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Storing foods

Storing foods
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After going to the supermarket to buy groceries, placing foods in the refrigerator to last longer seems like the most common-sense thing to do. But is the refrigerator the best place to store certain foods? For some foods, it might be the best place for storage, but for others, it might be the worst.

Read on for some kitchen hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Whole melons

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

Basil

Basil
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If this tropical plant is stored below 4°C, it turns black quickly. Keep on the counter in a shady place, and mimic placing flowers in a vase: Fill a glass with water and submerge the stems. Place a zip-top plastic bag over the plant to allow it to breathe and stay moist.

Some herbs can be frozen, find out how.

Potatoes

Potatoes
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Cold temperatures convert potato starch into sugar. This results in a gritty texture and a slightly sweet flavour. Potatoes do best at 7°C (most refrigerators are set from 1°C to 3°C). Store them in a paper bag in the cool pantry. Sunlight causes chlorophyll to accumulate, turning potatoes green and sometimes bitter.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers
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Cucumbers should come out of the fridge. The common mistake of keeping them in the fridge leads to watery and pitted cukes.

Want to grow your own cucumbers? Read on to find out how.

Onions

Onions
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These vegetables need air circulation to stay fresh. Store whole onions in a hole-punched paper bag in the pantry. Don’t keep near potatoes; onions emit gas and moisture that can cause potatoes to spoil quickly. Refrigerate chopped onions.

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes
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Cool air alters chemical pathways in tomatoes, slowing those that contribute to fresh flavour and accelerating others that dull flavour. Store whole tomatoes on the counter for more delicious taste.

Coffee

Coffee
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The moisture in your fridge causes the beans to deteriorate, meaning you aren’t getting the fresh, bold flavour you want from your morning brew. Plus, the temperature fluctuates every time you open the door to your fridge, creating condensation, which in turn creates even more moisture. Stash your coffee beans in an airtight container in the pantry instead.

Check out how to choose coffee beans.

Garlic

Garlic
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Garlic cloves fare best in temperatures between 15 and 18°C. Put your bulbs in a ventilated container to allow moisture in and stash it in a cool place.

Hot sauce

Hot sauce
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The vinegar and preservatives in store-bought hot sauce keep it from going bad in the pantry. In the fridge, the spicy peppers might lose some of their heat.

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