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9 Foods That Should Not Be Refrigerated

Oils thicken up and get cloudy if refrigerated. Coffee (ground or beans) loses its flavor and absorbs odors from the fridge. Bananas and tomatoes lose flavor, texture and stop ripening naturally. Starch in potatoes converts into sugar, making it sweet or gritty. Moisture turns onions soft and moldy, makes garlic sprout prematurely, crystallizes honey and dries up fresh herbs.

The refrigerator has been one of the greatest inventions that has made it much easier and affordable to increase the shelf life of most perishable items. Benefits of refrigeration include:1

  • Avoiding daily trips to the market for buying perishables.
  • Longer storage of infrequently used items.
  • Leftovers can be stored for future use.
  • Protection against pests.

Some foods need to be kept in the fridge to help stop germs from growing on them. However, there are some foods that should not be refrigerated, as they are better off stored outside.

1. Oils

You do not need to refrigerate oils. Oils on refrigeration will thicken up and get cloudy. This is more common with the olive and coconut oils, which tend to solidify at cooler temperatures and take a longer time to liquefy again.

For Best Results – Store oils in a cool and dark place.

2. Coffee

Coffee should never be stored in the fridge in it’s ground or bean form. The condensation created by the fridge or the freezer can affect the flavor of the beans. Coffee might also absorb some of the odors in your fridge.

For Best Results – Store beans or grounds in an airtight container outside the refrigerator instead.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes will lose all their flavor in the fridge. The biggest problem with storing tomatoes in the fridge is that the cold temperature begins to play havoc with their texture.

The cold air in the fridge stops the ripening process, and ripening is what gives tomatoes more flavor! Cold temperature also breaks down the cell walls in tomato flesh and causes them to become mealy and develop ice crystals when refrigerated.

For Best Results – Store them on your counter (not in direct sunlight) and enjoy them when they are ripen.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes are made up of starch, which upon refrigeration quickly converts into sugar, thus leaving you with a sweet or gritty potato. The skin of potatoes will also darken prematurely while cooking, making them look less appetizing.

For Best Results – Potatoes can be stored at room temperature and are actually best stored in a cool, dark place, preferably wrapped in paper and far away from onions, since they both deteriorate faster if stored together.

5. Onions

If you put onions in the fridge, the moisture will eventually turn them soft and moldy. If the onion has been cut, then the layers begin the process of drying up even if you do wrap it up tightly. Also, it will leave a bad odor and make your other food items smell like onions too.

For Best Results – It is best to keep onions at room temperature, in the mesh bag, in proper air circulation.

6. Bananas

Refrigeration happens to turn banana peels brown, but the insides will still be fine. This could actually make bananas unappetizing. The cold temperature within the fridge also tends to slow down their ripening process.

For Best Results – Store bananas at room temperature. Also, it is advisable to consume ripened bananas immediately.

7. Garlic

Refrigeration will make garlic sprout prematurely. It may also get rubbery and moldy when kept in the fridge. Again, air circulation is key.

For Best Results – Garlic bulbs will keep for two months without refrigeration. You should instead keep garlic in a cool, dry place.

8. Honey

Keeping honey in the refrigerator can cause it to crystallize which turns it into an almost dough-like form, making for a hard time to scoop out.

For Best Results – Honey will stay good basically forever if tightly sealed and stored at room temperature.

9. Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs should be left outside, as they might absorb the odor in the fridge and lose their original flavor. They also wilt and dry up in the fridge.

For Best Results – Wrap them up tightly or put them in an air-tight container for efficient storage.

It is thus important to be aware of the foods that can be refrigerated and should likely be in your fridge, against foods that are there in your fridge, but should never be refrigerated. Taking small precautionary measures to understand food storage and the best practices will cut down on waste.2

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Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.