If we could always have our way, we wouldn’t have to put any food items in the refrigerator. We’d go to the market before each meal and pick up fresh produce. However, that’s not always possible, which is why there is a need for refrigeration.
Keeping certain foods in the fridge keeps them fresh and relieves the stress of having to go to the market every day. However, one thing you should know is that not all produce needs to go in the refrigerator.
Some fruits and vegetables are better left on the counter or stored in other places. The next time you go shopping, here are 7 fruits and vegetables that you shouldn’t throw in the fridge, along with other items.
The way you find food items at the store gives you an indication of how you are supposed to store them at home. Bananas are one of those fruits that require warm temperatures to ripen. Ideally, the temperature should be between 15 and 20 °C (59-68°F) if you want the green jackets to turn yellow.
Therefore, storing your bananas in a fridge will halt their ripening process. Furthermore, the cold temperature of the refrigerator or freezer may affect the fruit's cell walls, causing the skin to turn black. Store your bananas in a dark room or cupboard away from direct sunlight.
Melons aren't designed to be stored in the refrigerator based on their size. These fruits can be large and as heavy as 25 pounds, taking up a lot of space in the fridge. Furthermore, storing melons in the refrigerator may affect their nutritional quality and antioxidant content.
Being a fruit that ripens during the warm summer months, it’s best to enjoy it while it’s still fresh. If there is any left over, you can make some watermelon rind pickles. If you cut the melon into small pieces, you can store them in the fridge for about three days before they begin to go bad.
Butternut squashes and other thick-skinned winter squashes are better stored outside the refrigerator. When you put them on your counter, these fruits remain intact for several months. However, in a cold environment like the fridge, they only survive a few days.
Also, like melons, squashes are quite large and will take up a lot of space in your fridge. If you don’t want to leave them out in the open, store squashes in your basement or any other cool, dark room.
Even though scientists have warned about the dangers of storing potatoes in the fridge, we’ll say it again. You should never store your potatoes or sweet potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer.
Raw potatoes have lots of starches, and the cold temperature of the fridge can turn the starches into sugars. This makes your potatoes excessively sweet and causes them to turn dark when you cook them.
Store potatoes in a bin or an open container to allow air to circulate around them and keep their moisture levels down. Excessive moisture causes spoilage.
Storing peaches in the fridge slows down the ripening process, allowing them to last longer. However, it has a few negative effects on the fruit.
For starters, the cold temperature dehydrates the fruit, making it less enjoyable. At the same time, it may alter the flavor of the fruit, depending on what else is in the refrigerator.
When you come back from the store, unload the peaches onto the counter and allow them to ripen to their fullest. You can chill them for a few minutes before eating or turn them into a peach pie.
Garlic is another vegetable that survives better outside the fridge than inside it. In warm temperatures, garlic can last several months, so there is no point in taking it out of its comfort zone.
Also, because of the moisture, storing whole heads of garlic in the refrigerator can stimulate sprouting. Instead, keep the garlic cloves in your pantry or in a basket on your counter and only separate them when you need to use them for cooking.
For sliced or minced garlic, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and use them within two days.
Eggplants can last up to a week in the fridge when you cover them with paper towels to protect them from moisture. But they also have the same shelf life out of the fridge, so there is no point putting them in the fridge unless you have to.
Store your eggplants in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. You can keep them in your basement or pantry until you need to use them.
As we arrive at the end of this article, you’ll probably have figured out that not every fruit and vegetable belongs in the fridge. Some are best left in a bowl on the kitchen counter or stored in the basement.