Apples are an amazing snack. They are crispy and juicy and so flavorful. To date, I have not met anyone who does not like apples. There are very many different types of apples in the market.
In the United States, the most common types are Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. You can eat apples fresh from the tree or use them in the hundreds of recipes available.
Other than being super delicious, apples have a lot of health benefits. Research has shown that apples play a major role in promoting heart health. Additionally, it helps fight diabetes. Apples play a role in controlling body weight. Additionally, apples are rich in vitamin C which helps the body to fight off diseases.
Several factors affect the shelf life of apples. How you store the apples, how long ago the apples were harvested, and if you have cut or cooked them are just a few of the factors that influence the shelf life of apples.
Most of the time, fresh apples last for 2-4 weeks when stored in the pantry and for up to 2 months when stored in the refrigerator. But before we get into more details, let’s talk about apples a little bit.
If you want your apples to last for a long time, you need to buy fresh apples. There are a few tips and tricks on choosing the freshest apples. The first thing you should check is the skin of the apple.
Fresh apples have smooth skin. If the skin is bruised or has dark spots, the apples are probably not fresh. Fresh apples should be firm. If you hold an apple in your hand and it feels soft, or dents easily, it is not fresh.
Fresh apples have a fruity and nice aroma. If you doubt the freshness, just smell it. If the aroma is bad or unpleasant, it is not fresh.
How long do they last?
As I mentioned before, there are several factors that influence how long the apples will last. When stored in the pantry, fresh apples will last for 2-4 weeks. If you store them in the refrigerator, they will last for approximately two months.
Cut apples last for a shorter time compared to whole apples. Always be on the lookout for any signs of spoilage.
How to properly store apples
The only way to ensure that your apples stay fresh for a long time is by storing them properly. Here is how to properly store your apples. Before storing your apples, you should wash them thoroughly.
Apple distributors usually apply wax to apples to make them look shiny. If consumed, the wax may give you health complications. There are two methods that you can use to wash the apples to ensure that you get rid of all the wax.
The first way you can go about it is by dipping the apples in hot water for 5 seconds then taking them out and washing them in running water.
Alternatively, you can pour a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a bowl of water and place the apples in the Bowl. Use a vegetable brush to scrub off the wax then rinse the apples in cold running water.
Use a dishcloth to wipe the apples dry then store them.
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The dos and don’ts when storing apples
With apples, you have two storage options. You can either store them at room temperature or inside your refrigerator.
If you plan on eating the apples in less than seven days, you can store them on your kitchen counter or in the pantry. Just ensure that the apples are in a cool, dry place far away from heat. Do not store the apples above the oven or close to your stovetop.
The best way to store apples at room temperature is by placing them in a wire bowl. The wire bowl will ensure that the air circulation is enough. Keep in mind that apples ripen quicker when stored at room temperature.
If you want the apples to last longer than seven days, the fridge is the best option. Before storing them in the fridge, wrap all your apples in a newspaper or parchment paper one by one, then place them in the crisper drawer.
Alternatively, just place them in a plastic bag that has holes. The holes will let the ethylene gas out. If you store them this way, the apples will stay fresh for up to two months.
When storing apples, store them far away from fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene. These include; avocados, bananas, oranges, and even potatoes. Storing your apples close to these fruits and vegetables will make them ripen at a very fast rate.
Apples easily absorb the odor of anything you store close to them. Therefore, it is important that you store them far away from anything that has a strong odor, including non-food items.
Before storing your apples, make sure that all of them a healthy. If there is an apple that looks spoilt, it will affect the others.
Can you freeze apples?
I have on a good number of occasions come across questions asking if they can freeze apples. The answer is yes. You can freeze apples if you want them to last for longer than 2 months.
Frozen apples stay fresh for up to 10 months. The key is maintaining the temperature at 0°F. I do not recommend eating apples as they are once frozen. The texture may be a little different and you may not like it. I recommend using frozen apples in cooking and baking recipes. Alternatively, you can use them to make jams and jellies.
Freezing apples is quite simple. Here is how to properly do it. The first thing you need to do is wash them properly, like I said, washing apples is very important.
Once washed and dried, place them on a baking sheet and place them inside the freezer so that they freeze individually. After a few hours, remove them from the freezer and transfer them to a freezer bag then return them to the freezer.
To freeze apples that are not whole, slice the apples to the size you want, place them on a baking sheet, and freeze them. Once all the slices are frozen, transfer them to your freezer bag and put them back in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
What to do so that apple slices do not turn brown
If you are like me, you slice your apples once in a while before storing them. The only challenge with apple slices is that they tend to oxidize very quickly even when they are not spoilt. Lucky for you, there are a few things you can do to ensure that they maintain their vibrant color.
The first option is dipping the apple slices in lemon juice. This is the oldest trick in the book and it works just fine. Alternatively, you can use honey. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of honey with a cup of water and dip the apple slices in the water. You can also soak the apple slices in salty water for 5-6 minutes.
Once you finish using whichever method you choose, place the slices in an airtight container then seal tightly. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum-sealed bag to keep all the air out.
Store the apple slices in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them.
How to tell when your apples have gone bad
Knowing when your apples have gone bad and are no longer safe to eat is important. Eating spoilt apples is a health hazard. Here are a few indications that your apples have gone bad.
Brown spots, oozing juice, and mold
If the skin of your apple has brown spots and juice oozing out of the fruit, it has definitely gone bad. Some apples may even have mold growing on the surface. Discard your apple if there is visible mold. It cannot be salvaged.
Apples should have a pleasant, fruity smell. If the smell of your apple is off, chances are that it has gone bad.
Apples should be firm and crispy when they are still fresh. If your apples have a mushy texture, chances are that they have gone bad. You should discard them.
If you are storing several apples and notice that a few of them have any of the above signs of spoilage, remove the bad ones. If you don’t, the bacteria will transfer to the healthy apples and they will get spoilt too.
Apples are amazing fruits. They are delicious on their own and also when used in cooking and baking recipes. They also make delicious jellies and jams. Like every other fruit, apples go bad.
How long they last are totally dependent on how you store them. If you store them properly, they can last for 2 months. They can also last for ten months when frozen.
If you have stored apples, I recommend checking on them once in a while. This way, if any goes bad, you can remove them so that they do not affect the healthy ones. If all your apples have signs of spoilage, discard them. Spoilt apples are harmful to your health.