Cold storage is a necessity for many foods, but the chilly air of the fridge can have a negative effect on some healthy favorites. Keep these foods at their best by keeping them out of the fridge.
Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp might even help keep the antioxidants more intact. Once they’re cut, store them in the refrigerator for three to four days.
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.
Honey can crystallize and seize up in cold temps. Room temperature is ideal to keep this natural sweetener perfectly gooey.
Humidity in the fridge can cause a buildup of watery condensation, which is no good for the flavor of ground or whole bean coffee. Store yours in an airtight container in the pantry instead.
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.
Uncut onions are happy out of the cold. The humidity of the refrigerator makes them moldy and mushy. Avoid direct sunlight, and once they’re cut open, place them in a resealable bag in the vegetable drawer.
Preserve the powerful flavor of garlic by storing it in a cool, dry and ventilated container. Once the head has been broken open, use the cloves within 10 days.
There is need to stash this spicy sauce in the fridge. There’s plenty of vinegar to prevent bacterial growth, plus the heat of the peppers is more potent at room temp.
This beloved condiment is super-spreadable when left out of the fridge; the distinctive chocolate flavor is more intense when not chilled.
It might keep mold growth at bay, but refrigeration can dry out bread. Keep your loaves on the counter. If you’ve got more bread than you need, store it in the freezer and toast as needed.
Colder temps help prevent the natural oils in nuts from going rancid, but the cool environment can stifle the nutty flavor; shelled nuts can also absorb other odors lurking in the fridge. Store nuts in an airtight container in the pantry. If you do have a large amount stashed in the fridge, toast the nuts in a dry pan before using.
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.
The creamy goodness of this fruit is best enjoyed at room temp. If you’ve got a bunch of ripe ones around and no plans to use them, they can be placed in the fridge to keep them good for a few extra days.
Allow peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums to ripen at room temperature. If you can’t gobble ’em up right away, place them in the fruit bin of the refrigerator for a few extra days.
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.