With energy bills rising, it may be time to rethink what parts of our purchases we refrigerate.
Many may have become obsessed with American-style refrigerators, but they consume more energy than the small under-the-counter refrigerators that most families were once accustomed to.
And while you might not be interested in downsizing your fridge-freezers, it’s also possible that you’re wasting food by storing it in the wrong place, which means it rots or tastes bad. faster.
As such, Kate Llewellyn-Waters, who is an MSc qualified nutritionist, author of The Immunity Cookbook and resident nutritionist on Channel 5’s ‘You Are What You Eat’, told FEMAIL which foods should never be refrigerated – and which ones can be refrigerated .
FOODS YOU SHOULD NEVER REFRIGERATE
Fruits and vegetables – including kiwi fruit, peaches, cucumbers and peppers
Kate Llewellyn-Waters, who is an MSc qualified nutritionist, author of The Immunity Cookbook and resident nutritionist on Channel 5’s ‘You Are What You Eat’, says you shouldn’t refrigerate peppers (pictured)
The nutritionist said: “There are fruits and vegetables you should never refrigerate including: kiwi, mangoes, lemon, lime, peaches, apples, pears, watermelon, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, oranges, cucumbers (photo), peppers, plums and garlic’
The nutritionist said: “There are fruits and vegetables you should never refrigerate including: kiwi, mangoes, lemon, lime, peaches, apples, pears, watermelon, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, oranges, cucumbers , peppers, plums and garlic .
How to store eggs in the fridge depending on whether you prefer them fried or scrambled
The nutritionist said: “I find that of all the foods to store, eggs can cause the most confusion and debate.
“While the US advises to refrigerate eggs, current European advice is to store your eggs in a cool cupboard, as it is believed that condensation in the fridge can cause bacteria to grow.
“It seems like a lot of people think eggs should always be refrigerated, however, how you plan to use your eggs determines how they should be stored.
“If you plan to separate the eggs to make mayonnaise for example, it is better to store them in the fridge, because the yolks stay firmer.
The nutritionist said: “I find that of all the foods to be stored, eggs can cause the most confusion and debate.” (file photo)
“But, if you plan to eat your eggs poached or fried, it’s best to store them in a cupboard at room temperature, because when you fry a refrigerated egg, it lowers the temperature of the oil and the pan, so frying takes longer.
“Similarly, if you poach an egg, a chilled egg from the refrigerator lowers the temperature of the water, so it cooks more slowly and may increase the risk of white spreading.
“However, if you plan to eat your eggs scrambled or soft-boiled, you can either refrigerate them or store them at room temperature. A refrigerated boiled egg will take a little longer to cook, however, the result will be the same as if you were using an unrefrigerated egg.
“A helpful tip, which I always find useful, is that if you store eggs in the fridge, try not to store them in the egg holders that are often found in the fridge door.
“It’s because when you open and close the door it shakes the eggs, then when you crack the egg it can crack more easily.
“Instead, I recommend storing them in an airtight container (to reduce moisture loss) near the back of the refrigerator.”
“While it doesn’t actually harm the vegetable or fruit, it may affect the taste or appearance.”
“For example, sweet potatoes will harden and watermelon will lose its bright pink color.
“There are also root vegetables, such as potatoes and squash, which can be affected by the cold temperature of the refrigerator, which can cause them to rot. So store these foods as well as onions in a cool cupboard and dark.”
Kate added: “You may have seen what happens when you put a banana in the fridge – the skin turns brown and blotchy because bananas are not at all suited to a cold environment.
“Aware that it is ‘damaged’, a banana will trigger its own defense mechanism by releasing an enzyme called PPO into its skin cells, which then causes the skin to turn brown.
“It’s this enzyme that also causes your apple to turn brown once you’ve cut it. Ripe bananas can be very useful because some fruits are ripened by the ripening agent (ethylene).
“So if you want to speed up the ripening of the following fruits: apples, apricots, avocados, tomatoes, plums, pears, kiwis, melons or peaches, place them near a ripe banana.”
“Keeping the bread in the fridge will dry it out and make it a very dull sandwich, so if you’re not going to eat the bread right away, it’s best to freeze it and get slices as you go. they are necessary,” said the nutritionist.
“If you plan to use the bread for toast only, you can possibly store it in the refrigerator, but the freezer would be a better option.”
“If you store coffee in the fridge it can really hurt the flavor – due to condensation – so it’s best to store it in an airtight container in the cupboard and avoid refrigeration,” Kate said.
“Olive oil is another product that should not be refrigerated,” she insisted. “The optimum storage temperature for extra virgin olive oil is around 15°C, which is cooler than room temperature, but warmer than refrigerator temperature.
“If you chill the olive oil and the temperature drops, the more stable fats in the oil solidify, leaving the more unstable triacylglycerol molecules in liquid form.
“Also, storing olive oil in the refrigerator may reduce its health-promoting antioxidant activity. Nut and seed oils may last longer when stored in the refrigerator, but you may notice that they solidify or look cloudy.
FOODS THAT YOU SHOULD REFRIGERATE ONLY AFTER THEY ARE PARTIALLY USED
Jams and sauces
“Jams, fruit spreads, maple syrup, sauces, such as tomato sauce (pictured), soy sauce, horseradish and mustard, all should be refrigerated after opening or partial use of the article,” insisted Kate.
“Jams, fruit spreads, maple syrup, sauces, such as tomato sauce, soy sauce, horseradish and mustard, all should be refrigerated after the item has been opened or partially used” , insisted Kate.
“Spreads, like some brands of peanut butter or Marmite, are high in salt, which acts as a natural preservative. Since they are well preserved, it is not always necessary to store these items in the refrigerator.
“Grains, like dry rice, should always be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard. If you have leftover rice after a meal, you should immediately cool it under cold water, drain it and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but for one day only,” the nutritionist said.
Apples and pears
She added: “Some fruits and vegetables can be stored at room temperature initially, but then need to be stored in the refrigerator, such as apples and pears.
“Keep them first in the fruit bowl for a few days and then put them in the fridge – they can be refrigerated for about three days before the taste is affected.”
FOODS YOU MUST ALWAYS REFRIGERATE
Certain fruits and vegetables – including berries, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms
The nutritionist explained: ‘A lot of the foods you always need to refrigerate are fruits and vegetables, including berries (pictured)’
The nutritionist explained: “Many of the foods you should always refrigerate are fruits and vegetables, including berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, as well as apricots, cherries, figs, grapes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, mushrooms, spinach and sweet corn.
“It’s always best to store these foods in the refrigerator to prevent them from spoiling too quickly.
“Delicate vegetables, such as asparagus, lettuce and other salad greens, should always be refrigerated because the lower temperature of the refrigerator slows chemical reactions in cells, thereby protecting nutrients, such as vitamin C.
“And it’s not just the delicate vegetables that we need to keep in the fridge, some hardier root vegetables, such as carrots (pictured), are also best kept cool,” the expert added.
“And it’s not just the delicate vegetables that we need to keep refrigerated, some hardier root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips and parsnips, are also best kept chilled.
“Also, it’s important to point out that you should never store vegetables and fruit together in the fridge because fruit releases a lot more of a gas called ethylene, which is a ripening agent and is released by plants when the fruit is damaged or the climate is right.
“So storing vegetables with fruit can cause them to ripen prematurely and spoil them. Also, for the best taste, it’s always a good idea to eat fruits and vegetables from your refrigerator a few days after storing them.
Meat, fish, dairy and leftovers
Kate said: “These foods should always be stored in the fridge, although like many foods, cheese tastes best at a warmer temperature, essentially closer to body temperature.
“Our taste buds work best when they’re at body temperature, and when the cheese is chilled, it doesn’t taste as strong as the taste buds have been chilled.
“Therefore, take the cheese out of the fridge for a short time before eating it.”