Tips On How To Select And Store Fruits

Fruits are one such category of our grocery which we may want to store them to last a reasonable period of time. But before we procure them, it would be quite helpful if we are aware of some small aspects of how to select, pick or buy and then store them for a few days. Here are some simple and practical tips for the commonly used fruits in most households.

 Apples :

Mostly apples are ripe when picked and may be transported to long distances. They are generally safe and ripe for almost 6 weeks. Look for firm varieties and avoid the ones with soft or blemished spots. You may be able to store them in plastic bags for longer in the fridge if not over ripe already.

Bananas :

This is one fruit which is fragile and bruises easily and need to be handled with care. The best bet is to buy them when greenish and once the peels turn yellow and hints of brown, they are ready to consume. Of course raw bananas too can be used to cook as a vegetable or snack. If placed in a cool area in the kitchen or dining area they can be good to eat till about a week or so. They could be hanged from a hook too in an area where the rook is generally air conditioned in hot summers. Be wary of over ripe bananas which may be unfit for consumption. It would be advisable for individuals with issues of indigestion, flatulence and diabetes, to select slightly firm but ripe bananas.

Pineapple :

The fully ripe variety is the best choice to select. Check if it is slightly firm with a sweet smell, yellow skin and dark green leaves. It can be stored whole at room temperature. Once peeled and cut and sliced, it can stay good for a week in the fridge in covered bowls.

Cantaloupe :

This fruit is ready to eat once it begins to have a typical strong smell. Once ripened, it will stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days in a covered bowl after cutting and slicing it. It will be a good idea to keep them away from rest of the vegetables, to keep them fresh.

Kiwi :

Till it is hard and un ripe, it can sit in the room temperature. To know if it is ready, check if it is tender enough to give a slight squeeze. Once ripened, it can keep fresh for about 5-6 days in the fridge.

Citrus fruits:

If picking from the tree, a properly ripened fruit (orange, lime,) will clip easily from the tree without resistance. Once ripened oranges and lemon will remain fresh at room temperature in cooler months depending on their stage of ripeness when picked and bought. In warmer months it would be best to store them in the fridge, but not in plastic bags so that they remain fresh for longer. Lime can stay good for almost 2 weeks at room temperature after which they can be placed into loosely sealed zip lock pouches up to 4 weeks. Unlike oranges and sweet lemons, lime will begin to turn brown as they age which is a sign that they should be discarded, being unfit for consumption. A god idea would be to freeze the lime after cutting and squeezing the juice which can be stored in ice cube trays.

Water Melon :

To select water melon one should look for the skin that is dull and slightly waxy ( although sellers might wax them before selling)and should yield only slightly to pressure. Avoid the ones with cuts or dents with the stem attached, brownish and dry. The round oblong melon should be symmetrical and without any flat sides feeling heavier for its size. One small tip to select the ripe variety is to use the thumping method. This can be done by flicking your index finger against the melon, listening for a rich thud, which indicates its ripeness. It would be better to avoid melons with white streaks through the flesh (if cut) which is mealy, dry, cracked or separated from the seeds. Best is to avoid buying pre cut fruit. The whole water melon can be stored at room temperature for up to a week and in the fridge for about 10 -14 days. Cut water melon should be wrapped in plastic, refrigerated and consumed within 3-4 days. One warning to keep in mind is to avoid very large sized or too sweet ones, since they may be injected by sugar water or glucose by unscrupulous sellers.

Grapes :

The best way to pick the grapes is to check if they are not over ripe, bruised or wilting. They should be firmly attached to the stems and not falling off and plump. Grapes are best stored in the fridge in either paper or plastic bags with some air to pass through. Avoid stacking them in a heap which may restrict air circulation to prevent spoilage. It would be good idea to first thoroughly wash them, dry well before refrigerating. They can be stored for up to a week or more depending on how ripe they are already.
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