How to Store Fruits to Maximize Their Freshness
Different fruits have very different needs when it comes to staying at their prime. Some do best just sitting out on the counter, but others require airtight storage and cold air to keep their taste and color. If you're good with eating your fruits in a timely fashion, you'll most likely be fine with any number of storage options, but for those to whom a pint of strawberries just never gets eaten quickly enough, here's a simple guide to keeping all your fruits at their finest!
General Storage Tips
- Keeping perfectly ripened fruit in the fridge is generally a good way of extending it's life.
- Don't overcrowd your fridge! Even if your fridge is adequately cool, overcrowding will reduce the circulation of cold air around your produce.
- If you want to hasten the ripening process for fruits that you buy, put it in a paper bag at room temperature with an apple or pear! These fruits emit ethylene gases that cause other produce to ripen more quickly. (Conversely, if you don't want to hasten the process, this is also a good reason to store your produce separately from each other!)
Specific Storage Tips
- Apples: Apples should be ripened on the counter and put into the fridge once they're ripe. As mentioned earlier, they should also be stored away from uncovered fruits and vegetables because of the gases they emit; for example, the ethylene can make carrots very bitter!
- Bananas: Keep bananas on the counter until they're ripe, and then store them in the fridge. This should extend their life by at least 2 days.
- Berries: Refrigerate berries unwashed and untrimmed. Berries have a tendency of soaking up water, which hastens their rotting process. It's best to store them in a single layer with a paper towel covering them on top and bottom to keep them dry and unpressed.
- Citrus: Oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus are the easiest of the fruits. Just leave them on the counter and they should keep for about 2 weeks.
- Kiwis: Store them on the counter out of the sun and they should stay fresh for a few days.
- Mangoes: Ripen mangoes on the counter at room temperature and store them in the fridge once they're ready. They can last for up to 2 weeks this way.
- Peaches: Ripen peaches, plums, and nectarines on the counter out of the sunlight. Once they're ripe, pop 'em into the fridge! They should last another 3-4 days.
- Pineapples: Store them on the counter until they're ripe and then refrigerate. A ripe pineapple emits a very fruity, pleasant scent, has golden color creeping up from the bottom to the top of the plant, and yields slightly to the a gentle press.