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20 Foods That Should Be Kept Out of the Refrigerator

 Today we take it for granted, however, refrigerators are an ingenious product that changed everything when they were invented. With these special electrical devices, people could finally keep food for longer without worrying about spoiling, thus saving money and enjoying fresh food at all times. Despite the necessity of the refrigerator when it comes to keeping food fresh, you don’t actually need to store every food item you bring home from the grocery store in it. There are certain foods, both natural and processed, which are altered both in taste, texture and nutritional value when refrigerated. The list of the following 20 foods, which are not recommended to be kept in the refrigerator, will allow you to save space in your cold box, and make the most of the taste and nutritional benefits of your favorite foods.

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1. Bananas

This favorite summer fruit ripens quickly when it’s outside, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be kept in the refrigerator to prolong its life. This is because the nutrients, that is, the vitamins and minerals in the bananas, are stored better outside of the refrigerator than inside it.

2. Whole watermelon

Cold watermelon is a summer favorite, but it isn’t recommended to put the whole fruit into the refrigerator if you want to store it at home. Storage of a whole watermelon in the refrigerator damages the essential antioxidant content of beta-carotene, which is found in the fruit. Therefore, whole watermelons are best kept outside the refrigerator, and if you want some chilled pieces, cut them beforehand, put them in a sealed box and kept them in the refrigerator until you want a healthy snack.

3. Coffee

Humidity conditions in the refrigerator are the enemies of coffee of all kinds, therefore, it is recommended to avoid storing whole and ground coffee beans of in the refrigerator. The moisture in the refrigerator "sticks" to coffee, changes its flavor and destroys its wonderful aroma.

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4. Peaches

When peaches are placed in the refrigerator, their ripening process stops, and consequently, they don’t reach the stage where their taste becomes as it should be. Moreover, cooling causes damage to the nutritional components of these wonderful fruits, which is why it’s not recommended to keep them in the refrigerator.

5. Mango

This exotic fruit is not used to cool temperatures, so it is not advisable to put it in the refrigerator. The essential components of the mango break down when they come into contact with cold, and so, they may lose the nutritional values that make them so healthy for us.

6. Plums

Many times, cold causes plums to shrink and lose their form and beloved juicy texture. The components in the purple fruit, like dietary fibers that help regulate digestive activity, are damaged by the cold and therefore should not be stored in the fruit drawer.

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7. Oils

Storage of oil in a place exposed to sunlight causes it to oxidize which is harmful to its composition, but on the other hand, storing it in the refrigerator also harms it. When storing different oils in the refrigerator - especially olive and avocado oil - they crystallize into a buttery texture which damages their taste.

8. Pumpkin

When storing pumpkin in the refrigerator, moisture causes it to develop mold, and even when that is not the case – its taste can still be damaged. The wetness in the refrigerator may seep into the pumpkin and change its taste, which is why it’s better to opt for cool and shaded places, such as the pantry, over keeping pumpkin in the refrigerator.

9. Basil

Basil is a delicate herb that quickly wilts in the cold, and it also absorbs odors that change its taste from the various items in the refrigerator. Therefore, it is recommended to place basil stalks into a vessel with water, cover its leaves with a bag and put it in a shaded place, so that they hold longer and don’t become damaged. 

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10. Kiwi

Despite its rough appearance, kiwi is sensitive to external influences such as cold. When this fuzzy, sour fruit is placed in the refrigerator, its nutritional value is also impaired as well as its appearance, taste, and texture, which is why the fridge is not the place for it.

11. Onions (especially cut)

Onions have a great amount of liquid, and when put into the refrigerator they are fertile ground for the development of mold that requires moisture to survive. Furthermore, chopped onion absorbs bacteria and odors from the refrigerator, so it is recommended to use it all if cut, or alternatively chop and freeze it.

12. Garlic

When garlic is placed in the refrigerator, the cold causes it to sprout, and it also develops mold and has a texture reminiscent of rubber. To prevent this, do not store it in the refrigerator, and choose a cool, dry place where it can be kept naturally for a long time.

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13. Eggplant

Eggplants are especially sensitive to cold, and when placed in the fridge they quickly spoil and tend to shrink and develop a rubber-like texture as well as mold in their stem. In addition, the natural ethylene gas released from fruits and vegetables further damages the eggplant and causes them to spoil and lose their flavor.

14. Sweet potatoes

When sweet potatoes are brought into the refrigerator, the structure of their cell walls changes and becomes stiff and hard to cut. The cooling also damages their texture, so it takes longer to prepare them, unlike sweet potatoes kept outside the refrigerator. Refrigerator moisture also causes the development of mold and a stale taste, so this is definitely not the place for them.

15. Hot and sweet peppers

When sweet peppers are put into the refrigerator, their natural color fades with time and humidity causes them to develop mold that harms their taste and also makes them inedible. They also tend to shrink when refrigerated, just like their little brothers - hot peppers, therefore, it is not recommended to put both types of peppers in there.

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16. Peanut butter

Fine peanut butter spreads wonderfully on bread and can be used as a snack in itself or even as an ingredient in cookies. When you put the salty-sweet spread to cool in the fridge, its texture becomes damaged and it becomes difficult and almost impossible to spread, so the refrigerator is definitely not the place for it.

17. Nectarines

This wonderful fruit is eaten in its fresh form and also used to make a variety of pastries, but refrigeration can damage its unique taste. The moisture created in the refrigerator causes the nectarines to soften, even if they are not yet ripe so that their delicate skins absorb unpleasant flavors. When nectarines are refrigerated, they tend to spoil quickly, so it is recommended to take them out of the fridge and store them on the counter.

18. Cereal

Sometimes cereal is kept in the refrigerator to prevent ant infestations, but instead, it is recommended to place them in a well-sealed container. When you put cereal in the refrigerator, it can become sponge-like and absorb the smells and flavors around it, as well as soften and lose its flavor and texture. If there is extra sugar in the grains, they crystallize into soft, inedible lumps that stick together and lose their well-known crispness and flavor.

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19. Salad dressings

Salad dressing based on vinegar and oil - like vinaigrettes - are found in almost every refrigerator, but it is certainly not their place. The vinegar and the oil preserve the wonderful taste of the sauces, and when stored in the refrigerator, this taste becomes damaged because they absorb odors around them, even when their container is closed.

20. Chocolate

Some chocolates soften at room temperature and can be refrigerated, but most of these sweet treats remain solid even when they are outside the refrigerator. If you put chocolate in the fridge, its crystalline structure changes, it develops white spots and its flavor changes dramatically.

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