Surprising Foods That Don't Need Refrigeration
By Sara Butler
Would it surprise you to learn there are certain foods that taste better and are healthier for you if you keep them out of the fridge? Some foods should be stored at room temperature if you want to get the best out of them. So, if your fridge is normally more crowded than a Monday morning subway car, keep these foods out of it to free up space.
How Refrigeration Can Damage Nutrition
Some foods are best kept in the cold since it helps to maintain their nutrients and flavor. But other foods will actually have their antioxidants broken down if refrigerated. There are also foods that will stop ripening if stored in the cold, and when food hasn’t reached its peak ripeness it’s not as good for you or as tasty.
The avocado is full of healthy fats and other nutrients, and if they’re soft and ripe they should be stored in the fridge until you can gobble them up. But, if an avocado is not yet ripe it should go nowhere near your fridge and should be kept at room temperature instead. You know an avocado is ripe and ready to go when it yields to gentle pressure.
It’s been established that butter is better for you than any margarine alternative, so if you have butter, where should you store it? Not in the fridge! This may be counterintuitive since butter is a dairy product and dairy products often need refrigeration, but if your kitchen is less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit there’s no reason to keep it anywhere but on the counter for a few days in an airtight container. Butter you won’t be using for a few days should be kept in the fridge until you’re ready for it. If you’re concerned about germs, just buy salted butter instead of unsalted, since the salt will help keep bacteria from taking up residence. You butter believe it!
Everyone knows someone who keeps their bread in the fridge, and many people in warm climates do just that to keep pests from munching on it. The problem is, storing bread in the fridge will often make it very hard and take away the fluffy softness that makes bread so delicious. You should be storing your bread in a cool, dry place. If it takes you a while to eat a loaf you can freeze it, just make sure it’s fully defrosted before you toss it in the toaster.
These are just a few foods that are better off at room temperature – so live and learn and stay healthy!