How to Keep Fruit Fresh Longer

Fresh fruit salad in the bowl
you’ll need to know how to keep fruit fresh longer so that you can savor the sweetness of the summer -- and save some money, too.

By Jennifer Parris

It always starts off with the best of intentions. You see some super ripe strawberries that you want to turn into a smoothie or have on hand for healthy snacking. Then, you grab some beautiful berries and melons for a fantastic fruit salad. Before you know it, your shopping cart is full of fresh produce that you swear you’ll eat. But a few days later, a lot of your fruit is looking a little, well, lifeless. That’s when you’ll need to know how to keep fruit fresh longer so that you can savor the sweetness of the summer — and save some money, too.  

Apples

Apples like it cool when it comes to staying fresh—in fact, they prefer temperatures between 30-35 degrees Fahrenheit, Gardeners.com reported. Since these cuties prefer the cold, keeping them in the fridge is a fine place for storage. You can either opt to store them in a plastic bag punctured with holes or covered with a damp cloth. 

Bananas

If you’ve ever wondered why some of your bananas come packaged with the stem wrapped, it’s to help them stay fresh. So keep the stems wrapped tightly, and leave them on the counter. Since bananas have high levels of ethylene gas, don’t keep them with your other produce, unless you’re trying to ripen them. 

Corn

Fresh corn only has a 72-hour window of freshness before it begins losing its sweetness. So if you’re not planning on eating it right away, you should store it in the refrigerator in the husk to prevent it from drying out, Pickyourown.org reported. 

Oranges, Lemons, Limes 

Don’t be so quick to discard the mesh bag that a package of oranges comes in. You should keep them in there until you’re ready to use them. But skip the counter and keep them in the fridge for extra freshness. 

Tomatoes

If you thought that tomatoes had to be refrigerated, think again. For optimal consumption, you’ll want to store your tomatoes at room temperature, but away from direct sunlight. Be sure to take them out of the plastic bag you purchased them in so that they stay fresh.  

Grapes

Much like berries, grapes can get moldy if you pre wash them. So keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge. You can even try freezing them until you’re ready to snack on them. 

Pineapples

Sure, they might be easy to stand up and sit on your counter, but that’s actually the worst way to make your pineapple stay perky. In fact, pineapples should be placed in the fridge, upside down and with the spiky top cut off. Doing so helps the pineapple stay sweeter and distribute the juices so they don’t sink to the bottom. 

Berries

There’s nothing like having your heart set on having a berry smoothie and seeing that your berries have mold growing all over them. Since berries are so delicate (and susceptible to mold), don’t rinse them until you’re planning on eating them. And keeping them in the fridge on an open shelf will ensure that they don’t get moldy. 

Melons

Melons can be stored on the counter until ready to be consumed. But once you cut into a melon, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to three days to keep it sweet. 

When it comes to finding a place for your fruit, it seems that every piece of produce has its own protocol. Knowing what works for each one will ensure sweet fruit that will last long enough for you to enjoy it.