The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in the modern kitchen, helping to preserve and keep food fresh for longer. But should you refrigerate all your food? Contrary to popular belief, refrigerating some foods can actually reduce their nutritional content and flavor. Here is a list of some of the foods you should stop putting in your refrigerator right now.
Bananas should not be stored in the refrigerator because refrigeration reduces the nutrients in the fruit. If your bananas are unripe, it’s better to leave them on the counter till they become ripe as the lower temperature of the fridge makes ripening slow and the wetness and darkness of the refrigerator make the banana rotten.
Cold temperatures can reduce the flavor of potatoes. The moisture in the fridge also promotes decay and the cold temperature speeds up the breakdown of starch into sugar. Potatoes should be kept in well-ventilated cardboard boxes unwashed.
Onions kept in the refrigerator become soft and moldy. The National Onion Association of the USA advises that unpeeled onions should be kept in the open as they need air for longevity. However, a peeled onion should be refrigerated in a covered container.
Unripe avocado should be kept out in the open as cold temperatures inhibit the ripening process. However, a ripe avocado may be kept in the fridge for a few days.
Refrigerating garlic will stimulate the process of germination, leaving you with a sprouting bulb. In fact, the garlic will become rubbery and moldy, but the outer skin will not change. You only find out that your garlic has gone bad when you are ready to use it.
Bread should be fluffy, soft, and a little bit damp. But keeping your bread in the fridge will dry out the moisture, leaving a tough and stale dough that takes an effort to chew. Sandwiches made from bread can, however, be stored in the fridge. The best way to store your bread is at room temperature in a bread container. If you want to keep bread for a more extended period, then it’s better to freeze it.
Coffee, in beans and ground form, requires storage in a cool, dry, and dark place to retain its rich flavor and freshness, the exact opposite of the cold, damp environment of the fridge. To lock in the freshness and flavor of coffee, store in an airtight container or bag in a cool, dry, and dark spot. Freeze in an airtight bag if you need to store it for longer periods.
Refrigerating tomatoes makes them lose their flavor, and the cold temperature of the refrigerator can also impede the ripening process, and also ruptures the texture of the tomato. Tomatoes are best kept in a bowl or basket on the counter where fresh air can reach them.
Honey can last for a lifetime if you keep it in a tightly sealed container, making refrigeration unnecessary. Honey contains natural preservatives that allow it to stay in good condition provided you keep it sealed. On the other hand, refrigeration crystallizes the liquid, making it difficult to scoop into your food.
An unopened melon is best kept at room temperature because that’s the ideal condition for retaining its antioxidants and flavor, according to research carried out by the USDA. As for sliced melons, these can be refrigerated as long as they are covered.
Pumpkins should be stored in a well-ventilated, cool, dark, and dry space like a basement. Your pumpkin has no business in your fridge.
You shouldn’t refrigerate your olive oil as the low temperature condenses the oil, giving it a butter-like density. Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place.
The cold temperature of the refrigerator makes basil to wilt rapidly. Basil will also absorb the odor of the foods around it, spoiling the flavor. For best results, keep your basil in a cup of freshwater like a bouquet of flowers. Blanch your basil then freeze if you want to store it for longer periods.
Refrigerating peanut butter makes it dry and hard, which makes scooping on your bread a tough task. Your peanut butter should be kept in a cool, dry, place like your cupboard so that it can retain its smooth and soft texture.
Pickles are packed with natural preservatives that keep them in top-notch condition for months or even years. You can leave them on the counter and save some room in your refrigerator for more delicate foods.
Should you keep your eggs in the refrigerator? The jury is out on this one. Some experts say that there’s no problem with refrigerating eggs while others report that the cold temperature can adversely affect the taste and flavor of the egg. The ideal storage condition for eggs is to keep them at room temperature in a well-ventilated place, and they will be fine.
You can keep oil or vinegar-based salad unrefrigerated for extended periods without any trouble. But salads with mayo or yogurt dressings should be stored in the fridge to keep them fresh.
Fruits such as Apricots, Kiwi, Mangoes, Peaches, and Plums should not be placed in the refrigerator to allow the smooth progress of the ripening process. Refrigeration can also damage the membrane of the fruits. Fruits should be stored in a cool, dry place like your counter.