You’ve been storing these foods all wrong

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After being left to cure in sunlight pumpkins should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated area which is no colder than 10°C. Leaving them in the fridge will cause them to turn faster. Cured and well-stored pumpkins can last up to six months.

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Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits are juicier and more flavourful at room temperature. Store lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges in a cool, dry space and consume them within a couple of weeks. If you did want them to keep longer, store them in a plastic bag inside the fridge crisper drawer.

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Soft herbs like basil, coriander, mint, parsley and dill should be treated like bunches of flowers – cut and keep them in a glass with fresh water. If placed into the fridge, the leaves will wilt and quickly become soggy.

However ones such as rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano should be wrapped in a paper towel and stored in an airtight container in the fridge crisper drawer.

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Cold temperatures are not for potatoes as they convert the starch into sugar. The result of which is potatoes with texture and sweet flavouring. A cool pantry is best for potatoes to prevent chlorophyll from the sunlight to turn them green and make them bitter.


Air circulation is important for onions to thrive. They do best in the pantry but keep away from your potatoes so they don’t spoil them with their gas. If you have choppoed onions then be sure to pop those in the fridge to preserve.

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If you don’t wish to accelerate the dull flavourings then be sure to keep you tomatoes away from the fridge.

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If you was fresh, bold flavour then keep coffee away from fridge moisture. Plus, the temperature fluctuations from every time you open the door to your fridge, creates condensation, which creates even more moisture. Store your coffee beans in an airtight container in the pantry instead.

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Garlic cloves keep best when stored in temperatures between 15 and 18° C. A cool dry place is perfect for them.

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Cucumbers should not be in the fridge. When stored there this will lead to watery and pitted cukes.

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Keep chocolate at room temperature somewhere dark and dry if you want to get the best from them. This is because in the fridge causes “sugar bloom”. It happens when it’s chilled and then exposed to warm air, causing condensation on the surface which dissolves some sugar. Keep it in a cool dry place to avoid a grain consistency and dull flavour. (Or eat it all as soon as you get it.)

Bell peppers
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Capsicum/bell peppers

Low temperatures cause the peppers to lose their crunch. To avoid this store instead in a cool dry place.

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Storing in the fridge could dull the flavor. Though aubergine does have a short shelf life outside of the fridge so if you pick one up be sure to have something planned.

Whole Melon
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Whole Melon

The fridge can cut the number of antioxidants in half. (According to USDA) Studies found that watermelons at room temperature develop nearly double the levels of compounds like beta-carotene (promotes healthy skin and eyesight) than do refrigerated melons. Cool air stunts the antioxidant growth that occurs after harvest. Still chill sliced melons to prevent bacterial growth. 

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Vinegar (inc vinegar based dressing)

Oil or vinegar-based dressings are fine left in the cupboard. In fact, those that are oil-based can actually spoil in cooler temperatures. Creamier sauces should still be stored in the fridge.

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Virtually unspreadable straight from the fridge, butter is perfectly safe to store in a butter dish. If you don’t plan to use butter for a few weeks, it’s best kept in the fridge.

Peanut Butter
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Peanut Butter

Processed peanut butter can become hard and stodgy in the fridge, meaning spreading a layer of the stuff on your toast will be an arduous task. When it comes to natural peanut butter, it’s more of a grey area. The spread may last longer when kept in the fridge, but the oils generally separate and at cooler temperatures, it’s harder to mix the product back to the right consistency.

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While most fridges come with a built-in rack on the inside of the door, eggs (if of European standard) will be better off elsewhere. The most important thing when it comes to storing them is maintaining their temperature and if eggs are kept in the fridge door, the temperature will fluctuate each time it is opened. They’re best left in the egg box and kept in a cool cupboard. If you must refrigerate them, keep them on the middle shelf.

Stoned fruit like peaches/plums also avocados, nuts and honey are a few others that you need to keep out of the fridge. Think you’ll find it hard to remember? A good rule of thumb is to follow where you pick them up from in the supermarket as many of these will not have been in a closed door fridge.

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