Storing Fruit

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    whitebear54
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    We’ve all had fruit go bad on us and if you’re like me you usually know what when wrong. You left it out too long. You washed it then put it in a container before letting it dry and it went moldy. You forgot it was in the crisper until it was limp or rotten. You know the drill. The following tips may help you get more shelf life from your fresh fruit.

    FRUIT CARE TIPS from
    👋https://freshfarmsusa.com/

    APPLES
    Do not wash your apples until before use/consumption to prevent spoilage!

    Never store fresh fruit in plastic.

    Apple Care Tips: It is important to keep your apples in a cool, dark place. A cool basement with ventilation is ideal, but the fruit/ vegetable drawer of a refrigerator is a good place to keep them fresh for weeks!

    Apple Fun Fact: Did you know that the apple belongs to the rose family and that there are 7,500 different varieties of apples grown throughout the world!

    BLUEBERRIES
    Blueberries should be stored directly from purchase into an air-tight container. I use pint jars. Don’t rinse your blueberries until immediately before use. 

    To freeze: Wash berries carefully in cold water, pat dry and place in single layer on cookie tray in freezer. Once berries are frozen, transfer to airtight container or heavy duty freezer bags and return to freezer.

    CHERRIES
    Sweet red cherries: Depth of color is more important than the particular shade of red. Look for fruits with deep, dark saturation. If the stem is intact, a bright green color indicates freshness; however, a lack of stem doesn’t necessary mean the cherries are low quality. Red cherries should also be firm. Wrinkling along the shoulders near the stem means the cherries have sat at room temperature; they may still be sweet, but are probably not at peak freshness.

    Rainier cherries: Many people think these reddish-yellow cherries (photo below) are underripe, but this is the natural color of Rainier cherries. They are also naturally less firm than red cherries. A red or pink blush indicates sun exposure, which leads to sugar accumulation. Brown flecks are generally not defects but a further indicator of sugar accumulation. (Red cherries have this, too, but it’s less visible.)

    How To Store
    Cold storage is key to keeping cherries fresh. According to a cherry expert we spoke to, cherries can lose more quality in one hour at room temperature than a day in the refrigerator. Thus, get your cherries in the fridge as soon as possible.

    Wash them with cold water just before eating. Avoid washing prior to storage, as moisture can be absorbed where the stem meets the fruit and lead to splits or spoilage.

    Cherries can also be frozen. Pit them if you wish, or keep them whole with stems intact. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze until firm, and then place in a bag or container.

    CITRUS
    Winter is the season for sweet, juicy citrus from the sunnier states. Luckily for us, we’re able to bring some of that sunshine  and help brighten up the cold Midwest weather with an abundance of citrus fruits.
     
    As bold and flavorful as they are, citrus fruits do have a sensitive side. Citrus can be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for up to a week, but when exposed to heated or damp areas, they tend to break down more quickly. So how do you keep them fresh longer?

    Here are some tips to help your citrus stay fresh and delicious.

    1. Keep citrus fruits in the crisping drawer of your refrigerator. This will keep fruit fresh for well over a week.

    2. When storing citrus in the fridge, avoid using a plastic bag because droplets of moisture can get trapped and promote mold growth.

    3. Be sure to take the fruit out of the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before eating to allow the fruit to warm up. Allowing the fruit to reach room temperature will make the juice sweeter and the skin easier to peel.

    Orange you glad you know now?! Enjoy!

    GRAPES
    Grapes can keep for up to 2 weeks when stored and handled properly!

    Grape Care Tips: Grapes should be refrigerated to maximize their shelf life. Store them unwashed and dry; rinse before serving or adding to a recipe. They should not be squeezed or compressed as this can damage the berries. Like most berries, grapes tend to absorb odors. Try to avoid storing them next to things like green onions or leeks. 

    Fun Fruit Tip: You can freeze your grapes! Freezing grapes is simple, delicious, and can be fun to eat. Makes a great, healthy snack on a hot day and can be used in place of ice cubes! The frozen grapes will keep you drink cold without watering it down!

    MANDARIN ORANGES
    Proper storage of your fresh fruit is key to having delicious mandarins for weeks to come! Because mandarin oranges store best at 45 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit, the refrigerator is the best place for them if you aren’t going to be eating them in the first days after they are in your home. You can place the ones you will eat sooner on the counter or table for fresh eating within the next week. They should be kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.

    NECTARINES
    Nectarine Care Tips: Look for nectarines that have a sweet smell and feel slightly firm. BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE FRIDGE take your nectarines out of whatever container you brought them home in and spread them out on your counter or table at room temperature until they reach your desired level of ripeness (Approx. 1-3 days). Keep an eye on them as they begin to ripen. Once ripened put them in the refrigerator for up to one week.

    Look through your nectarines and remove any bruised or soft fruit for immediate use, just like you would do with bananas, apples, and other fruit. Let the nectarines air-dry if they are wet from condensation after coming out of our refrigerated truck. DO NOT wrap your fruit in plastic film or plastic bags because this will lead to your fruit becoming rotten, due to condensation from the fruit being trapped inside. Our nectarines are plump and delicious and we know you will love them as much as we do!

    DO NOT wrap your fruit in plastic film or plastic bags because this will lead to your fruit becoming rotten, due to condensation from fruit being trapped inside.

    PEACHES
    Your sweet Georgia Peaches are hand-picked by our grower and picker NEAR peak maturity. Coming straight from Georgia, our peaches need a little strength to make the ride all the way to you. Our peaches will finish ripening process at room temperature and should begin to soften in 24-48 hours. (You can buy all of the fruits listed here from them direct and they will deliver it to you city or even to your door. I haven’t done it yet because I mostly grow my own but they get excellent reviews for quality and customer service).

    Handle your peaches with care. Setting your box down gently is very important because peaches can bruise easily. BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE FRIDGE take your peaches out of the box and spread them out on your counter or table at room temperature until they reach your desired level of ripeness (approx. 1-3 days).

    DO NOT wrap your fruit in plastic film or plastic bags because this will lead to your fruit becoming rotten, due to condensation from fruit being trapped inside. Our peaches are plump and delicious and we know you will love them as much as we do!

    PEARS
    PEARS: A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. We recommend that you DO NOT refrigerate your pears for 2-4 days after receiving your fruit! The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out. Leave firm, unripe pears at room temperature so that they can ripen.

    Check the Neck for Ripeness daily, by applying gentle pressure to the neck, or stem end, of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, then it’s ripe and ready to eat! 

    I generally set my Bartlett Pears on a window sill and let them ripen there.

    PINEAPPLE
    The Perfect Pineapple – greenish on the outside and yellow on the inside with a regal crown of green leaves is ripe and ready to eat when you take it home. Before it is harvested, we carefully sample fruit in the field to insure that the fruit now has reached full maturity.

    Proper storage is key to enjoying a fresh pineapple. Pineapples store best at 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the refrigerator is the best place for them if you aren’t going to enjoy it in the first days they are in your home. If you plan to eat sooner, you can place it on the counter or table and enjoy the nice aroma that will fill your kitchen. Pop off the leaves and store the pineapple upside down. This helps the sweet juice that has accumulated on the bottom during shipping, flow back to the other end. A pineapple’s flavor is enhanced when eaten refreshingly cold. And don’t forget, once you have peeled, sliced or diced it to put it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and flavor.

    And here I thought it was best to get them when they were turning gold on the exterior. Live and learn.

    The Pineapple is considered one of the world’s healthiest fruits, rich in Bromelain, an enzyme that aids digestion, reduces inflammation and relieves painful joints.  The pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin C, B1 and A, as well as Manganese, Phosphorous and dietary fiber – all support heart health. And for all its sweetness, one cup of pineapple chunks contains only 82 calories!

    PLUMS
    Your delicious plums are hand-picked by our grower and picked NEAR peak maturity. Our plums need a little strength to make the ride all the way to you. Our plums will finish the ripening process at room temperature and should begin to soften in 24-48 hours.

    Plum Care Tips: A little known fact about the plum is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. We recommend that you DO NOT refrigerate your plums for 2-4 days after receiving your fruit!  It is recommended that you wipe them off with a towel after purchasing because they will have some condensation. The plum is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.

    Leave firm, unripe plums at room temperature so that they can ripen.

    I learned this lesson the hard way, putting unripe plums in my fridge. They rotted before ripening.

    STRAWBERRIES
    As for where to store strawberries, it all depends on when you plan to use them. BUT you have to take them out of containers they came in. (Another live and learn as I’ve never done this).

    1. Right away? Store on the countertop.
    If you plan to use strawberries the day you bring them home, there’s no need to put them in the fridge. You can leave them at room temperature on the kitchen counter.

    2. Tomorrow? In the refrigerator.
    If you don’t plan to eat your strawberries the day you bring them home, the best place for them is in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It helps to maintain humidity and keep the berries from losing moisture and becoming dry.

    Remove the berries from their original container, and store them whole and unwashed in a partially-closed container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, preferably in a single layer so they don’t get crushed. They should last up to five to seven days. I’m guessing I’ll use Tupperware or small paper bags for this from now on.

    3. This winter? In the freezer.
    If you don’t have plans to use strawberries within a few days of bringing them home, your best bet is to freeze them. Remove the stems, halve or slice them if you like, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Store in an airtight container or ziptop freezer bag. Strawberries are great for canning as well!

    That’s it! Now, does anyone here remember a post about keeping berries fresh much longer if you rinse them in a vinegar solution? I’m pretty sure I read about that here but I can’t find the post–or a search box for that matter. If you know about doing that I’d appreciate a reply.

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