By Samantha Grose, JP&CO: A residential construction firm dedicated to delivering a personalized home at a remarkable pace through an enjoyable process.
As I explained in my last blog about storing fresh herbs and vegetables, nothing’s better than the fresh produce available during the Minnesota growing season (farmers markets are the best)! In the summer and fall, the challenge is no longer the hunt for fresh food. Instead, we face the task of learning how to store this great produce in way that keeps it fresh. Last week I tackled veggies and herbs. This week: fruit.
RASPBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES, and BLUEBERRIES
One of the biggest disappointments with berries occurs when you buy them on a Monday and they’re beginning to mold by Wednesday. This happened in my kitchen more times than I’d like to remember. But, lucky for us, there’s a super easy solution to keeping your berries mold-free. When you bring your berries home from the market, wash them in a bowl with a mixture of 3 parts water, one part vinegar. Then drain them, rinse with running water, and completely dry them on paper towels. Store them in containers lined with paper towel in the fridge. The vinegar kills the mold spores that often grow so quickly.
Apparently there’s quite a little debate going on the in the food world about whether or not tomatoes should be stored in or out of the fridge. Similar to many other types of fresh produce, the game changer is the item’s level of ripeness. If your tomatoes are unripe or green, it’s best to store them outside of the fridge in a paper bag or wrapped in newspaper in a cool area until they ripen. If your tomatoes are at a perfect ripeness for consumption, keep them separated on the counter away from sunlight. The only time you should store tomatoes in the fridge is when they’ve reached that slightly overripe point—this preserves them for a few more days before they’re over the edge.
These delicious fruits, like tomatoes, are best stored on the counter until they reach full ripeness. Once ripe, place fruit in the crisper bin, where they will last for about 5 more days. Peaches can also be placed in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process.
Store apples in a cool, dark place such as the pantry. If you have no pantry, place apples in a plastic bag in the crisper. Already sliced up some apples and have leftovers? There’s an easy solution to that annoying browning: Coat your slices in pineapple or lemon juice.
With cherries, unlike other berries, it’s best to leave them unwashed until just before consumption. They can be placed in a plastic bag and tossed in the fridge. They’ll last about 4 days when stored this way, and taste best if they’re laid out to warm to room temperature before eating.
The most common form of banana storage is at room temperature. A little-known fact about bananas: It’s ok to store them in the fridge to extend their lifespan a few more days. Although refrigerating them makes their skin turn brown, the fruit itself is fine. Like apples, cut bananas can be saved from browning with pineapple or lemon juice.
Store oranges unwrapped in a small container (such as a basket) at room temperature in place out of the sun. Oranges maintain a better flavor this way. A basket is a great storage container for oranges because it allows air to circulate, discouraging mold from growing. If you want to store oranges for two weeks or longer, wrap fresh fruit individually in paper and place the fruit in cardboard boxes. Store these boxes in a cool, dark, dry place, such as the fridge or garage.
Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for JP&CO.