If you follow a raw foods lifestyle, your diet consists mainly of fresh ingredients, most of which need refrigeration. So, here are a few suggestions that might come in handy when stocking your fridge.

Tip #1 -- Conserve Energy

Consult with your utility provider for tips on ways to lower your energy bill and save on energy consumption for maximum efficiency. They can provide you with valuable information on recycling older models and selecting ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, tips on proper wattage for your unit to prevent your unit from overheating, and guidelines on how to contain colder temperature.

Tip #2 -- Identify your Cold and Warm Spots

Not all areas of the inside of your refrigerator are at the same temperature. Both the vegetable bin and refrigerator door are less cold than the main compartment area. So, it's important to properly seal foods to prevent spoilage.

Tip #3 -- Clean Your Refrigerator

Defrost your freezer
Take out everything
Clean and disinfect the inside walls of the freezer compartment, refrigerator, the shelves, and all along the door seal. You can kill and prevent mildew by wiping the inside of your refrigerator with pure white vinegar. Vinegar discourages and prevents the growth of mildew, molds and other undesirable bacteria.
Wash everything going back in such as bins, racks, and even the outsides of jars
Vacuum the coils at the back of the fridge (if your model has them)
Clean the floor underneath the fridge
Place an open box of baking soda on the top shelf to mitigate strong odors

Tip #4 -- Check Expiration Dates

Check the dates on ALL of your perishable items and throw out or compost any items that have expired, including anything with freezer burn. In the professional kitchen we practice "FIFO", an acronym for "First in, first out". This is a product rotation system established to ensure that the oldest inventory is used first. Loosely translated, store your products with the earliest use-by or expiration dates in front of products with later dates.

Tip #5 -- Make a Grocery List

Stocking up when the time is right will provide you with greater flexibility in menu planning. Check those items that need replenishing. When you're ready, take your list with you when you go shopping.

Tip #6 -- Restock and Store Your Food Properly

Since the raw food diet is comprised mostly of fresh produce, your refrigerator's vegetable bin might not be a large enough space to hold all your items. Consider using air-tight glass containers (as an alternative to food-grade plastic storage containers) in the main compartment to prolong the life and nutritional quality of your food.

Refrigerated and frozen items might consist of:

Nuts, seeds and oils
Dried fruit
Home prepared foods (e.g., salads, sauces, pates, dips and spreads, olives, nut cheeses, etc.)
Frozen desserts, pie crusts, etc.

Author's Bio: 

Helen Castillo
Raw Chef-Instructor
The Raw Palate®

Get The ESSENTIAL Raw Vegan Grocery List™, a complete reference chart plus a F.R.E.E. subscription to get in the Raw Chef's Kitchen, an eNewsletter offering tips on how to eat and shop raw! http://www.TheRawPalate.com

© Helen Castillo | The Raw Palate®...food that matters