I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have always had a strange fascination with what people have in their fridge, especially celebrity fridges, it tells so much about a person and how they take care of themselves, I also love finding new yummy brands. So I’ve decided to start a new series on celebrity fridges & pantries etc. Hopefully this series will help give you as much guidance as these fridges give me! Today I’m featuring Kris Carr, one of my health idols and author of Crazy Sexy Diet. I fell in love with her after watching her documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer.
“My refrigerator is powerful. In fact, it has a direct link to my overall well-being.”
Smoothies & green juices: My husband and I make enough juices & smoothies to have two 12-oz servings of green drink per day, whether it’s two juices or two smoothies. Our recipes are often guided by what’s available in the fridge. Tip: Keep your smoothies low-glycemic by always using a 3 to 1 ratio: 3 veggies for every 1 piece of fruit.
Ezekiel flax bread: Ezekiel is one of the least processed breads out there. They offer a wide range of choices, including gluten-free, sodium-free and yeast-free varieties. I love that they use sprouted grains and whole food ingredients — no artificial junk! You’ll find their bread products (everything from wraps to English muffins to rolls) in the frozen section. One of my favorite ways to eat Ezekiel bread is toasted with mashed avocado, freshly ground pepper, sea salt and a squirt of lime. Perfect for breakfast or a midday snack.
Earth Balance vegan butter: I’m a fan of the bad-better-best approach to eating. Earth Balance falls into the better category for me. Yes, it’s processed, but it’s also a great plant-based alternative to dairy butter; plus it’s non-GMO, casein-free and trans-fat-free. You can also choose their soy-free butter if you’re sensitive to soy. I also love their coconut spread on my toasted hemp or flax waffles in the morning.
BONUS mystery leftovers! I’m a leftover junkie. I’m a double batch kind o’ cook because it saves me time and money. There are lots of ways to dress up your leftovers — wrap ‘em up, pair them with a salad, drizzle a fresh dressing or sauce on top or just heat them up and enjoy their second day goodness. Leftovers are a lifesaver, period.
Raw sauerkrauts: Gut health is the key to overall health. Remember, 60-70 percent of your immune system lives there, so it’s great to keep some probiotic buddies in your fridge. Raw sauerkraut is packed with good bacteria that populate your gut and help keep bad, pathogenic bacteria at bay. Make sure you avoid vinegar-based and/or pasteurized varieties, since good bacteria is killed when sauerkraut is made with these guys. Hawthorne Valley Farm is one of my favorite brands, but there are many more out there. I often add a scoop of sauerkraut as a side at dinner or on my famous tempeh reuben sandwiches.
Field Roast Apple Sage Vegan Sausages – Holy protein! Just one link of these delicious grain sausages delivers 26 grams of plant-based protein. They’re also great in pasta sauces, casseroles and as a hearty salad topper. If you’re transitioning to a plant-based diet, these sausages will make your life much easier and tastier.
Capers – These little flavor bombs are pickled buds from the caper bush. I like to keep them on hand for my quick and easy Penne a la Vodka recipe or when I need to add a little salty kick to any Mediterranean dish.
Avocado – What can’t you do with an avocado? Salads, desserts, smoothies, spreads, wraps and the list goes on. Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the good, heart-healthy kind — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Avocados are rich in B vitamins, which also support your cardiovascular health. If you don’t use the whole avocado, wrap up the leftover half (don’t remove the pit) and eat the rest within 24 hours. The green flesh may brown a little, but just scrape off the top and you’re good to go!
Lemon – I use it in some way, every day. Lemons are alkalizing and help balance the body’s pH. They also support your detox-happy liver, and are high in Vitamin C (immune booster!). I probably go through at least 10 lemons a week (green juice, salad dressing, a spritz in my water, etc.). Pucker your way to good health by adding more lemons to your diet.
Kale – Kale is queen in our home. We always have a couple bunches in our crisper. This dark leafy is especially good in smoothies, salads and sautes. Kale is also a great source of vitamin K, helping you maintain strong bones.
Flax Oil – Flax oil (made from flax seeds) is high in omega-3’s, which promote healthy brain function. It’s also an anti-inflammatory food. Make sure you buy cold-pressed, organic flax oil in a dark bottle and store it in the fridge, since light and heat may turn the oil rancid. I like Barlean’s brand, but there are many other quality flax oils available. Since flax oil is sensitive to heat, I use it mostly in salad dressings and smoothies.
Parsley – Using fresh herbs makes a world of difference in your meals — hello flavor! Parsley is a frequent visitor in my fridge.
Organic Nectares Cacao Powder – Sometimes I need a pick-me-up in the afternoon, so instead of reaching for the coffee pot, I add a scoop of raw cacao to a green smoothie. Cacao is also perfect for creating delicious plant-based desserts. Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream, anyone?
Read more for Kris’s must-have pantry staples
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil (aka coconut butter) has a sweet, light, buttery flavor. Make sure to choose organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, since the hydrogenated kind contains trans fats (boo!). The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, which supports thyroid function and raises good cholesterol. I spread it on my morning waffles, add a dollop to my veggie sautes or use it as an oil substitute while baking. Oh! And it’s also a divine skin moisturizer (we have a tub of it in the bathroom)
Protein Powder: Since proteins are the building blocks of every cell in your body, adding a scoop of plant-based protein powder to your smoothies is an awesome way to give your muscles and organs a little extra lovin’. At the moment, my favorite brand is PlantFusion
Almond Milk: Almond milk has a sweet, creamy taste that’s perfect for hot breakfasts (oatmeal, millet or quinoa), tasty smoothies and sauces. Did I mention iced chai lattes? Yeah, that too. Word to the wise: If you’re watching your sugar intake, opt for the unsweetened variety, it tastes just as good, if not better. Nutrition label tip: 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. The American Heart Association recommends (at most) 5 teaspoons of sugar for gals, 9 teaspoons for guys and 3 teaspoons for kids
Buckwheat Soba Noodles: I adore these gluten-free noodles in chilled salads or tossed with an Asian-style stir fry. Soba noodles cook in a snap, but be careful not to overcook them — they’ll turn to mush. Buckwheat is also a complete protein, which makes this noodle a no-brainer in my kitchen.
Nutritional Yeast: Fondly known as “nooch,” this cheese-flavored powder has been a longtime comrade of vegetarians and vegans. Nutritional yeast is full of B vitamins and it’s another (you guessed it!) complete protein to add to your repertoire. I love using nutritional yeast in sauces, salad dressings, soups and even in my tofu scramble. Go ahead and smooch the nooch, you won’t be sorry — lordy, I crack myself up!
Rice Pasta: I usually reach for Tinkyada brand rice pasta, but there are a variety of brands out there. Choose brown rice pasta if you can, since we all know that whole grains are better than the white stuff. Rice pasta can be used as a gluten-free substitute for any wheat pasta, but I use it most often in my Penne a la Vodkarecipe.
Quinoa: In addition to being a plant-based protein powerhouse, quinoa is also high in magnesium (great for your bone health) and iron (immune system supporter). It’s the main ingredient in easy-peasy buddha bowl — a big serving of cooked quinoa topped with diced raw veggies, avocado, hemp seeds, olive or flax oil and an hefty squirt of Bragg’s amino acids or tamari. Heaven.
Pinto Beans: Dried and canned beans are a fiber-filled friend that I always have on hand. Just keep in mind that you should choose a BPA-free brand whenever possible. And when you go for dried beans, head for the bulk aisle to save some bucks. Worried about gas? Soak your beans overnight and cook them with a strip of kombu (seaweed) to tame those pesky toots.
Lentils: Colorful, protein-rich legumes make mealtime a snap. All you need is a simple sauce, veggies and lentils to create a fabulous one-pot meal, which also means less dishes (halle-frickin-lu-yah!). And if you’re in a pinch for time use red lentils; they cook in a jiffy.
Sea Vegetables: These sassy sea plants are packed with marvelous minerals, including potassium, calcium and magnesium. It’s also one of the best sources of iodine, which is crucial to thyroid health. I sprinkle dulse flakes on my salads, nibble on sea veggie chips as a snack and roll up veggies and brown rice in nori sheets for some sushi.
Rice Crackers: The big dipper! Rice crackers are a crispy and delicious gluten-free option when you’re looking for something to munch on. I dip them in hummus, guacamole, tofu eggless salad and beyond.
Goji Berries: Reach for goji berries next time you’re putting together a trail mix or topping your oatmeal. They’re lower in sugar and packed with antioxidants.