How the Heck do I Store this Fruit?

How the Heck do I Store this Fruit?

Oct 13, 2016

You decided to be bold one day & try a new seasonal fruit such as a Pomegranate. 

However, once you got home with your groceries...buyers remorse quickly sets in over this unicorn of a fruit and you think to yourself now what the heck do I do with it? 

We have all had that initial confidence when buying a new produce item thinking to ourselves...."It can't be that hard to prepare or cook" only to find ourselves at home, staring at it while feeling a bit overwhelmed and/or inadequate with our current Fruit & Veggie knowledge.

If this has happened to you before, know you are not alone!! 

Here are a few Fall/Winter seasonal fruits with all the Juicy Details you need to know (pun intended) so that you can feel a little more confident when picking up produce items that aren't available year round!   

Don't be afraid to try something new - You can do it!!

pomegranate.jpg

How to Select, Ripen & Store Fall/Winter Seasonal Fruits:

Asian pear:

  • Asian pears are available year-round, but are at their peak from late Summer through the Fall.
  • Choose fragrant, unblemished Asian pears with little to no brown spots.
  • Ripe Asian pears are hard and do not become soft like other pears – they are ready to eat when purchased.
  • They can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week or up to 3 months in the fridge!

Cara Cara Orange:

  • Cara Cara oranges (aka “red navels”) are at their peak in the Winter months.
  • Choose those that are heavy for their size with a smooth, thin and tight skin.  Avoid any with blemishes or extremely soft ends or moldy spots.
  • Choose those that have a sweet, clean fragrance.
  • They should be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Grapefruit:

  • Grapefruits are available year-round; however California & Arizona grapefruits are at their peak from January through August, while Florida & Texas Grapefruit are at their peak from October through June.
  • Choose grapefruits that feel heavy in the hand – Avoid those with soft or wet spots.
  • Irregularities on the skin of a grapefruit are normal & not an important factor for flavor.
  • Thinner-skinned grapefruits are typically juicier, but not necessarily sweeter or tastier.
  • Grapefruits ripen when picked and should be stored in a cool place at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Kiwifruit:

  • Kiwifruits are available year-round, but are at their peak in December through February. 
  • Choose semi-firm kiwi without blemishes. 
  • Kiwi ripens with age, but can become mushy if left to ripen too long.  Place in the fridge once they are soft.
  • The fruit should be rinsed and peeled to remove the fuzzy skin before eating.

Persimmon:

  • Persimmons (Hachiya, which is the most common) is at its’ peak from December to February.
  • Avoid bruised persimmons as they do not store well and can spoil quickly.
  • To quickly ripen a Hachiya persimmon, store it in the freezer overnight – In the morning, allow the cold-ripened fruit to thaw.
  • Ripe persimmons will have a red-orange colored skin and will be quite soft.
  • When ripe they will have a smooth creamy texture with a slightly tangy yet sweet flavor.
  • If they are slightly underripe the Hachiya will make your mouth pucker at the unpleasant astringent taste!   

 Pomegranate:

  • Pomegranates are usually available from the Fall through early Winter.
  • Choose pomegranates that are bright, plump, round and heavy for their size.  Avoid any with a dry-looking, wrinkled, or a cracked rind.
  • Store in a cool place at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 2 months.
  • Cut the outer skin and tap out seeds from the cream-colored, inedible membrane or use your fingers to loosen the arils.  You can eat the whole pomegranate seed (aka arils) or just the juice.  

Melanie Kluzek, Registered Dietitian for County Market



Category: Recipes

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