Saturday, June 27, 2009

A New Freezer, and What's in Your Fridge?

We bought a freezer on Thursday night. Yup, major purchase. I've been wanting one for a few months now, particularly since I've gotten more into couponing and cooking. Oftentimes I have to pass up deals at the store because I just don't have the freezer room at home (Dreyer's ice cream was on sale for $2.37 at Kroger!) or I have to forgo cooking a big batch of something because I don't have the space to store it.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Spending a bunch of money on a freezer in order to save a few dollars at the store doesn't make sense. Yes, you're right. It will take me quite awhile to recoup the money we spent on the freezer. But we will recoup it. I'll be able to buy fresh berries in bulk when they are in season and freeze them instead of spending an arm and a leg on them in the winter. I'll be able to buy chicken when it's on sale at $1.99 or less per pound and not have to give in and buy it at $2.99 or more. I can make more pizza dough, pasta sauce, and casseroles, and ultimately have to cook less. That's appealing.

And I must admit that one of the reasons that I wanted a freezer is organization. I really like things to be organized, and my freezer right now is anything but. Yes, I try to keep veggies on one shelf and fruits on another, but in the end stuff just gets shoved in wherever it will fit. And more times than not, something falls on your foot when you open the door.

The new freezer is a Kenmore Elite-- 20.6 cubic feet, upright, Energy Star, self-defrosting, with multi-port air baffles, a door lock, an electronic display and temperature sensors. It holds up to 711 pounds of food. Whoa. (Yes, we got it on a good 20% off sale.) It will be delivered Monday, and I can't wait to fill it up. :)

I think it's very insightful to look inside someone's fridge. And since I've been writing about refrigeration, I thought I'd give you a peek at some of the things that you can always find inside our fridge. (Bear with me on the photos, as they are not MckMama quality! I took them a bit too hastily.)

On the top shelf, we always have at least 3 gallons of milk. Isaac drinks whole milk (as all kiddos should until they are 2), Caleb drinks 1%, and Scott and I drink skim.

We always have at least two large containers of yogurt in our fridge. I buy the organic whole milk kind for Isaac (he eats some every day), and the organic low-fat or non-fat vanilla kind for Caleb and me. I keep some little containers of flavored yogurt for Scott.

I would not like to live life without coffee. And we buy Yuban when it's on a good sale. It's bold and flavorful, and it's certified by the Rainforest Alliance. It would be much better for the environment and those who work in coffee fields to buy organic, fair-trade coffee, but I just can't afford it. If you know of an affordable one, let me know!

Ezekiel 4:9 are our favorite tortillas. In case you don't know the Biblical reference, here's the verse: "Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself." Well, the people at Food for Life who make these tortillas (and the other Ezekiel products) took these words seriously. They are made from sprouted grains, which are more nutrient-dense than flour. The tortillas are actually a complete protein. Interesting stuff, and scrumptious, too!

Hummus. Yummus. Scott actually won't eat it, which is a shame. And technically I'm not supposed to let Isaac have it, either, since it's made from sesame seeds. But...he has it now and then, with no signs of allergies. ;) I like hummus on carrots, celery, red pepper, and bread.

Now this is a really bad picture, but here is the applesauce section of our fridge. We always have some plain organic applesauce, which I use for baking (any time a recipe calls for oil, I nix it and use applesauce instead). I keep some sort of flavored organic applesauce as well (this one is blackberry applesauce), and I add it to Isaac's cereal (typically either rice, oatmeal, quinoa, or barley) in the mornings.

I also add a little of this to Isaac's cereal and to my own oatmeal in the mornings. It's ground flax meal. I buy flax seeds in bulk, and about every 3 weeks I'll grind up a few cups. Ground flax meal is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially for those of us who don't eat enough fish. It also has tons of fiber and other great nutrients. I have about 2 tablespoons each day, and Isaac has about 1 teaspoon.

Wheat germ goes in Isaac's oatmeal and mine, too. It, like flax meal, is actually very good tasting, even though it sounds strange.

I am not a big fan of juice (nutritionally speaking), but Caleb doesn't like plain water. So we mix about 2 ounces of juice with 8 ounces of water to dilute it. Caleb doesn't know the difference. He will only drink white grape or apple, though I'm trying to get him to branch out.

And last but not least, I keep my whole wheat flour in the fridge. Wheat flour goes rancid faster than normal flour, so it's best to keep it in the fridge. I use whole wheat flour in cookies, breads, pizza dough, cobblers--pretty much anything I bake. Using it in place of all-purpose "enriched" white flour is an easy substitute that greatly boosts the nutritional value of your foods.

Now it's your turn. Leave me a comment or make your own blog post about what's in YOUR fridge!


Dad said...

I'm jealous. Noticed you bought the bigger one. We almost bought the same one last month, but too many other unexpected bills came up so we are putting it off. It is a good investment for you guys.

Robin said...

Very interesting to read. I was wondering about the tortillas. I went to the website but I cant fine the nutritional info on it. Can you tell me how much protein it has in it? Also, where do you get yours at?

Tiffany said...

Dad--yup, we ended up getting the big one, after much debate! We went in the store thinking we'd get the 16.7, but the 20.6 cubic feet one was too tempting. ;)

Robin--I couldn't find the nutrition info on the site, either! Here it is (note that this is for the 6" tortillas):

Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 80 mg
Total Carb: 14g
(Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 0g)
Protein: 3g

Like I mentioned in the post, the amazing thing is that when they combine the 6 grains and legumes mentioned in Ezekiel 4:9 and sprout them, they form a complete protein similar to what is in eggs or milk. God knew what he was doing!

I have found these tortillas at Kroger in the organics (refrigerated!) section, but they are cheaper at Sprouts if you have one of those. Still $2.99 for 12 at Sprouts, but not far off from Mission tortillas' price.

Mandy and Jack said...

I think you're smart to get the freezer! My parents have always had one and it was great! Now, we have our old fridge in our garage - not as much freezer space as I'd like, but it sure is nice to have cold drinks all the time!

And as for what's in my fridge? At the moment? After 5 days away? Probably mold. Ew.

some chick said...

you know, hummus is really easy to make and you can make it without the tahini, if that's a problem. let me know if want some tips. I used to make it all the time.

evelyn said...

Tiff, I have never been without a freezer. Of course, 1st was the chest type! Eeeeuew! Always freeze anything like the flour before putting it on the shelf!(I leave mine there.) Yes, flour does get rancid. Things like cake mixes, Bisquick, rice, corn meal,etc..all go in my freezer. Shortening will also get rancid.<> Kills any of those little darlin' bugs that might be lurking, too! Glad you opted for the larger one. You'll soon have it full.

Dad said...

Did you get it installed yesterday okay? Is it full yet...