8 surprising foods you should be storing in the refrigerator (but probably aren't), according to experts


As with condiments, where you choose to store your peanut butter and jelly often comes down to personal preference, but experts tell us that keeping peanut butter (and normal butter, for that matter) in the refrigerator will help it go the extra mile. 'The best place to store natural peanut butter, nuts, oils, and butter is in the refrigerator, especially if you plan to keep them in your kitchen for longer than a week or two,' says chef Corrie Duffy. 'When placing these goods in the refrigerator, make sure to wrap or bag them, as necessary, to preserve flavor,' he adds. If you're running out of space in the fridge or find things get hidden at the back, try clear refrigerator organizers – our favorites are below.


Studies show that storing potatoes in the fridge doesn't actually cause the 'cold sweetening' effect that we thought it did, and that refrigerating them can even help them to last much longer. It was thought that keeping potatoes in a chilled environment could cause them to create a harmful chemical called acrylamide once the potatoes are cooked, but the advice on this has now changed.


Anyone partial to hot sauce may want to consider keeping it in the refrigerator to help it retain its heat and flavor. Apparently, this condiment stays fresh for much longer when stored in the fridge rather than on the countertop or on our pantry shelving. It can also last longer if stored in an airtight container.


If you like sprinkling some ground chia seeds onto your oatmeal or blending it into a juice in the morning, make sure you're storing it in the refrigerator, or the seeds can end up tasting less fresh. Theresa Tesolin is co-founder of RusticWise, a website sharing advice on how to be sustainable at home and in the garden. She says ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp hearts are all better stored in the refrigerator, or even the freezer. 'While storing these foods in an airtight container in the pantry is fine, storing them in the fridge helps to extend shelf life by preserving the volatile oils and preventing rancidity,' Theresa explains. 'You'll know it's time to toss these items when they develop a very bitter, off-putting taste!'


Opinion is split when it comes to coffee, but according to Shaun Martin, a home design expert with a background in health science, coffee grounds or beans for your best coffee maker should be kept in the refrigerator. 'Coffee grounds also contain natural oils that help preserve the flavor and aroma of your coffee. Storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator will prevent them from becoming stale,' he says.


'Beets' shelf life mostly relies on how they are stored,' says Cynthia Hamilton at Our Good Living Formula, a beauty product testing company. 'When you get home, take the beet greens out of the beets if you won't be using them. Greens should be chopped and used immediately or added to your compost since if they are left attached for an extended period, they will draw moisture from the beets.


'Unlike other sweeteners, honey never goes bad,' says Shaun Martin. 'Storing it in the fridge will help extend its shelf-life and keep it from crystallizing too quickly.'


We have always stored flour alongside baking supplies in the pantry, but food expert Corrie Duffy argues that whole-wheat flour keeps better in the fridge. The same goes for gluten-free flours: these have a shorter shelf life than traditional flour, but you can add three to six months to their shelf life by keeping them in airtight containers in the fridge, says Celeste Noland, a gluten-free cooking enthusiast from There Is Life After Wheat. 'Before you bake, just be sure to put the flour on the counter for about 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature,' she says.

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