Our inclination is to put food right in the fridge when we’re done with it, but there are many foods that don’t need refrigeration for one reason or another. Here’s our top-10 list:
1. Onions: Moisture from the fridge will turn onions soft and moldy. You really want to keep whole onions stored in a cool, dry place. Cut and chop only what you will use. If you still have leftovers you don’t want stinking up the whole house, keep those in a tupperware separate from other foods.
2. Coffee Beans/Grounds: Many people put their coffee in the freezer or refrigerator right after purchasing it, but the truth is that refrigeration makes the beans lose their flavor. Place your coffee in a cool, dry place next time.
3. Olive Oil: Maybe you’ve already made the mistake of trying to keep your bottle in the fridge. If you have, you’ll know that it hardens into a butter-like consistency. It’s fine to just keep olive oil in the pantry instead.
4. Fresh Basil: These delicate leaves wilt when they’re left in the cold fridge. They do much better if you place them in fresh, cool water and leave them on the counter. Plus, they’re pretty to look at.
5. Honey: This SuperFood never spoils, as long as you keep the lid shut tightly. Honey never belongs in the refrigerator, where it’ll harden and crystalize.
6. Garlic: You’ve probably seen the hanging sacks of garlic bulbs in the store. They are popular for the kitchen, because garlic should never be refrigerated, unless it’s a pre-chopped jar of garlic that sits in a liquid. As for raw garlic in its peel, all you need to do is keep it in a cool, dry place or buy one of the hanging sacks!
7. Bread: This one is surprising for most people because many people make this mistake. Bread dries out in the refrigerator, so it’s better to keep it on the counter or even in the freezer if you need to store it for a longer period of time.
8. Avocados: Some people make the mistake of trying to ripen their avocados by keeping them in the refrigerator. It’s better to just keep them uncut and leave them on the counter until they soften up. Even if the ones you buy are already ripe, there’s no need to refrigerate them.
9. Potatoes: Many of us buy the huge bags of potatoes and some of us place the unused ones in the refrigerator hoping they won’t grow green shoots. The problem is that refrigerating potatoes leaves them gritty and with an unfavorable sweet flavor. All you need to do is store your extras in a brown paper bag and leave them in a cool, dry place. In the case that they do grow shoots, do not eat them.
10. Tomatoes: The cold temperature in the refrigerator prevents tomatoes from ripening. Refrigeration can also cause tomatoes to lose their flavor and change their texture. It’s best to buy only what you need at a given time and keep them in a cool area instead of storing tens of them in the refrigerator for the entire week.