It’s important to take care of the fruit that you buy so that you can make it last as long as possible, and to help it keep its juicy freshness vibrant for longer. Fruit correctly cared for will also supply your body with the most vitamins, minerals and fibres that it can. Think of it as a small investment: the care you give your fruit after buying it and before you eat it will ensure the fruit can give you the most it possibly can. Other than the health benefits of fresh fruit, over-ripe fruit can easily be avoided!
Luckily, there are a few simple ways to provide your fruit with the best possible care:
- Keep apples and pears cool. They soften 10 times faster at room temperature than in the fridge.
- Ideally, store apples and pears in a plastic bag in the fridge.
- Keep apples and pears away from other foods, to prevent the fruit from absorbing other tastes and odours.
- Handle gently to avoid bruising.
- Prepare apple and pear dishes just before serving to minimise discoloration.
- To delay browning of cut fruit, sprinkle with lemon juice – or dip in lemon juice mixed with water.
- To test if pears are ripe, press the stalk end very gently. If it yields to your pressure, it’s ready to eat.
- To ripen pears that are still hard, store them in a bowl at room temperature for a couple of days. To speed up the process, place them in a loosely closed brown paper bag. To slow down the process, store them in the fridge.