5 Fresh Foods You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Refrigerator

By Hilary Meyer, Associate Food Editor, EatingWell Magazine

Now that spring has sprung, I’m loading up on more fresh veggies, and that has me thinking about the best way to store them to keep them at their freshest. I only go to the grocery store once a week, which means I have to keep my produce stored properly to avoid ending up with a giant pile of bad veggies ready for the compost pile at the end of the week.

And as it turns out, the refrigerator is not the go-to storage unit for all your produce. Below are 5 types of produce you shouldn’t keep in your fridge.

Tomatoes: OK, a tomato is technically a fruit, but taste-wise, it’s closer to a vegetable. If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, then you know that they love the heat and hate the cold. Turns out even after they’re plucked from the vine, they still hold their aversion to cold. The fridge is not the ideal place to store tomatoes. Store them there and your perfect tomatoes turn into a mealy disappointment. They’ll still be good for cooking, but not the best for eating fresh. Instead store them on your counter (not in direct sunlight) and enjoy them when they’re ripe.

Basil: Tomatoes and basil go well together on your plate and it turns out they have similar needs in the storage department too. Like tomatoes, basil loves the heat, so extended periods of time in a cold environment like a refrigerator causes it to wilt prematurely. Basil will do best if it’s stored on your counter and treated as you would fresh cut-flowers. A fresh bunch of basil can be stored for in a cup of water (change it every day or two) away from direct sunlight. Covering it loosely with a plastic bag will help keep it moist (but make sure the bag has an opening to allow for some fresh air to seep in).

Potatoes: Potatoes like cool, not cold temperatures. They do best at around 45 degrees F, which is about 10 degrees warmer than the average refrigerator. Most of us don’t have a root cellar (a cool, dark place to store root vegetables like potatoes), so keeping them in a paper bag in a coolish spot (like a pantry) is best. Why paper? It’s more breathable than plastic so potatoes won’t succumb to rot as easily. And why not the fridge? Storing potatoes at cold temperatures converts their starch to sugar more quickly, which can affect the flavor, texture and the way they cook.

Onions: Onions don’t come out of the ground with that protective papery skin. To develop and keep that dry outer layer, they need to be “cured” and kept in a dry environment like a pantry, which is not as damp as the refrigerator. Also, lack of air circulation will cause onions to spoil, as will storing them near potatoes, which give off moisture and gas that can cause onions to spoil quickly. Store onions in a cool, dry, dark, well-ventilated place. (Light can cause the onions to become bitter.) Scallions and chives, however, have a higher water content, bruise more easily and have a shorter shelf life, so store these alliums in the fridge.

Avocados: Avocados don’t start to ripen until after they’re picked from the tree. If you’re buying a rock-hard avocado, don’t store it in your refrigerator, as it slows the ripening process. On the other hand, if you have a perfectly ripe avocado that you’re not ready to use, storing it in the refrigerator may work to your advantage by prolonging your window of opportunity to use it before it becomes overripe. So the bottom line on storing avocados is store hard, unripe avocados on your counter and store ripe avocados in your refrigerator if you’re not going to eat them right away.


EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.


5 Yoga Poses to Do in the Comfort of Your Bed

By Rosanna Gordon

Who says you need to leave your bedroom to practice yoga? Some days you just really don’t want to. You prefer to stay in, rest up and take things slow.

And that’s OK! It’s lovely not to feel the pressure of having to go anywhere, to skip the noise and kerfuffle of the great wide world and take some indulgent, yet perfectly acceptable ‘you time.’ Today, you can keep your PJ’s on and soak up the warmth and cosiness of your bed with a few simple poses. Sound good?

Make sure to clear the space, smooth out your duvet and just have a couple of low pillows for your head. Pop a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door if you can, and enjoy.

1. Apanasana

Begin by lying back. Head can be gently propped up on a pillow. Interlock your fingers over the right knee and hug in towards the chest. Extend the left leg along the bed. On every exhale, draw the knee in a little closer, keeping both sit bones in connection with the bed and breathing into the openness in the hip. Hold for a few deep breaths, before releasing and changing to the other side.

2. Lying Spinal Twist

Bring both knees in towards the chest. Inner thighs and big toe joints touching. Take your arms out to shoulder height, palms faced up. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale release the knees to the right, looking over towards your left hand. Keep the back of the shoulders on the bed, and breathe into the space across the chest. Hold for a few deep breaths, enjoying the twist in the spine and gentle stretch at the side of the neck. Inhale, knees back to centre, exhale over to the left. Repeat twice more to either side, moving with your breath.

3. Neck Stretch

Place both feet beneath your knees, at hip width apart. Have the arms long by your sides. Inhale, looking up towards the ceiling, and as you exhale turn your head placing the right cheek on your pillow. Hold here for a couple of breaths, allowing the neck muscles to release, shoulders down away from the ears. Inhale, bring the head back to centre, exhale in the other direction. Repeat once more to either side.

4. Legs up the wall

Turn your body, sideways to the wall. Then carefully swing your body round, so your feet are resting on the wall, parallel to your knees, which are above the hips. Place your head on a pillow, and have the arms long by your sides. Begin to walk your feet up the wall as straight and as comfortably as possible. Take a few deep breaths here, breathing into the space at your heart and feeling the weight being taken off your feet. You can take the arms out to shoulder height or to the bed behind to really open up the upper body and shoulders. To come out, bring the knees in towards the chest and roll onto your side.

5. Savasana

Lie back, head supported by your pillow. Bring your shoulders down away from the ears and tuck the chin in towards the chest. Straighten up through the body, lengthening your tailbone towards the heals. Take your arms and legs a little distance apart and relax the hands and feet. Close the eyes if comfortable, and begin to notice how you’re feeling. On every exhale, allow your body to sink a little deeper into your bed, feeling the warmth and comfort of your trusted space. Allow softness to spread across the face, and for you to fully embrace the peace and quiet.

Practise this sequence a couple of times each week, or whenever you feel like an indoors or bed day. Notice how you feel afterwards in body and mind.


About Rosanna Gordon

Rosanna Gordon, a qualified British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) Teacher and Freelance Writer helps people to get out of depression through yoga. She runs Group and One-to-One Yoga classes in Cambridge, UK. For info and class details, visit rosannagordon.com.