Have you ever stored a tomato in the fridge, only to find it’s lost its juicy charm? You’re not alone. Many of us unknowingly shorten the lifespan and diminish the flavor of certain foods by refrigerating them. We’re shedding light on common kitchen staples that are better off outside the chilly confines of your fridge, explaining why room temperature can sometimes be the better choice for freshness and taste.

Coffee. Photo credit: Canva Pro.
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Tomatoes

Tomatoes. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Keeping tomatoes in the fridge results in a loss of their characteristic texture and flavor. The cold air stops the ripening process, leading to a mealy texture and diminished taste. It’s best to store them on the countertop, away from direct sunlight.

Potatoes

Potatoes. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

The chilly environment of a refrigerator turns the starch in potatoes into sugar more rapidly, which can alter their taste and texture, making them unpleasantly sweet and gritty. Instead, store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place like a pantry.

Onions

Onions. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Onions need air circulation to stay fresh, and the dampness in a fridge can make them soft and moldy. Instead, store them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Keep them away from potatoes, as they can make each other spoil faster.

Bananas

Bananas. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Refrigeration can disrupt the ripening process of bananas. When refrigerated, their skin may darken faster, although the inside remains unaffected. It’s best to keep them at room temperature until they ripen and then refrigerate if desired.

Melon

Melon. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Storing whole melons like watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews in the fridge can lead to a reduction in antioxidants and flavor. Room temperature is ideal until they’re cut. After cutting, refrigerate the slices.

Honey

Honey. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Refrigeration can cause honey to crystallize and become almost dough-like in texture, making it difficult to pour or spread. Honey naturally resists spoilage, so it’s best kept at room temperature.

Nuts

Nuts. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Nuts can absorb odors in the fridge, compromising their flavor. Also, the cool, moist environment can make them soggy. Instead, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Garlic

Garlic. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Like onions, garlic prefers a ventilated space and can become rubbery and moldy in the fridge. Store it in a cool, dry place, and it will stay fresh for weeks.

Basil

Basil. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Basil wilts rapidly in the fridge and can absorb other food smells. It thrives at room temperature and can even be kept in a cup of water like fresh-cut flowers.

Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Most hot sauces contain vinegar and preservatives that keep them stable at room temperature. Refrigeration can dull the flavor and change the sauce’s consistency.

Ketchup

Ketchup. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

While ketchup can be refrigerated, it’s not necessary due to its natural acidity. Keeping it at room temperature can maintain its flavor better. Restaurants do this all the time!

Chocolate

Chocolate. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Refrigeration can cause chocolate to develop a white coating called chocolate bloom, due to sugar crystals forming on the surface. It’s best stored in a cool, dark place.

Coffee

Coffee. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

The fridge can create condensation in coffee containers making it ripe for mold, affecting flavor and freshness. Coffee is best stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Molasses

Molasses. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Refrigerating molasses can make it thick and sluggish. It’s naturally resistant to spoilage, so storing it at room temperature makes it easier to pour.

Cookies

Cookies. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Cookies can lose their texture and become stale or soggy in the fridge. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for that perfect bite.

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Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Let’s face it, we all have those jars and bottles in our kitchen that don’t get enough love. We’re shining the spotlight on those underrated and overlooked condiments like pesto, horseradish and cranberry sauce. Sure, they might seem ordinary, but wait until you see the magic they can do to your everyday meals.

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A bowl of korean kimchi in a wooden bowl.
Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Ever walked into a kitchen and been hit by a smell that’s… let’s just say, a bit on the nose? You’re not alone. We’re diving into the world of foods that might make your nose wrinkle at first whiff, but trust us, they taste way better than they smell. Find out what these which of these foods topped the list.

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Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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