Fridge vs pantry: what you didn’t know about storing food 25



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Do you find yourself throwing away soggy celery or wonder why your avocados won’t ripen? You’re not the only one who has experienced this! We’ve put together a simple guide of how to properly store certain foods. You have probably never even questioned where to store these foods but you’re likely doing it wrong. However, with these simple tips you’ll be able to decrease food waste, increase shelf life and boost the flavour of your foods.

Find out how below!

1. Nuts

Do: Refrigerate – Don’t: Pantry 

Store in container in the fridge. The natural oils become rancid quicker at room temperature and cause a bitter flavour but the cool fridge conditions will slow the process so they can last longer.

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2. Eggs

Do: Refrigerate middle shelf – Don’t: Refrigerator door.

Even though the door has cute built-in cups, store raw eggs in the coolest part of the refrigerator because the temperature fluctuates too much in the door.

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3. Whole wheat flour

Do: Freezer – Don’t: Pantry.

For long term storage (over three months), store in the freezer. Use an airtight container labelled with “best by” date. A cool dry pantry is only suitable for short-term use.

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4. Ground Flaxseeds

Do: Refrigerate – Don’t Pantry.

Refrigerate pre-ground flaxseed in airtight container for up to 90 days. Whole flaxseeds can last for a year at room temperature though to get the most nutrients from this seed it is recommended to grind them as needed.

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5. Potatoes

Do: Pantry – Don’t Refrigerate.

Put potatoes in a perforated bag or paper bag out of the light. Avoid hot spots or near the window – the heat promotes sprouting. The cold fridge converts the potatoes starch to sugar leaving the potatoes discoloured and with a weirdly-sweet spud.

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6. Tomatoes

Do: Counter – Don’t: Refrigerate.

Lay your tomatoes face up at room temperature out of direct sunlight. They lose flavour in the chilly refrigerate so for short-term storage put them in a paper bag in the coolest part of your kitchen.

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7. Red and yellow onions

Do: Pantry – Don’t: Refrigerate.

Store unpeeled onions in a cool, dry and dark place with airflow. Not in a plastic bag. Other tip: chill an onion for about 30 minutes before cutting to reduce tearing!

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8. Basil 

Do: Humid and cool – Don’t: Cold and dry.

One option is to wrap the stems in a damp paper towel, place in plastic bag and then put bag in crisper drawer. Or, trim the steams like flowers, put in a jar of water and put it on the counter with a loose plastic bag on top.

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9. Cucumbers

Do: Counter – Don’t: Refrigerate.

Store cucumbers at room temperature to prevent accelerate decay from chilling. Also, don’t store them near bananas or tomatoes since these release a ripening agent.

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10. Celery 

Do: Refrigerate in foil – Don’t: Refrigerate in plastic.

Bundle celery in foil and keep in crisper drawer. If it wrapped in plastic, the ethylene gas produced by celery is trapped and the celery stalks become limp and bendable.

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11. Garlic 

Do: Counter or Pantry (short-term) or Freezer (long-term) – Don’t: Refrigerate.

Garlic is best stored in cool, shady spots with good circulation. You can freeze whole cloves to use later; the colour may turn yellow but the flavour will remain.

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12. Coffee Beans

Do: Pantry (short-term) or Freezer (long-term) – Don’t: Pantry (long-term) or Refrigerate.

Keep beans in cool, dark and dry airtight container away from any heat. It is okay to store in airtight bags and freeze about 1 month.

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13. Bread

Do: Pantry (short-term) or Freezer (long-term) – Don’t Refrigerate.

Put bread in your breadbox on the counter and set cut-side down to keep it form drying out. Or, place sliced bread in tightly sealed bag to freeze.

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14. Avocados

Do: Counter – Don’t: Refrigerate.

Leave the hard avocados at room temperature for a few days to allow them to ripen. They won’t ripen in the cold fridge. Though, you can put lemon or lime juice on cut pieces of avocados and then store in fridge for up to a day.

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Have you been storing these food incorrectly? Do you have any other pointers for proper food storage? Share with us below!

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Janice do u live in Qeensland? Is that why u don’t buy avocados. I’m down south and buy them all the time.

  2. Am in Melbourne and my avocado tree has over 100 fruits this year. So glad my daughter gifted me one 10 years ago

  3. Thanks. I agree with some if your suggestions but keeping just about any fresh food out of the fridge in our Queensland summer would cause it to have an even shorter shelf life!

    1 REPLY
    • i agree..i keep almost everything in the fridge …in this hot months the kitchen is almost like an oven when the air con isnt on 🙁

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