost less than $100 a week. You don’t have to follow it exactly but it will give you some good ideas.

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