Please create an account
or Log in to subscribe


or


Subscribe to our RSS feeds Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our RSS feeds Watch us on Youtube View us on Instagram

Keep the coffee in the pantry: Foods you shouldn’t put in the fridge

Keep your tomatoes out of the fridge to preserve their flavour.

Keep the coffee in the pantry: Foods you shouldn’t put in the fridge

From tomatoes to coffee beans, some foods aren't meant to be kept cold, and the reasons may surprise you. Here are eight items that simply don't belong in the fridge.

Keep the coffee in the pantry: Foods you shouldn’t put in the fridge

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are best left on the bench and not in your fridge because they’re sensitive to ethylene – a gas that accelerates ripening.

Keep your tomatoes in the fruit bowl or on the window sill.

Keep your tomatoes in the fruit bowl or on the window sill.

Keeping your tomatoes separate from ethylene-producing foods, such as bananas, apples, pears and oranges, will ensure they stay fresh for longer.  

Research also shows that chilling tomatoes below 12°C limits their ability to generate substances that contribute to aroma and taste. In other words, they won’t be as nice to eat.  

“Tomatoes lose flavour when placed in the fridge,” says CHOICE’s home economist Fiona Mair.

“I always keep my tomatoes in my fruit bowl or on the window sill. 

“I like to buy a mixture of firm and slightly soft tomatoes so I have beautifully ripened tomatoes I can use across the week.” 

If you’ve got a bumper crop of tomatoes right now, try these 13 Spanish recipes to last you the next fortnight!

2. Coffee

Ground or whole-bean coffee should never be kept in the fridge, even if it’s in an airtight container.

Why? Because coffee works as a deodoriser and absorbs moisture, odours and flavours from the air around it, making your morning cuppa taste less like the nectar of the gods and more like a nasty flavouring of ‘fridge’. Ew. 

Coffee beans and coffee grounds absorb the moisture around them, so the fridge is probably the last place you want to keep it.

Coffee beans and coffee grounds absorb the moisture around them, so the fridge is probably the last place you want to keep it.

Instead, keep your beans in an airtight container in a dark space such as your pantry, away from sunlight, heat, steam and moisture. For the best flavour and freshness, buy your beans as fresh as possible and use them within 72 hours of roasting.  

If that’s not possible, you can store your coffee beans in the freezer for up to a month, according to the US National Coffee Association. But do so in small portions because, once you’ve taken your beans out of the freezer, it’s best not to put them back in again.

Read more: How much coffee is too much coffee?

3. Uncut root vegetables 

Root vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, sweet potato and garlic, thrive outside the fridge crisper.

The high humidity in fridges can cause root vegetables to rot faster. It’s also important that you don’t store root vegetables together, as this can affect their flavour.  

Along with onions, potatoes and other root vegetables, the fridge isn't the place to store garlic.

Along with onions, potatoes and other root vegetables, the fridge isn’t the place to store garlic.

“Keeping these types of food out of the refrigerator is generally to avoid moisture absorption that happens in the refrigerator, as this can cause foods to ferment and reduce the taste and quality,” says Mair.

“Best to find a cool dry dark spot in your kitchen.” 

According to Aloysa Hourigan, accredited practising dietitian and nutritionist and media manager at Nutrition Australia, there are some exceptions to the rule, especially after the vegetables have been cut. 

“Onions are best stored out of the fridge until they’re cut, then need to be covered or placed in a sealed container and kept in the fridge,” she says. 

“Whole pumpkins can be stored out of the fridge for many weeks, but once cut, they need to be stored in the fridge.” 

Vege delight: Check out our 16 favourite delicious vegetarian recipes

4. Coconut oil 

“Coconut oil is climate-dependent and will solidify at temperatures lower than 24°C, so it’s best to keep it in a cool, dark place like the pantry,” says Fiona.  

But she says as a general guide, nut and seed oils are best kept in the refrigerator, otherwise they’re “more likely to oxidise and go rancid quickly.” 

Whether or not you need to put a condiment in the fridge depends entirely on the type of sauce, oil or spread you have, how much preserving salt or sugar they contain, and whether it’s been opened. 

“With bottled sauces, such as soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, oyster sauce and curry pastes, it’s always best to check the label to see if it says ‘refrigerate after opening’,” says Hourigan. 

Read more: Is coconut really oil that good for you?

A Harvard professor says it’s  ‘pure poison’

5. Bread 

Bread doesn’t belong in the fridge – it’ll go stale much faster than if you just keep it in the pantry. 

Instead, keep your bread in an airtight tin, bread box or, for hard-crusted bread, a brown paper bag. Avoid plastic too, as this encourages bread to go mouldy faster. 

Fresh bread will go stale far quicker if you refrigerate it.

Fresh bread will go stale far quicker if you refrigerate it.

Fresh bread will only last a few days before it naturally goes stale, but you can extend its life span by putting it in the freezer. Doing so slows down the natural process of retrogradation and recrystallisation, and stops it going stale.

Let it rise: Our favourite bread recipes

6. Honey and peanut butter 

Honey and nut spreads are all unique, so all need different types of storage. This is why it’s important to always check the label for advice.

Honey is unique – one of the few foods in the world that never spoils thanks to its one-of-a-kind chemical make-up. The reason honey doesn’t go bad is because bacteria can’t grow in it, so it’s happy to sit at room temperature in your pantry, where it stays soft and easy to spread.

When refrigerated, honey crystallises, but is still perfectly edible. Honey’s durability is legendary. When archaeologists opened ancient Egyptian tombs, they found jars of honey from the days of the Pharaohs that were still good to eat.

As for peanut butter, it’s fine in the pantry for three months or so after opening. But to extend its shelf life and avoid oil separation, you can also keep it in the fridge, though this will harden it and could make it a bit more difficult to spread.

Check out our 10 fun ways to enjoy more peanut butter in your diet

7. Basil and parsley  

Some herbs such as coriander and mint are best kept in the refrigerator crisper, wrapped loosely in absorbent paper and put in a sealed container.  

But basil and parsley will turn a nasty shade of yuk if you keep them in the crisper.  

Some herbs like coriander will thrive just fine in the fridge, but keep parsley and basil out.

Some herbs like coriander will thrive just fine in the fridge, but keep parsley and basil out.

“These herbs seem to do better out of the fridge,” says Hourigan. “The dry air in the refrigerator causes the leaves to wilt easily.” 

To store your basil and parsley, Mair says, cut the bottom of the stems, place them in a jar with a small amount of water, then leave the jar in a cool place. “You’ll just need to change the water and cut the bottom of the stems every couple of days,” she says. 

Try our orzo-stuffed capsicums with basil and tomatoes

8. Warm leftovers

Putting hot food in the fridge can wreak havoc on its internal temperature, which may affect other food in the fridge as well.  

So, for the sake of freshness, leave your warm leftovers to fall to room temperature first.  

Talking of leftovers, here’s how to make the most of them!

This article was republished with permission from choice.com.au

Share on Facebook Pin on Pinterest Share by Email

Post a Comment

© MiNDFOOD 2019. All Rights Reserved

Web Design Sydney

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!