8 Foods You Should Not Refrigerate

by in Healthy Tips, May 22, 2012
tomatoes in bowl
Keep tomatoes out of the fridge!

Summer is prime time for produce. While you may know how to cook and eat these seasonal goodies, are you storing them correctly? Here are 8 farmers’ markets finds that should stay out of the fridge.

Tomatoes
The chill of the icebox makes tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill). If they begin to get too ripe, it’s time to make tomato jam or roasted tomato sauce.

Melon
Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp may even help keep the antioxidants better intact. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Potatoes
Cold temps will break down the starches in potatoes, making them unpleasantly sweet and gritty. Cool and dry darkness is a spud’s best bud.

Onions
Uncut onions are happy out of the cold. The humidity of the refrigerator makes them moldy and mushy. Avoid direct sunlight and once cut open, place in a resealable bag in the vegetable drawer.

Garlic
Preserve the powerful flavor of garlic by storing in a cool, dry and ventilated container. Once the head has been broken open, use the cloves within 10 days.

Apples
Freshly picked apples will do well (and look pretty) on your counter. If they aren’t eaten after a week or two, make them last a little bit longer by then chilling them in the fridge.

Berries
Fresh berries from your local farm taste amazing at room temperature so it’s the sooner the better for munching. For long-term storage keep them in the fridge. To avoid soggy or moldy berries, rinse just before eating.

Stone Fruit
Allow peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums to ripen at room temperature. If you can’t gobble ‘em up right away, place in the fruit bin of the refrigerator for a few extra days.

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Comments (581)

  1. [...] Read at source website [...]

  2. lauragbeck says:

    I knew I wasn't crazy,,,,,,,

  3. ilisa says:

    great tips and super informative leading up to Summer!! i have been mistakenly refrigerating so many of these for years.

  4. [...] here to see the original: 8 Foods You Should Not Refrigerate This entry was posted in Food Network and tagged apples, berries, cut, days, flavor, fruit, [...]

  5. Rueben says:

    I never refrigerate my tomatoes!

  6. sarah says:

    I always refrigerate potatoes and onions. I have no problems with either of them. I call BS on those two for sure!

    • Melissa says:

      Refrigerating those items also destroys the nutritional value of them. That is the more important thing. Which is true for most of the items that you aren't suppose to refrigerate.

    • Andrea says:

      Besides the nutritional value that breaks down in the fridge, it also drastically will affect the flavor. Whether they are cooked or raw, they will taste much better if kept out of the fridge. The main key which is more European is to go to the market daily and eat the fruits and veggies as soon as possible! That way you don't need to store in the refrigerator to keep them from going bad.

      • Verily Godfrey says:

        Actually, most of the world does that in population centers. Of course what people buy varies and most folks in warm climes with a spot of land will have fruit trees/ vines as well.

    • Alisha says:

      I agree, especially on the onions. If you cut refrigerated onions, it slows the reaction of the sulfenic acids and enzymes that produce propanethiol S-oxide and make eyes water. In addition, if you store them in the crisper, it reduces the humidity level and you can keep onions for a very long time.

    • Boboe says:

      If you enjoy bland food, go for it.

  7. Roweida says:

    I always refrigerate all my fruit and vegetable expet potatoes and onions, Thank you for the tip.

  8. Matt says:

    Just do what the produce section at the store does. If you find it refrigerated sections, then put it in the fridge. If its just out in baskets, don't refrigerate it. Good rule to go by

  9. I refrigerate tomatoes and apples! I would not do that again. Thank you for sharing the so worthy information.

  10. Carlos says:

    Awesome read. I work in the produce retail industry and it's areas like this that we constantly try to educate the public on how the storage of items can severly effect the taste. All of these are 100% true and as far as potatoes go, yeah don't let them get below 40 degrees…after 2-3 days the starch slowly starts to convert to sugar and you miss out on what a real potato should taste like!

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