Are you one of those people who buys a lot of fresh fruit, but it never seems to last more than a few days? Here are some tips on how to keep your fruit fresh longer. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to enjoy your delicious fruit for a week or two instead of just a few days. So go ahead and stock up on your favorite fruits - with these tips, they'll last longer than you think!
For example, a study measuring fruit preferences among Americans found that the average American throws away about $10 worth of fruit every week. That would make it $520 worth of fruit in a calendar year!
All the evidence points to the fact that keeping fruit fresh is a global challenge. Millions of dollars go down the drain every year. In this article, we'll discuss some practical tips on how to keep fruit fresh.
Without much ado, let's get started!
The Nutritional Benefits of Consuming Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruits are important for healthy living. Moreover, nobody can be truly healthy without making fruits a significant part of their diet. Vital nutrients and minerals are embedded in any fruit you lay your hands upon.
Research has shown that consuming fresh fruit and vegetables offers a lot of nutritional benefits. But consuming rotten fruit can have quite the opposite effect.
Furthermore, you would agree with me that fresh fruits taste a lot better than stale or rotten ones. Imagine eating stale or rotten strawberries as opposed to freshly harvested ones. Think about it for a moment. The difference is incomparable!
Of course, the best thing is to find "farm foods near me" and eat it as soon as possible after harvesting or production.
Further studies have also shown that a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables can cut down the risk of certain cancers.
Now let's examine the proven ways you can keep your tasty and yummy fruit fresh.
Store Fruit in the Refrigerator
Do you want to keep your fruit fresh and healthy for a longer time? Keep them in the fridge for a while. The good thing is that almost every kind of fruit can be stored in the refrigerator.
The following kinds of fruit should not be stored in the fridge before they become ripe:
Since fruits do not come with instructions on how to store them in the fridge, you have to figure it out yourself. Instead of putting your fruit in any container in the fridge, I have some tips to share with you.
Picking apples at a U-Pick farm is a wonderful experience. But have you wondered how you could keep them fresh for a longer period of time? It's simple. Store them in the crisper drawer (refrigerator compartment designed to preserve freshness of produce) of your fridge.
To keep your apples fresh, don't buy them at a grocery store. Rather, get them directly from an apple farm. Apples from grocery stores have likely been stored for so long. Hence, they will begin to rot in no time.
Experience has shown that apples with stems stay fresh longer than those without stems. Bacteria and viruses find it easier to penetrate fruit without stems. So next time you go to an apple farm, don't cut away the stems of your apples.
The secret to keeping avocados fresh is to keep them at room temperature. You can refrigerate them as well, but make sure they are ripe before refrigeration.
Refrigerating unripe avocados can be counterproductive. To a large extent, it can stop the ripening process. Another option is to drizzle avocados with lemon juice to keep them fresh. Moreover, make sure you do not remove the pit.
Berries (Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries)
Berries come in all kinds of flavours, and preserving the flavours is quite important. Hence, a good way of keeping berries fresh is to freeze them.
For example, on how to keep strawberries fresh, do not rinse until you are ready to eat. Also, remember not to remove the stem till you are ready to consume it. Refrigerate berries immediately after picking them up to preserve them.
In addition, to keep berries fresh, do not wash them with water before storing them in the refrigerator. Washing berries with water destroys the epidermal layer. Berries are not meant to be stored for long, consume them as early as you can.
You may begin to wonder; how do I keep bananas fresh? Do not put it inside a fridge until it becomes ripe. If it's unripe, keep it at room temperature to hasten the ripening process.
Furthermore, keep the bananas away from direct sunlight to quicken the ripening process. Once your banana becomes ripe, store it in the refrigerator. This would preserve it for a longer time.
However, bananas don't handle cold temperatures so well. Hence, the best way to keep your bananas fresh is to purchase them at the unripe stage, when they are still green.
Storing Fruit in a Root Cellar
Furthermore, vegetables like cabbage, onions, carrots, and turnips are notorious for emitting ethylene gas. To keep your fruit fresh, remember the rule—never store your fruit with veggies.
Apart from vegetables, some fruits emit a greater amount of ethylene gas. For example, apples and pears are known to produce a large amount of this gas. Therefore, keep apples and pears away from other fruits.
The following list shows the kinds of fruit you can store in a root cellar:
If you have a farm, storing some of your farm produce in a root cellar is a great way to enjoy the “fruits of your labour”. The root cellar can help store fruit for long-term use.
4 Other Factors to Consider
A lot of factors come to play in keeping fruit fresh. Here are the other 4 factors you should consider:
- Neat storage space
1. Neat storage space
Neat storage space is vital to keeping your fruits fresh as much as possible. If you're keeping your fruits in the fridge, make sure the refrigerator is not messy.
Keeping fruits in a wet and messy refrigerator would hasten spoilage. So before storing your fruit in the refrigerator or any other place within your home, ensure the space is clean and habitable.
The optimal temperature for keeping fruits fresh varies widely. Nonetheless, experts recommend between 32°F to 98°F (0°C to 36.7°C) to store fresh fruit and veggies. The temperature that falls below or higher than the stipulated range above can damage your fruit.
A temperature of 40°F is suitable for most fruits to stay fresh. Remember to refrigerate fruit that has been damaged or peeled at the time of purchase.
Remember to keep fruit in plastic bags with tiny holes even while in the refrigerator. By doing this, excess moisture would be cleared.
Apart from temperature, the level of humidity plays a big factor if fruit would stay fresh or not. For fruit to be well preserved, the humidity in the refrigerator or root cellar should be cool and moist.
The crisper drawer of your refrigerator is the best place to store most types of fruit. The humidity in the crisper compartment is cool and moist, having about 95 percent humidity.
You can as well control the humidity of the crisper drawer. It's equipped with a high and low setting. By setting your fridge to low humidity, the airflow vent would open up, making fruit moist. Low humidity is suitable for citrus and grapefruit.
Set humidity to somewhere in the middle for other kinds of fruits. Produce like apples, avocados, grapes, and many more fruits require medium humidity to stay fresh.
The way you handle your fruit at the point of buying can also determine how fresh your fruit would be. Hence, handle all fruit with care. Never allow any sort of wound or damage to occur when handling them.
As a rule of thumb, do not store wet fruit. Allow your any kind of produce to dry before storage. Storing a wet produce would accelerate spoilage.
If you own a farm, harvest your fruit early in the morning. Allow it to sun-dry in the afternoon till evening before storing it.