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Follow a few simple steps to keep your fruit fresh for longer
Save money by storing your fruit properly.
Bananas. Wrap foil around banana stems and store at room temperature.
(Credit: Flickr/Fernando Stankuns)
Melons. Melon gets a bit rubbery when stored in the fridge, so it’s best to keep it at room temperature. Cantaloupe, however, goes from ripe to over-ripe very quickly, and can be stored in the refrigerator.
(Credit: flickr/Prateek Rungta)
Berries. Don’t rinse berries before storing them in the refrigerator, unless you add a little bit of vinegar to the fruit bath, which can add to your fruit’s lifespan.
Tomatoes. And yes, they’re fruit. Store tomatoes unwashed at room temperature. If you store them in the fridge, tomatoes tend to get a mealy texture.
(Credit: flickr/Rachel Andrew)
Apples. Store apples in a cool dark place; you can also refrigerate apples, which extends their lifespan to several months.
(Credit: Flickr/Billy Wilson)
Everything else. Pears, peaches, plums, mangoes, and most other fruit can ripen at room temperature. To speed up the ripening process, store these in a brown paper bag. Once they yield slightly to the touch, store them in the refrigerator.
The Secrets to Making Fruit Wine at Home
Your peach trees are sagging from the weight of their fruit, but your pantry still has several jars of canned peaches from last year&rsquos harvest. What can you do when your fruit trees &mdash or bushes or vines &mdash yield more than you plan to eat fresh, preserve, or sell at market? That&rsquos easy: Just make fruit wine.
Wines made from fruit other than grapes are frequently called country wines. To understand how to make country wine, it pays to first understand why most commercial wines are made from grapes.
Grape wines are made by crushing grapes and adding yeast to the juice (or, in the case of red wines, the juice and grape skins). The yeast converts the sugar in the juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide through a process called fermentation.
Grapes are well suited to this because quality wine grapes contain everything needed to make wine. Good grapes contain enough sugar that creates a preservative level of alcohol when the wine ferments. They also have sufficient acid to balance the sweetness of the wine. Additionally, ideal wine grapes supply just enough tannin to add a bit of astringency &mdash a slight puckering feel in the mouth &mdash which adds to the enjoyment of the beverage. This characteristic is called structure, and many wines (especially reds) are aged in oak barrels to add more tannin structure.
The &ldquoproblem&rdquo with making wine from fruit other than grapes is that most fruits do not have the correct ratio of sugar, acid and tannin to make great wine. The straightforward solution to this is to simply add whatever is lacking of those three to the unfermented juice prior to fermentation.
Nothing in the winemaking process can turn bad fruit into good wine, or even average fruit into good wine. Great wine comes from great fruit, so don&rsquot use country wines as a way to dispose of inedible fruit and expect good results.
Find fermenting supplies and books in the GRIT online store.
Keep It Fresh: How to Store Produce
Store in the refrigerator to keep crisp for three to four weeks or store outside of the refrigerator in a cool, dry place to keep crisp for about one week.
Tip: "You want to store apples in the refrigerator in a plastic bag," says Elizabeth Pivonka, president of Produce for Better Health Foundation. "Apples give off ethylene, a natural gas, which will make lettuce and other produce turn brown. The plastic bag will prevent that."
Store avocados at room temperature for up to a week until they are ripe. Once they're soft to the touch, move them to the refrigerator, where they can keep for up to another week.
Tip: If the avocados you bought aren't soft enough to eat yet, you can ripen them in a jiffy: Just throw them into a paper bag with a banana (bananas produce the most ripening-inducing ethylene of any fruit). They'll be guacamole-ready in about a day.
Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh for up to 10 days. How long depends on the variety of berry, but blueberries will stay fresh the longest.
Tip: Berries are one of the most perishable fruits because they're so thin-skinned. Washing them and leaving them on the counter will cause them to mold within hours, so don't wash them until you intend to use them. The dusty covering you see on berries is called the "bloom," a natural preservative that keeps them fresh. "When you wash any fruit or vegetable, you're removing its natural outer layer, which will cause it to ripen even faster," says Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Melissa's Produce.
How to Prevent Cut Fruit from Turning Brown
Trapped inside the tissue of fruits are molecules known as enzymes. These enzymes help fruit ripen and turn brown. When fruit is cut or starts to break down, the enzyme is released from the tissue of the fruit and exposed to air which causes the fruit to rapidly change color. This is known as enzymatic browning.
Keep cut fruits, such as apples, pears, bananas, and peaches from turning brown by:
Coating them with an acidic juice such as lemon, orange, or pineapple juice.
Use a commercial anti-darkening preparation with fruits, such as Fruit-Fresh®*, and follow the manufacturer's directions.
Mix them with acidic fruits like oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and other citrus fruit or pineapple. Prepare the acidic fruit(s) first. Then, cut the other fruits, mixing them in with the acidic fruit(s) as you prepare them.
Mix with honey water. Dilute 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of water, mix cut fruit with the diluted honey.
Wait until it is as close as possible to serving time to cut fruit. Cover and refrigerate cut fruit until ready to serve. Refrigerate peeled/cut fruits and vegetables so they are at room temperature no longer than 2 hours, TOTAL time.
*Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended of those not mentioned and no endorsement by University of Nebraska—Lincoln Extension is implied for those mentioned.
How should I store cut fruit? United States Department of Agriculture
This article was originally written by Alice Henneman, MS, RDN. Reviewed and updated by Ellyn McCarter, UNL Dietetic Intern, in 2021.
Those green tops may be pretty. But they wick nutrients and freshness from the rest of the carrot. Slice off the green tops before storing. Refrigerate trimmed carrots loosely in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. They should keep for several weeks. Pro tip: Save the greens to make pesto, chimichurri, or salad topping.
How to Keep Berries Fresh for as Long as Possible
There&aposs nothing more disappointing than reaching for the fresh berries in your fridge only to realize that they&aposre all covered in white fuzz. So what is the best way to store fresh berries so they don&apost get all gross and moldy? After all, berries can be expensive, and knowing how to keep berries fresh for longer is as much a money-saving technique as anything else. The bad news is that berries are extremely delicate, so even a little bit of mishandling can quickly ruin all of your fruit. As Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking: The Science And Lore Of The Kitchen, "Even rinsing in water can make delicate berries more susceptible to infection by abrading their protective epidermal layer with clinging dirt particles."
This is why you shouldn&apost wash all of your berries as soon as you get them home from the store. Water only exacerbates the rate at which mold will grow on your fruit, especially when your berries are just hanging out. The best strategy is to only wash as many berries as you plan on eating or using in a single sitting. And when you do wash them, don&apost submerge them in water. Put the berries in a colander or strainer, and gently rinse them with cold water.
If you&aposre packing up these fresh berries, so you can take them to the office for your lunch or (in a perfect world) to the park for a picnic, place a dry paper towel at the bottom of the container before sealing it up. And be sure to keep the berries in the fridge for as long as possible, which will further extend their life.
As for the berries you&aposre not eating, be sure to store them in the fridge in a container that can breathe. That means no air-tight plastic or glass containers—though if that&aposs all you have on hand, just leave the lid slightly ajar. You should also place a dry paper towel at the bottom of this container, to sop up any excess moisture that might cause more damage. Megan Gordon at Kitchn insists that keeping berries in the crisper makes them go bad more quickly than if you keep them in the main compartment, noting, "In a very unscientific sampling, I find this to be true and follow this myself."
If you&aposve given these methods a shot yet still find that your berries get moldy after a day or two, you might want to try rinsing your berries in vinegar. As our own Kat Kinsman explains, "To prevent mold growth and extend berries&apos freshness, rinse them in a mixture of one cup white vinegar and four cups of water, then drain and dry them thoroughly." Store them as you would unwashed berries, on top of a dry paper towel in an open container in the fridge. The idea is that this vinegar wash kills any mold spores on berries, which, in turn, prevents the fuzzy growth.
Hopefully one of these berry storage methods works for you𠅊nd if not, I would strongly recommend just eating all of the berries in your possession as soon as you get your hands on them. But really, that shouldn&apost be a problem.
18 Secret Ingredients for Freshening Up Your Fruit Salad
Seeing as it is the peak of summer time, we’re guessing that fruit salads are playing center stage in your picnic game. If not, is that because you find fruit salad a bit run of the mill and common? It doesn’t have to be—as these 18 ways to spice up your fruit salad repertoire prove to perfection.
Have you ever had a bite of fruit salad with that certain zing or zest—a touch of brightness and flavor that made you pause and think: “What is that?” Now you can be the person whose dish inspires that marvelous question. Perhaps it will be with an unexpected crunchy cacao nugget, briny feta, sprig of mint, or a tart Limoncello-spiked mouthful. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite secret ingredients that will add a punch and extra flavor to your next fruit salad, making you the star of any and every upcoming summer gathering.
This Is the Secret to Storing Every Type of Fruit and Vegetable So They Last Longer
Fact: The United States throws away 150,000 tons of food daily. And on average, around $1,500 worth of food is wasted per year in each household. Out of everything edible we waste, fruits and vegetables account for 39 percent of America&aposs total.
The good news is that a few simple tricks could have a massive impact on the environment (and on our grocery expenses) to reduce the amount of fresh produce we toss every day.
Step one in wasting less produce is remembering that storing fruits and vegetables too closely together is a common mistake that can lead to food going bad. Build-up of the chemical compound ethylene gas will cause them to go off, so apples, melons, apricots, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, figs, and other fruits and vegetables should be kept separate as these produce the most ethylene.
The experts at Space Station helped us pull together this handy guide for storing fresh foods smarteruse the longer your produce, meat, and more lasts, the less you trash and repurchase.
Netting for lemons, oranges, and limes is very dangerous to sea life and birds, so these types of fruits should always be bought loose. You can keep them out at room temperature, but once citrus fruits are past peak ripeness, storing them in the fridge will help them last longer (same goes for tomatoes and avocados). If your citrus starts to turn, you can slice the fruit up and freeze it: frozen citrus is great as ice cubes for drinks.
Wash and dry loose leafy salad greens in a salad spinner, then wrap them loosely in paper towels and store in a food storage container to keep the leaves from going soggy.
Onions and Potatoes
Onions, potatoes, and shallots should be stored in a cool dark place to keep them fresh, like a basket in a cupboard or a cellar. Avoid storing these products in plastic bags as this encourages spoilage. Once cut, onions should be stored in a resealable bag in the fridge where they will last for around a week or stored in a container and kept in the freezer.
Wash cucumbers as soon as you bring them home from the grocery store. Make sure they’re thoroughly dry as excess water will spoil them, then wrap each in a cloth or towel to prevent sogginess. Store in the fridge in a reusable vegetable bag.
Apples and Bananas
If you won’t be eating them immediately, buy bananas when they’re still slightly green and store them away from other fruits in the fruit bowl (they release high amounts of ethylene gas, which as mentioned can cause other fruits to go off more quickly). Consider using a banana tree to keep them separated and minimize bruising. Keep apples in an uncovered fruit bowl on the countertop and make sure to store them out of direct sunlight.
A great hack for storing fresh basil and herbs is to chop the leaves in a food processor and place into an ice cube tray with a little olive oil and store in the freezer. When basil is needed for a dish, just pop in a ready-made ice cube.
Meat and Fish
Storing meat and fish in containers in the freezer will save money and food waste. Keep them well-organized (first in, first out) with labels that clearly state the date the items were frozen, as frozen meat should be eaten within three to six months.
First and foremost, place your fruit bowl in a visible and easy-to-reach location—don't hide it on a cluttered part of the counter! This way, all family members will be reminded to have a healthy snack whenever they enter the kitchen.
To extend the shelf life of the fruit, you may want to refrigerate your fruit bowl at night. Why leave fresh fruit out at room temperature when everyone is sleeping? Keeping the fruit cool overnight will help it to last longer.
In warm climates where kitchens are considerably above comfortable room temperatures, you may have to keep the bowl refrigerated for longer periods. In other words, only take it out of the fridge when it's close to snack time or the kids are just getting home from school. If your kitchen is too warm or fruit waste increases, keep the filled bowl on a front-and-center shelf in the refrigerator. It should be the first thing they spot when family members open the door to browse.
Adding the Apples and Bananas
Chop the apples (you can leave the skin on or off, it’s up to you). (If you’re serving the fruit salad immediately, add the bananas too. Otherwise, don’t add the bananas at this point.)
Add to the rest of the chopped fruit.