Easy tips, tricks and recipes: ways to reduce food waste at home using fruit.
How to store fruit
There is no denying the deliciousness of fresh fruit. But keeping it has challenges.
It is fragile. Moisture, temperature and storage impact how long it lasts. Stored improperly, it can go bad quickly and ultimately get thrown away.
If your produce rots after just a few days, you might be storing incompatible fruits (and vegetables) together. Those that give off higher levels of ethylene gas, a ripening agent, will speed the decay of those sensitive to the gas. However, you can also use this gas to your advantage. Put them in a brown paper bag to take advantage of the trapped ethylene gas to ripen, such as pears, peaches, avocados.
What temperature do you store fruit?
Store at room temperature: bananas, pineapple, ginger, winter squash, eggplant, and basil (in a glass of water, like a bouquet).
Ripen at room temp, then refrigerate: avocado, kiwifruit, melon, peaches, pears, plums, mangos. Chilling damages the enzymes that help create the flavors of some fruit.
Purchase ripe, then refrigerate berries, cherries, grapes, watermelon, pineapple and citrus when they are fully ripe because the flavors won’t develop after picking.
How to refrigerate fruit
The general rule of thumb is to put fruits and veggies that emit ethylene gas in one drawer with the lever open, allowing those gases to escape.
Cook’s Note: Foods that wilt go in the high humidity drawer, with the lever closed. The moisture keeps the greens crisper and fresher longer. Keeping fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to ethylene gas, like strawberries, in this drawer will also keep them away from ethylene producers.
Repurpose fruit deliciously to reduce food waste
- Add ripe fruit to smoothies. Freezing keeps it convenient.
- Peel ripe bananas before storing in a zip-top bag.
- Spread fruit in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze, then store in zip-top bags.
- Roast pineapple, pears, grapes or strawberries. Broil grapefruit or oranges.
- Cook fruit into a compote or jam.
- Add to a salad, like this Cherry Herb Cheese Salad.
- Pickle it quick. Combine 4 tablespoons vinegar + 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl, add fruit so that it’s cover. Let sit 20 minutes.
- Infuse water to make flavored water. Add fruit to a pitcher of water. Store in the refrigerator.
- Make sangria. Fruit pairs well with red or white wine.
- If you are regularly throwing away fresh, buy frozen or canned.
Try these recipes to repurpose fruit
OverNight Oats are a great way to use fruit.
Cook fruit into a jam such as Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam.
Chop fruit to use in a salsa, such as Watermelon Salsa.
Blend it to make a sauce such as Mango Jalapeño Dressing.
How do you repurpose fruit?
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