You've plucked your citrus fruits from your tree. Now, how do you store them? Here's how to store your citrus fruits so they stay fresh and last longer!
Every day in America, 150,000 tons of food finds its way to the garbage bin.
This includes processed foods, fruits, and vegetables.
Surprisingly, people purchasing more fruits and vegetables in a bid to eat healthier are the most wasteful of the bunch.
Do you have to keep tossing away citrus fruits because you can’t keep them long enough? Here are five tips on how to store citrus fruits.
1. Get Good Fruit
Unlike most fruits, citrus fruits do not continue to ripen once picked.
However, if you pick over-ripened fruit, it will be susceptible to rotting.
On the other hand, you do not want to pick raw fruit because its sweetness and nutritional value will be hampered.
You, therefore, need to pick well-ripened fruit.
Always look for fruit with vibrant colors, but which are firm to touch. Greenish color on oranges might mean that they are under ripened. However, oranges with tinges of green and green lemons are okay as they tend to keep well for longer.
Oranges do best at cooler temperatures and go bad quickly at warmer temperatures.
To refrigerate them properly, place them in a mesh as opposed to a plastic bag. This allows air to circulate and slows down the growth of mold, lesions, or softened rind.
If you place them in the veggie section and turn them occasionally to allow airflow, they should remain fresh for about 30 days.
You can do the same with grapefruit as well.
To refrigerate lemons, however, put them in a sealed ziplock bag before placing them in the fridge.
3. Place on an Airy Counter Top
For oranges and grapefruit that you intend to consume within a week, placing them on a counter at room temperature is sufficient.
The number of days the fruit will remain fresh is, however, dependent on how hot the area you live in gets. Try leaving them out for a few days and pay attention to how well they keep.
Do not cover them with anything. Airflow plays a huge role in maintaining citrus fruit freshness.
4. Keep Them Dry
Whether you refrigerate or keep your citrus fruits on a countertop, keeping them dry is key.
Bundling them together when wet encourages mold growth and lesions which could break down the peel and compromise the flesh of the fruit.
5. Store Citrus Fruits for Longer: Pickling
This is one of the best ways to keep your fruit for up to six months.
Pickling is effective for oranges, lemons, and limes. To do this, make incisions on your fruit and place salt on the incisions before putting them in airtight jars and close tightly.
Something else you can do is to squeeze out the juice and freeze it in cubes before placing them in the refrigerator in zip lock bags. You can then use the cubes as needed.
No More Wastage
With these citrus storage tips, you will not only store citrus fruits for longer but also enjoy fresher, more nutritious fruit and reduce the amount of fruit you throw away.
If you have many oranges, lemons or another citrus fruit around, drinking them might be easier than eating them. Check out these delicious citrusy summer drink recipes to get started!
Our Rio box is a 15-lb curated box of our fresh-harvested citrus from South Texas. The fruit is NOT gassed, rather it is tree-ripened. Our season runs from Nov-May for oranges, grapefruit and mandarins.
Our Grande box is a 30-lb box of either fresh-harvested Rio Red Grapefruit or Sweet Oranges from South Texas.