Foods every college student should have in their fridge
So you’ve finally settled down into university life somewhat, but you’re alternately either inundated with a bajillion assignments or conked out on the bed when exams are finally over to catch up on some much-needed Zzzzs. Having healthy foods stocked in your fridge can help you get a balanced diet packed full of nutrients that your body needs. We’ve gathered some of the best foods that you should keep in your fridge.
Bananas are not only yummy, but they’re really good for. They’re rich in potassium and high in both Vitamin C and B-6. You can also eat them with peanut butter, jam, yoghurt and cereal (all of these are easily available dorm foods). Bananas are also great in smoothies. When refrigerated, they can last anywhere between two to nine days. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even make ice cream from bananas.
Hummus is high in fibre and protein that aids your digestive system and filled with vitamins and minerals that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. You can eat it with crackers, pretzels, chips, vegetables, pair them with bagels, toast, rice and anything else that tickles your taste buds! When kept in the fridge, it can last up to 10 days when unopened and in the freezer, it’s good for six to eight months.
You may be on the cusp of adulthood, which means even though your body is no longer growing bones, you are starting to lose bone mass. Having a diet with calcium and vitamin D is good for bone health, which is exactly what milk provides. It also contains amino acids that moisturise your skin. You can use it when baking, for cereals or making milk shakes. They’re great for dipping cookies as well. Milk’s also delicious enough to drink on its own. Milk lasts between seven to 10 days.
Eggs are chock full of good fats that can aid in heart health and have vitamins such as lutein that are beneficial for your eyes, Vitamin D for your bones and sulphur for your hair and nails. Eggs are also incredibly versatile as a cooking ingredient. You can eat with virtually anything, on toast with avocado, with rice, in salads or just on their own. They last about a week in a fridge (some might last longer, be sure to check the expiry date on the carton).
Peanut butter helps you feel full and is high in potassium, protein and fibre. It also contains healthy fats that is heart-friendly. You can use it as a dip, to spread on sandwiches or bananas (this treat will keep you full and is light on the calories) and it is also commonly used as a healthy baking substitute and in milkshakes. When kept in the fridge, peanut butter lasts about eight months and when store outside, it stays fresh for about four months.
There is some truth behind that saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This wonderful fruit is packed with fibre, antioxidants and can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. They also keep you full without adding too much calories to your diet.
Apples are great on their own or used in baked goods, dipped in peanut butter, added into pancakes and made in a juice. When stored in the fridge you can keep them for about one to two months and if left outside, they stay fresh for about one to two weeks.
I personally love cherry tomatoes, one of the best marriages of foods around. They stay fresh in the fridge for a long time and are a little sweet and crunchy! Cherry tomatoes are also high in antioxidants and known aid in the prevention of prostate cancer. Great for an afternoon snack or in a salad or with anything else really. Cherry tomatoes last about one to two weeks and need to be refrigerated.
Edamame are those cute, little green things sprinkled with salt that you see served as an appetizer at a Japanese restaurant. They are young soybeans that have been harvested before the beans had a chance to harden. Soybeans are high in isoflavones that have been linked to a decrease risk in osteoporosis and the calcium and magnesium may help to minimise PMS symptoms, regulate blood sugar and prevent migraine headaches. When stored in the freezer, they can last about two months.
An excellent source of calcium, protein (twice the content than their regular yoghurt counterpart), zinc and high in probiotic cultures that are good for gut health. These won’t go bad easily and are go great with granola as a parfait or even regular cereal and fruits! It provides you with the protein you need to keep you full, either for a breakfast or as a snack. Alternatively, you can use it as a healthy dip for crackers and chips. On average, Greek yoghurt can last up to two months in a freezer and about one to two weeks in a fridge.
Cheese contain a variety of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, protein, zinc, Vitamin A and B12. All of which are great for your body especially when derived from whole foods rather than through supplements. You can pair them with pasta, baked rice, salads, eggs, sandwiches, crackers and anything else that strikes your fancy. Hard cheeses like Parmesan or Asiago lasts about three to six weeks in the fridge and six to eight months in the freezer. One of the foods with a very long shelf life.
Another very important tip you should remember when grocery shopping on a student’s budget is to always buy in bulk whenever possible. Buddy up with a fellow dorm mate and buy packages that are larger and value for money.
Happy shopping and eating!
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A fan of anime and all things Japanese, Khai has been writing professionally since 2010 and “unofficially” for much longer. In her free time, you will often find her baking, reading, travelling and doing everything else in between.