As the weather heats up, so does our appetite for seasonal fresh fruit. Unfortunately, unless you eat your fruit within a day or two, it can start to spoil. If that happens to you often, you might find yourself throwing away a large portion of your hard-earned cash. Avoid trashing your bounty this year by learning a few tips that can help you preserve your fruit.
Move Fruit Bowls Out of the Sun
Nothing looks more delicious and appetizing than a heaping bowl of colorful fruit on a bright and sunny table. Unfortunately, the sun and the heat it produces can cause fruit to spoil before its time. One way to keep fruit fresh is to move your bowls out of direct sunlight.
Share Table Space With Your Tomatoes
Contrary to popular belief, cold temperatures are not ideal for storing tomatoes. A tomato kept locked inside a refrigerator for too long will lose its delicious flavor and texture. Instead, you can store your tomatoes in a bowl on your table.
Watch Out for Ethylene
Ethylene is a harmless, odorless gas produced by all fruits and vegetables. Too much ethylene in a small space can cause your fruit to ripen too quickly. Because different types of fresh produce release varying amounts of ethylene, care should be taken when storing fruit in your refrigerator.
For best results, keep your highest ethylene-producing fruits such as apples and peaches in separate bags, and spread them out around your refrigerator. Remember to poke holes in the plastic to preserve freshness.
Freeze It Up
If you know that it might be some time before you get to that delicious package of blueberries, there’s no need to worry; many fruits will stay fresh in your freezer. Frozen fruit is easy to blend and makes a great addition to smoothies, cereal or creamy yogurt.
For best results, freeze berries in a single layer on a small pan or baking sheet before transferring to a plastic bag. Fruits such as apples, nectarines and apricots should be cut into slices. Dip the slices in a simple water bath made with one quart of water and a few drops of lemon juice. Allow the slices to dry before freezing.
Treat Berries to a Little Thermotherapy
A nice, warm bath works wonders for your mood and overall well-being. Interestingly, the same rule applies to berries. By dipping them in hot water, you can deter spoilage and prevent your berries from developing mold.
Simply heat up some water in a pot until it reaches about 125 degrees. Place a plastic basket of strawberries, raspberries or blueberries inside, and let the container sit in the pot for up to 30 seconds. Once done, remove the berries from their container so they can dry. Finally, place them back in the basket and store as usual.
As the price of healthy food continues to rise, it becomes more painful to have to throw out spoiled produce. With the above tips, you can help your fresh fruit last longer while saving a little money throughout the summer.