Storing Your Fresh Fruit



One of the best parts about summer is the great fresh fruit that is available. It's fun to take a walk to the farmers' market and see what's available that day. You could try to eat whatever you buy in the next day or two, but usually it's nice to keep some fruit for the next few days to fold into yogurt or blend in smoothies. Here are a few tips for short-term fruit storage. 

For storing the more fragile berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and even blueberries, there are a few things to keep in mind:

- Don't wash or remove the stems from any of the fruits until just before you are ready to eat them or cook with them. - Discard any bruised fruits so they don't spoil the whole bunch. - Line a storage container with paper towel and then arrange the fruits in a single layer. Cover the fruits with another piece of paper towel and then seal the storage container and place in refrigerator. - Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries should last about three to five days like this, while blueberries can last up to one or two weeks. - When ready to eat, remove from fridge a few hours ahead of time to let fruits reach room temperature.

Cherries are very simple to store. Just remember these simple things:

- Don't wash the cherries before storage. Keep them as dry as possible. - Distribute cherries evenly in a wide shallow bowl. The wider the better so that cherries aren't stacked, which will help avoid bruising. - Place bowl in the coldest part of the fridge and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel. - Keep cherries away from strong smelling foods so they don't pick up other odors. - Check the cherries every once in a while any remove any spoiled ones to prevent them from ruining the bunch. - In the fridge, they should last four to seven days.

Soft fruits like peaches, apricots, and plums are also very easy to store. And because they should be kept out for a while, they can make great display pieces in your home.

- Do not refrigerate these types of fruits until ripe. It will drastically reduce their flavor. - Leave the fruits out on the counter or in a fruit bowl until they ripen, probably about one to three days. - If you want to speed up the ripening process, you can put the fruits in a paper bag and leave them at room temperature on your counter. - Once the fruits are ripe, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate, at which point they can last three to five days. - Make sure not to stack or pile these soft fruits since they can easily bruise.

For more suggestions on how to save your summer produce quickly, try these tips.

Do you have any other ways to store fresh fruits? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: totalAldo on flickr