Skip to Content

Pantry Items That Stay Fresher in the Fridge

FRIDAY, June 29, 2018 -- You may know to keep tomatoes out of the fridge to preserve their taste, but did you know which pantry staples actually do better under refrigeration?

While many of the following foods may stay fresh for up to six months under "ideal" conditions -- in a cool, dark pantry -- that's not always possible, especially if your home often gets warm and humid.

Here's what you need to know.

Keep whole intact grains and whole grain flours and meals in the fridge or freezer.

These include:

  • Whole grains, such as wheat berries, quinoa, brown rice, cornmeal and barley.
  • Whole wheat flour.
  • Coconut flour and coconut flakes.
  • Wheat germ, wheat bran and rice bran.
  • Ground flaxseed.

The good-for-you natural oils in nuts go rancid faster at room temperature. They'll stay tasty for a year or more in the fridge and up to 2 years in the freezer. Nut flours, natural peanut butter, other nut butters like cashew and almond butter, and nut and seed oils, especially walnut and sesame oils, should be refrigerated.

If you don't use up opened bottles of other oils, such as olive and safflower oils, within a month, consider keeping them in the fridge, but definitely away from the heat of your stove. Note that refrigerating oils may cause them to become cloudy, but they'll return to normal at room temperature, and this doesn't affect taste.

More surprising foods for the fridge are maple syrup, vanilla, molasses, instant coffee and active dry yeast.

Before the big chill, place foods in airtight containers or sealed plastic bags so they won't absorb any moisture or pick up odors from other foods. And periodically check the temperature inside your fridge -- -it should always be between 34 and 40 degrees.

© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2018

Read this next

Don't Get Sick While Swimming This Summer

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 -- Swimming and summer are practically synonymous, but getting sick from bacteria in lakes, rivers and the ocean can spoil the fun, U.S. health officials...

Modern Livestock Farming Can Pose Public Health Risk

THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 -- High-intensity livestock farming practices such as antibiotic overuse, along with large numbers and low genetic diversity of animals increase the risk of...

Cooking Up a Storm During Coronavirus Crisis? Store Leftovers Safely

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 -- Social distancing measures have many Americans cooking at home during the coronavirus pandemic, so one food safety expert has tips for storing and...