Jul 05

13 Fruits & Vegetables That Don’t Need Refrigeration

Self-drying on a kitchen shelf.

Self-drying on a kitchen shelf.

A walk through your local grocer's produce section can give you a good idea of how to hold your home grown goodies, with one exception.
First get past the produce they are trying to turn over. They do this by putting it on special, and placing it where you first walk in.
Once you have hurdled this gauntlet, take a look at what is not in cool holding:

1. Tomatoes, refrigerate only after they are sliced or if they are bruised.
2. Potatoes do not need to be kept cold.
3. Winter squashes have hard rinds that protect them for months.
4. Garlic. Did you ever see a garlic braid? Enough said.

Garlic and onions, happy together.

Garlic and onions, happy together.

5. Onions should be cured outside for a few days, then stored. We do actually refrigerate ours, even though we know they don't need it. Since we pretty much use some every day, it's actually handier and less messy to keep them in the fridge.
6. Melons will continue to ripen if not refrigerated, but otherwise they don't need to be kept cold. Definitely refrigerate after slicing.
7. Apples give off a gas that can cause other fruits to ripen faster. Store them at room temperature, but not in close proximity to any other produce.
8. Avocados also do not need to be kept cold. We are so looking forward to trying this with our own homegrown!

Do we see avocados in our future?

Do we see avocados in our future?

9. Bananas are probably one fruit you are not growing, but then again, you just might be. Leave them out to ripen, the darker they get the better they are for you.
10. Hot peppers will dry beautifully when left out of refrigeration, and can be crushed to use as pepper flakes. For long term cold storage, just toss them in the freezer.
11. Sweet potatoes need to be carefully harvested and gently allowed to cure in fresh air. After that they are pretty darn strong and do not need cold holding.
12. Dry beans cure themselves in the garden. Simply shell, allow them to air out and then store in a jar. It doesn't get much easier than that.
13. Tree fruit such as peaches, pears, apricots, nectarines and plums can be refrigerated, but really don't need to be. In this case they will ripen more slowly if kept in the fridge.

The last store bought tomato for the summer.

The last store bought tomato for the summer.

A refrigerator is not only a cool environment, it is also a moist one. Carrots and celery love that, but it may cause other foods to go bad sooner.
Wherever you are holding food fresh, keep an eye on it. You wouldn't want all that hard work to go to waste.

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    • Avatar of gj
    • Kim on July 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Great article. I did not know about a lot of these. especially the apples….moving them away from the bananas!

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on July 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Thanks Kim!

  1. thanks that helped me a lot! i really appreciate it!

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on February 26, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Always our pleasure to help, good luck!

    • Avatar of gj
    • Joyce Crabill on March 15, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Thank you, this was so helpful;) My problem with celery is that it tends to freeze, because I need to keep my temperature up or my freezer isn’t cold enough,:( Any advice?

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on March 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Joyce,

    The warmest part of your refrigerator is inside the door, especially towards the top. You could try keeping your celery there. Good luck!


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