There are a number of foods that we tend to refrigerate that simply do not need to be refrigerated. In fact, you could even be harming some of these foods by keeping them cold. Follow these guidelines, keep these foods out of your fridge, and you may even improve your health and stretch your grocery dollar, because without refrigeration, some of these foods even last longer.
Foods to Keep Out of the Fridge
- Peanut Butter
While it is true that natural peanut butter needs refrigeration, since the oil separates and can become rancid, ‘regular’ peanut butter does not need to be cooled. In fact, if you do store it in the fridge, it can harden and be difficult to spread.
If you put your potatoes in the fridge, the cold will cause the starch in the potatoes to turn to sugar. Not only is this bad for your blood sugar, but it will also change the taste of your potatoes. Instead, keep them on the counter.
Tomatoes are one of the worst things to ‘accidentally’ store in the fridge. As soon as you close that door, they begin to lose nutrients. As their chemical components break down, they also lose their flavor. So, a refrigerated tomato is a tasteless, nutrition-less item that won’t do you any good at all. Again, keep them on the counter. Tomatoes not yet ripe? Store them upside down, on their stems, or place in a paper bag on your kitchen windowsill. This will do the trick!
Onions like air, but not cold air. Keep them on the counter, too, but away from potatoes or apples. They release a gas that can actually ripen fruits and vegetables.
Refrigeration causes garlic to sprout prematurely. Keeping garlic out of the fridge will allow it to last for about two months–and it will keep all of your other refrigerated items from smelling like garlic!
Avocados will not ripen in the fridge. If you do not need them for a while, sure, keep them in the fridge, but if you want to eat them, and eat them when they are ripe, store them outside of the fridge
Bananas should ripen at room temperature. The refrigerator should only be an option if you want to slow the ripening process. Refrigeration will also turn the peels brown.
Pre-cut melon should never be refrigerated. However, once you have cut your watermelon, or any other kind of melon, the fruit should be stored in the refrigerator.
- Pastries and Breads
Refrigerating pastries and breads actually causes them to go stale faster. So, keep them in sealed containers on the counter instead.
For years people have thought that the perfect place to store honey is in the refrigerator. Perhaps to keep it out of the reach of ants. However, the cold simply makes it thick, crystalline, and inedible. Honey has a very long shelf life and will not go bad in your pantry, no matter how long it is in there.
So, keep these foods out of the fridge, make your dollar go farther and improve your health!