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Foods We Shouldn’t Be Refrigerating

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Foods We Shouldn’t Be Refrigerating

A quick guide to some typically refrigerated foods that are best left out of the cold!


Refrigeration causes the starch in potatoes to turn to sugar and the flavor goes a bit off. The skins will also darken prematurely while cooking once they are refrigerated. Ick.

If you love your potatoes as much as I do (and I REALLY, love my potatoes), it’s best to store in a paper bag in a cool, dark place. The bag will help absorb the excess moisture potatoes tend to give off.


Once an onion is refrigerated, the cellular structure changes- cooking the onion after it’s been chilled releases more carcinogenic properties. Once an onion is cut and refrigerated, it’s best used fresh on salads or as a salsa/pico de gallo.

Because of the moisture potatoes give off, keep onions away from potatoes. I know they like to play together sometimes, but they need to be kept apart until they are ready to be a part of the same dish. They are best stored in the mesh bags they come in, to give them air.


Both of these fruits get mealy and lose flavor if stored in the fridge. Ick.

Keep them on the counter. If you really want a cold, crisp apple, toss it in the fridge 20-30 min before consuming.


Citrus is fine left out on the counter, just make sure to separate them a bit, as storing them close together promotes molding.


The oils in coffee that give it that aroma and rich flavor are compromised if you refrigerate or freeze your beans/grounds. Respect the deity that is the coffee bean- try to keep in a cool, dark place on the counter or on the pantry and use within a week or so once ground. If you don’t drink a lot of coffee, you may want to invest $10 in a coffee grinder and grind the coffee as you make it- the beans will last a while longer un-ground.


Bread gets tough and loses flavor in the fridge. Keep it on the counter or in the cupboard for the week. Anything longer than a week- store it in the freezer and it gets nice and crisp when toasted! In fact, I always keep bagels and bread in the freezer just for this reason- nice and crispy.


The antioxidants in melons are better preserved when keep on the counter. Once cut, they need to be chilled of course.

*Quick tip: we don’t always think to wash a food like melon before cutting/eating it because we don’t consume the skins, but when we do cut it we drag the stuff from the rind into the fruit with the knife. Wash these well before you cut into them!


Basil will wilt faster if left in the fridge. It will also absorb all the smells of the food around it.

It's better to keep it out, sitting in a cup of fresh water, like cut flowers. If you want to store basil for a long time, click here to see my article about fresh-freezing herbs!


Garlic will sprout, become rubbery and change flavor if left int he fridge. Ick.

Store it in a cool, dry place. A small paper bag may help with he moisture. Most oils are good left out at room temperature-unsaturated fats.

**Garlic AND oil together: Salad dressings, marinades…if you combine garlic and oil, use what you can when it’s fresh and refrigerate the rest for up to a week. If left out, garlic combined with oil is a breeding ground for botulism- a nasty, illness-causing bacteria. **


Honey crystalizes when chilled. Keep it in the cupboard or pantry for a smooth pour.


Things like ketchup, hot sauces, soy sauce, pickles, etc. have enough salts/vinegars to act as preservatives and so they are fine left out of the refrigerator.

Keeping these foods out of the fridge will ramp up the flavor and serve up more enjoyable textures. A greater sense of satiety is achieved when we stop to appreciate the textures, smells, and flavors of our food. Enjoy!



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