Wednesday, May 21, 2014

To Fridge or Not To Fridge?

Raise your hand if you have ever come home from the grocery store, arm full of bags (let's be honest, who wants to make more than ONE trip from the car into the house?) and wondered what produce should be placed in the fridge and which items would be better off if left at room temperature. Growing up, my mom always hid the potatoes in a cool, dark spot in the pantry and I have always wondered if this was for a specific purpose. Do all the fruits and vegetables go in the crisp drawer or can they sit in the fruit bowl (and add a pop of color to your kitchen counter!) 

When it comes to fruits, its a toss up of which ones are best when kept in the refrigerator versus room temperature. When stored in the fridge, they tend to last longer and taste better (with organic fruits this is a huge bonus since they contain less pesticides, their life is not as long). Fruits that should be kept in the fridge are: 
  • Apples
  • Beans 
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
Fruits that are good to store at room temperature are:
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Melons
  • Pears 
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
Surprisingly (I have always kept these in the fridge) but citrus (think lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) is apparently better when stored at room temp than in the cool fridge. 
A majority of vegetables should spend their life in the fridge versus at room temperature. I will admit, I am guilty of storing some of these in the fridge when maybe they would do better in the pantry. 

Veggies that need a spot in the fridge are:
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers 
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs (EXCEPT basil)
  • Jalapenos
  • Leafy Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini 
Vegetables that need a home in the pantry or in the fruit bowl are:
  • Basil (stored in water)
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
Notice the Jicama? It is probably the least common veggie that would be found in your pantry but it is delicious! Jicama is that white, crispy tuberous root that for one cup, has 49 calories, 0.1 g fat, 11 g carbs, 6 g fiber, and 195 mg potassium. It is a great addition to salads, substitute for potatoes, and addition to recipes like pico de gallo. This recipe is an alternate to one of my go-tos! 

Jicama Fries


1 Medium Jicama
1/4 TBSP Coconut Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp onion/garlic powder
1 tsp fresh lime juice

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Rinse and pat dry Jicama.
  • Peel and slice Jicama into 1/2" slices (like french fries). 
  • Place coconut oil, salt, onion/garlic powder into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the jicama sticks to the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Lay the jicama sticks on greased baking sheet (I use foil for less cleanup!)
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, tossing half way through baking time.
  • Remove from oven and squeeze lime over the fries.

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