Tips on Storing Fruit for Optimal Use
The Key to buying fruit is knowing how to store it, and for how long. Knowing the fruit’s origin can allow you to anticipate it’s storage life. For instance, plums imported from Chile will have a shorter storage life than local grown plums due to extended exposure to refrigeration in transit. The ripening process is different with each type of fruit. If stored properly, some fruit will keep up to 4 weeks, while fruit such as peaches typically last 5-7 days. If you buy a 40 lb. case of apples and consume it within 4 weeks, that equates to an average of 1.5 lbs. per day, (or 2 – 3 apples per day). Owning a case of fruit can urge you and your family not only to eat more raw fruits, it can also inspire creative culinary uses.
You can store most fruits at room temperature, away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. Indeed, refrigeration can adversely impact the storage life of fruits. By diminishing water content, refrigeration can compromise certain fruits’ flavor and degree of sweetness. The best conditions for refrigerated storage of most fruits are to chill just before eating.
Suggested Storage Methods for Specific Fruit
For fruits such as berries, cherries, and fresh figs, refrigeration is advisable. Grapes will withstand either storage method, though must remain dry. If stored at room temperature, they should sit in a dry area where air can circulate to them. If you choose to store them in a refrigerator, first place them in a paper bag. Additionally, any fruit that’s cut or exposed will generally require refrigeration.
For room temperature storage, make sure you remove grapes from plastic bags you may have purchased them in, as they draw out moisture, and can also lead to mold. Line the bottom of a perforated storage container with a sheet of absorbent paper, such as newspaper or paper towels. Then place only the fruit on the paper. Grapes remain fresher on the vine. Citrus fruits, similarly to grapes are susceptible to molding. In view of these factors, a dry area where air can circulate will help to guard against mold’s development.
Many citrus fruits can be stored 2 – 4 weeks. Always store pineapple in a dry area. A dark green pineapple will optimally keep for about 1-2 weeks. They can easily sit on a shelf or countertop. If you buy bananas by the case, always make sure they are green if you don’t anticipate consuming them immediately. You can expect their storage life limited to within one week. Additionally, cold temperatures will turn bananas brown or black, fast. Therefore, room temperature is especially advisable.
Herbal, Eco – Friendly Pest Control
Fruit does not only appeal to people, if you can smell the sweetness of the fruit, so can other animals, insects, and critters. Investing in a few environmentally friendly pest control methods will make it all possible for you to enjoy the fruit you buy.
- Osage orange fruit or (Hedge-apple): Whether you are familiar with this fruit all depends on the geographics of where you live. This is not a type of citrus fruit, nor is it recommended for human consumption, although it is non-toxic to humans, it is potentially irritating to the skin. Osage trees generally grow throughout the Midwestern US. The active agent in this strange fruit is it’s essential oil. Several universities have conducted studies on Osage Orange including the University of Minnesota extension, and Iowa State University. According to a study by Iowa State University, the essential oil of Osage Orange is an effective natural repellent to the German cockroach among other parasites.
- Note* squirrels are known to nibble on these
- Apple cider vinegar: Fruit is a living organism that is valuable in every stage of its development. After harvest, fruit continues to evolve or mature. We call this the process of ripening. As some fruits ripen, they take on different colors and flavors. Peaches turn deeper rose tones, and green apples turn golden sweetening as they ripen. Cold temperatures can stunt, alter, or delay the natural ripening process.
Fermenting fruit is a lure for fruit flies. One way to keep them in check is to utilize apple cider vinegar, or Acv. Apple cider vinegar evolves by way of fermentation, and so, makes an effective fruit fly trap. For this you will need one glass jar with a wide mouth, one sheet of thick paper, and apple cider vinegar. Take the paper and fold it into a funnel. Cut a hole at the tip just big enough for the fruit flies to enter, though not large enough for them to easily exit. Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar, leaving enough space for the funnel. Place the funnel in the jar, and make sure it is secure.
- Kness Ketch-all : An effective, chemical free mouse trap. Just set it and go. Don’t forget to check it.
- Common house flies: Put one to four pennies in a plastic bag, add white vinegar, tie the bag and hang
it in the area that needs attention.
- Plastic storage bins, (perforated): These work well against rodents and are good for fruit that need air circulation. Make sure the perforated holes are around 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch in diameter. Also once you place the lid over the bin be sure to weight it down.
Eat Fruit with Scrutiny, and Use your Discretion
It is generally a good idea to wash off produce before eating it. Cutting the fruit in half before you eat it always eliminates surprises. As it develops while on the tree, water can enter fruits at the base of the stem. If water enters at that point, it can travel to the seed at the center. Often, the seed then splits, and water forms mold in this part of the fruit. By halving the fruit, you can easily detect this occurrence, and any bruising that you otherwise do not see on the surface.
References: Peterson, John Christopher. “Insect Repellents of Natural Origin: Catnip and Osage Orange’.. . Digital Repository @ Iowa State University. [http://www.lib.dr.iastate.edu/rtd/1101] [9/05/2015.];[http://www.forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/1533172/osage-orange-as-an-insecticide]
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