Spring Clean Your Kitchen to Get Healthy

With flowers budding, weeds popping, and the temperature rising, spring is here, leaving people inspired to clean out garages, closets, and the kitchen! nutrition expert and chef Michelle Dudash explains how to give your kitchen a healthy food makeover.

Be Ruthless

Remember, if it’s not in your kitchen, you can’t eat it. Starting with a clean slate saves you time because you’ll see the healthier items front and center. Get rid of anything with hydrogenated oils, lots of added sugar and sodium. Throw out anything past its expiration date or that smells rancid. Donate the high sodium canned goods to a food bank and take the sugary beverages to the kitchen at work. 

Rethink Your Fridge

As a nutrition expert, Michelle recommends replacing the butter in your fridge with soft spreads with no hydrogenated oil. They have 70% less saturated fat than butter. The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans urges people to lower their saturated fat intake and replace it with polyunsaturated fat sources, such as those found in vegetable oils and spreads made with vegetable oils. Use it as a spread, and to replace butter in your favorite recipes.

Keep snack vegetables on hand that are in season, such as asparagus, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, carrots, and zucchini. Wash and cut them up as soon as you get home, or buy them pre-cut so they’re ready when you are. Hummus makes for a nutritious dip.

Stock flavored sparkling water and plain brewed tea, in addition to plain water. Always keep a few fresh lemons and limes on hand to perk up the flavor in chicken and fish entrees and steamed broccoli and spinach. Stock low-fat dairy including Greek yogurt, reduced fat cheeses, and low-fat milk to help you get your 3-a-day. Plain Greek yogurt can double as sour cream in many of your favorite recipes. Boil in-shell eggs once a week for a part of a quick breakfast or snack.

Find Your Inner Domestic Goddess in the Pantry

Keep dried fruit and nuts top of mind by storing them in glass jars. Toss these into salads, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, and rice dishes. Michelle teamed up with California Raisins and loves their recipe for Curried Chicken Salad. Raisins are a classic sweet treat that are a wise choice for snacking or as a delicious and healthful recipe ingredient, and just 1/4 cup of raisins counts as a serving of fruit for adults.

Gear up for grilling season by stock salt-free seasonings to add zest to fish, poultry, and vegetables. Buy natural nut butters that are free of hydrogenated oils. Try almond or cashew butter for something new. Make bagged whole grains, like rice and quinoa, easily accessible by placing in glass jars. Replace the candy and cookie jars with a shallow bowl of fresh seasonal fruit on the counter top for a quick snack on the go. Countertop fruits in season right now include nectarines, oranges, and plums.


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