Foods That Don’t Need Refrigerating

Some food items we buy are clearly marked to refrigerate after opening, as an example foods like dairy products and meats among others.

There are some items we buy that are not marked as to how to store it once you have it at home in your kitchen.

These food items include the following.

Tomatoes

Storing tomatoes in the refrigerator can make tomatoes dull and mealy.

In his book, “Food and Cooking” – food scientist Harold McGee explains that ripe tomatoes, are especially sensitive to chilling at temperatures below 55ºF and suffer damage to their membranes that results in minimal flavor development, blotchy coloration, and a soft, mealy texture when they’re brought back to room temperature.

Store them on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill).

If your tomato is a little overripe, putting it in the fridge will stop the ripening process preventing issues like mold.

Serious Eats tested over ripe tomatoes by storing them in the refrigerator, and the results showed that the flavor was not negatively impacted by the cold.

If they ripen to fast on the counter top, you could roast them and make them into tomato sauce.

Serious Eats is an award-winning food and drink website, visited by hungry readers every month to view rigorously tested recipes, science-driven cooking techniques, and robust equipment reviews.

Read more here about:

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Melon

Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor.

USDA research found that storage of melons at room temp may even help keep the antioxidants better intact.

Some supermarkets sell half melons, these should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 3 to 4 days.

What happens if you leave a cut melon out?

Dispose of any cut melon pieces left out for longer than 2 hours. Bacteria can begin to grow on the cut melon if it is not refrigerated.

This can lead to spoilage and food poisoning. Be sure to throw out any melon left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours instead of storing it.

As a general rule, you should not keep melon for more than a week unless you intend to freeze it.

With your bought melon why not try this recipe out: Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad

Avocado

Keeping avocados in the refrigerator halts the ripening process so never store them in the refrigerated. Just put them on the counter at room temperature.

If they are already ripe then use them immediately.

To ripen avocados, we suggest you put them in a brown paper bag along with an two to three apples or bananas for a few days until ripe.

The apple or banana releases ethylene gas which causes the avocados to ripen more quickly.

Once your avocados are ripe, try this recipe: Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad

Potatoes

Cold temperatures will break down the starches in potatoes, making them unpleasantly sweet and gritty.

It is best to store them in the dark we’re it is cool and dry.

When your ready to use your potatoes try this recipe: Organic BBQ Hot Dogs and Potato Pack

Onions

Storing uncut onions in the refrigerator can make them moldy and mushy.

Without their exterior layers intact, cut onions are susceptible to bacteria and mold.

To reuse a cut onion, you’ll need to prepare it correctly, choose an appropriate container, and store it at the right temperature.

If you have half of an onion remaining or a few large wedges, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.

Plastic wrap will insulate the onion from the outside air while helping it retain moisture.

Store the cut wrapped onion in your refrigerator at or below 40 °F (4 °C).

Do not at room temperature. Keeping them at a low temperature inhibits the growth of bacteria and allows you to safely reuse them later.

Garlic

Preserve the powerful flavor of garlic by storing in a cool, dry and ventilated container.

Once the head has been broken open, use the cloves within 10 days.

You seriously need to try this delicious plate: Asparagus with Garlic and Smoked Bacon

Coffee

Never store ground coffee or coffee beans in the fridge or freezer.

Coffee Beans-Finding You’re Favorite Coffee

Starbucks states that roasted coffee beans should be kept at room temperature. They go on to say when you store it in the freezer or refrigerator, moisture condenses on the coffee and can extract the flavor.

The fridge and freezer are far too humid and will make your coffee tasteless and less aromatic.

Read more here about Coffee-Grinding Tips and Facts

Hard Cheese

If you’re a cheese connoisseur then you probably already know this, but hard cheeses should never go in the fridge.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on a table top

It may sound odd as cheese is a dairy product. But if hard cheese is left in the fridge then it turns from hard to rock hard.

Hard cheese goes through a curing process that takes about six months or more to complete (depending on the hard cheese being cured).

After its cured, there is no need to keep it chilled. Just store it in a cool, dark place like your pantry or cupboard.

Other cheeses not aged need to be refrigerated, so make sure to check if it has been aged or not.

Read more here about the Top Nine Varieties Of Cheese’s Enjoyed By Food Lovers

Apples

Freshly picked apples will do well on your counter or in a fruit bowl.

If they aren’t eaten after a week or two, make them last a little bit longer by then chilling them in the fridge.

If you love apple pie, you’ll like the flavor of Baked Apples Apple Pie

Berries

Fresh berries from your local farm taste amazing at room temperature so it’s the sooner the better for munching.

For long-term storage keep them in the fridge.

To avoid soggy or moldy berries, rinse just before eating.

After you rinse them, try the berries in this recipe: Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

Stone Fruit

Allow peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums to ripen at room temperature.

If you don’t use them right away, place them in the fruit bin of the refrigerator for a few extra days.

This recipe is wonderful with fresh peaches (can use frozen): Peach and Pecan Cake

Microgreens Another Source Of Great Nutrition

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that fall somewhere between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables.

Sprouts are technically the newly germinated seeds, while the microgreens are the 1-2 week-old youngster seedlings.

Sprouts grow more like a fungus, as they are provided with high humidity, an enclosed area, and a low light environment.

Whereas, microgreens grow more like a plant. It absorbs nutrients directly from the seed, soil, or nutrients added to water (if grown hypotonic) and light (photosynthesis).

Hydroponic grown microgreens
Hydroponic Grown Microgreens

Microgreens are rich in potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper – all of which are essential nutrients for the health of your body.

According to studies that have been conducted on microgreens, they contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their fully mature counterparts.

This means that you can get the right amounts of nutrients that you need for optimal health by just adding a few microgreens servings into your diet.

What Do Mircrogreens Taste Like

As noted above, these tiny and edible greens that grow from vegetable and herb seeds pack a nutritional punch and are absolutely delicious.

Generally speaking, microgreens have an intense aromatic flavor.

Here is a small list of the most popular microgreens grown out of over 100 varieties and their description of taste.

• Alfalfa – Mild, nutty, crunchy, pea-like taste

• Arugula – Nutty, peppery

• Broccoli – Mild, crunchy, dense, slightly bitter

• Clover – Mild earthy, nutty, crunchy, juicy

• Cress – Peppery, tangy

• Daikon Radish – Strong, Peppery

Daikon radish microgreen
Daikon Radish Microgreen

• Dun pea – Slight sweet, crunchy, robust flavor

• Kale – Mild, subtly sweet, broccoli-like taste

• Kohlrabi – Mild, sweet

• Lentils – Mild bitter, pea-like taste

• Mung bean – Mild bean taste, slight buttery

• Wheatgrass – Mild sweet, bitter, grassy

How To Use Microgreens

Apart from their nutrition, microgreens also give plated dishes visual appeal that is as a result of their delicateness and vibrancy.

Asian Pear Carrot and Daikon Radish Salad with Microgreens

Microgreens are not only important in giving your dish an appealing look, but also adds taste and texture to the plated food.

Microgreens can be used as a sandwich stuffer, with wraps, burritos, salads, soups, topped on fried or scrambled eggs, and used in smoothies among many other uses.

Pastrami Sandwich with Microgreens

Easy To Grow Year Round

The best part about growing microgreens is their ability to grow all year-round. You can grow them anywhere, whether you want to grow them indoors or in your garden.

Since you can grow them anywhere, you don’t have to wait for the right weather to set in so you can start growing them.

During summer, you can grow your microgreens anywhere as long as there is enough natural sunlight.

During the cooler seasons where sunlight hours are limited and temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you sprout the seeds in your home using a grow light to help them thrive.

Growing Microgreens Is Easy

How To Cook Dried Beans

Mixed Legumes on paper and burlap - How To Cook Dried BeansSoaking dried beans or legumes in water first, helps with dissolving the raffinose sugars that can cause discomfort in the digestive system. Rinsing the beans after soaking and draining any water after cooking will further help to reduce the sugars as well.

soaking deied beans - How To Cook Dried Beans

Image credit: EHow

Here are some steps you can take to reducing the raffinose sugars, a complex carbohydrate found in most in most dried beans.

This type of sugar is also found in cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus, among other vegetables, and including whole grains.

The California Dry Bean Advisory Board recommend this method for gas-free beans.

  • Place 1 pound of beans in 10 cups of boiling water for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from heat, cover and set aside overnight

 

Soaking the beans overnight helps to remove or dissolve between 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible raffinose sugars.

If you want, you can add 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water to help remove the raffinose sugars as well.

Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils

Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils

Delicious Living recommends soaking 1 cup of beans in 3 cups of water for 6 hours before cooking them.

After soaking the beans, drain them of the water, then rinse thoroughly. Now your beans are ready to be cooked.

When cooking the beans, you can add any herbs and spices, but do not add any salt or acidic ingredients, like vinegar, tomatoes or juice, which can considerably slow the cooking time. Add these ingredients when the beans are done cooking.

When cooking your beans you can use either water, or a stalk made from vegetables, beef or chicken.

Cooking times will vary depending on the type of beans you will be using. Most cooks will tell you that dried lentils or split peas do not require soaking, but they do require sorting and rinsing.

Keep in mind that cooking lentils in too much liquid, or over cooking them, will make them mushy. They should only be cooked for 20 minutes or until tender.

How to Use Cooked Beans

Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Dried beans when cooked are very versatile, and although they have different flavors and textures, they can often be used interchangeably in recipes.

Cooked beans can be used to make soups, added as a topping to vegetable salads, add to cooked rice, couscous or pasta salads for texture.

Here are some of our featured recipes using cooked beans.

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas – Featuring a side dish of quinoa with black beans, onion, corn, and chili pepper

Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils

South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup

Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Lasagna

Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

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