If you normally get home from grocery shopping and load up the fridge, it's time to reassess. Are you sure you're storing your foods correctly to maximise their longevity and quality?
Some commonly used foods are best stored outside of the fridge as low temperatures can damage the flavour, structure, colour or even lead to them spoiling faster.
It's an easy mistake to make. Have a look at this list of 11 foods that shouldn't be kept in the fridge and find out how many you can confess to.
When you purchase avocadoes you'll often find they are under ripe. Instead of putting them in the fridge, where you'll have to wait for ever for them to ripen, let them ripen naturally at room temperature and you'll be enjoying avocado on toast before you know it. The only exception to this rule is that ripe avocados may be refrigerated for a day or two to prevent spoilage (however, in that case we recommend whipping up a batch of tasty guacamole).
2. Citrus Fruits
A nice fresh orange? If you keep citrus fruits in the fridge you risk them becoming bitter. It's far preferable to keep them in a fresh and dry environment to retain their full flavour. However, if you want to keep a lemon that you've sliced into put the cut part of the lemon on the plate face down.
Here's a trick to keep your lemons for longer.
To conserve bananas at their best leave them attached as a bunch. It's best not to keep them in the fridge as you risk them becoming black, especially when kept in the colder section.
Don't throw away the skins, here are 9 alternative uses, including eating them.
Basil is a very delicate herb, it loses its flavour and potency if stored at too low temperatures. In the fridge it also risks picking up the odours of other foods in the fridge.
Here's a recipe for a classic pesto alle genovese.
How many times have you been told to keep coffee in the fridge to preserve its flavor for longer? It is in fact a myth and low temperatures can detrimentally damage the flavour as well as running the risk of the coffee absorbing other flavours. Coffee is best stored in a cool and dark environment. That's not to stop you from using the freezer for well wrapped larger quantities of coffee.
Onions need to be stored in a cool and dark place outside of the fridge, other than the light, the dampness of the fridge environment can make them go mouldy much more quickly.
7. Soft Fruits
Moldy soft berries? That's the risk you run keeping them in the fridge. Soft fruits like raspberries, blackberries and blueberries tend to retain water which accelerates the growth of mould and are best kept in cool, dry conditions. They will ripen quickly at room temperature so it's best to consume them sooner rather than later.
Whole melons are best stored outside of the fridge where they are more likely to keep their antioxidant qualities intact. If, however, you want to serve fresh melon, slice it and place it in the fridge for about ten minutes before serving to ensure it's refreshed and chilled.
The ideal temperature for storing potatoes is 9 degrees, which means they definitely are not suited to being kept in the fridge. At lower temperatures the potato runs the risk of the starch breaking down resulting in a sweet or gritty taste which nobody will appreciate.
To let tomatoes mature naturally it's best to store them at room temperature. Storing tomatoes in the fridge can damage their flavour adversely and give them that familiar unpleasant mealy texture.
Pumpkin needs to be stored in a well ventilated and dry storage area to preserve it at its optimum. Only once it has been opened you can cover the exposed part with some cling film to prevent it from drying out.
Here's a guide to how you should be storing food inside your fridge.