How to Preserve Your Favorite Fruits

Have you ever been in the middle of eating a piece of fruit and suddenly notice it has mold growing on it? Not only is that gross, it could make you sick. 

Mold can grow inside the soft flesh of fruit where you can't see it until you've taken a few bites. Generally, mold will spread faster on soft fruits than on hard ones because it more easily penetrates into softer flesh.

While some people might not be affected by eating a small amount of mold, others can have issues. People might experience symptoms like allergic reactions and/or respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea. 

Watch out for mold 

Folks who should be particularly cautious when it comes to moldy fruit are the elderly and immunosuppressed.

Even if not in either of those groups, folks with sensitive stomachs should also be especially careful. And, of course, those with mold allergies need to keep a close eye on their fruit before they eat it.

Some molds are classified as mycotoxins, which are sometimes found in apples and grape juice, as well as on grains, nuts, and celery.

There are people who can easily handle a small amount of mold on fruit without having any issues. But even their health could be negatively affected by long-term exposure to mold.  

If you discover moldy pieces of fruit inside a container, throw them out, as well as any pieces of fruit touching them. Closely examine the other pieces before deciding to eat them.  

Your preemptive strike 

Let's take a look at some ways to keep your fruit from going bad. Each of these takes a little effort, but it's time well spent. And is certainly preferable to falling ill.

First I want to mention a preventative. Building up your gut microbiome could help you fend off the ill effects of eating mold, should you happen to accidentally do it.

And the way to shore up your gut is by eating fermented foods. Such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

Another strategy for helping healthy bacteria grow naturally in your gut is by drinking pomegranate juice.

13 tips for food freshness

Now for those tips to help you keep your fruit safe to eat:

  • Buy only as much fruit as you plan to eat before your next grocery store run. In other words, don't give it time to go bad.
  • Rinse berries in warm water. Then place them in a bowl with water and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Let them soak for 10 minutes before rinsing with water and drying on a paper towel or cutting board. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, where they should be good for up to 3 weeks.
  • Separate bananas from the bunch and wrap each individual stem in plastic wrap. This will slow down the spread of ethylene gas. If your bananas do become too ripe to eat, store them in the freezer and use in smoothies. 
  • Tomatoes shouldn't be refrigerated. Doing so will negatively affect their texture and flavor. Leave them on the counter and place them stem side down. 
  • If you're heading out on a day trip, soak apple slices in a salt and water mixture before placing them in an airtight plastic bag or other container. This helps prevent browning.
  • Instead of cutting a lemon in half if you only need a little of its juice, consider puncturing it with a skewer and squeezing out what you need. Then place it in an airtight baggie in your fridge.
  • I'm sure you've noticed that avocados turn brown quickly when cut open. That's due to their enzymes that produce a brown pigment when exposed to oxygen. Squirt them with lemon or lime juice after cutting them open, and store them with chunks of onion.

Because fruits and vegetables often go together, here are a few tips for keeping veggies fresh:

  • Place asparagus upright in a cup of water with the cut edges submerged. Put the cup in the fridge with a plastic bag over the tops of the asparagus.
  • Keep your carrots soaking in water, sealed with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. Another option is wrapping them in bubble wrap before refrigerating them.
  • Place leftover leaves of lettuce in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap to prevent leaves from turning brown and wilt-y Some people like to sprinkle a small amount of salt on their lettuce leaves to remove more moisture.
  • A mesh material will help onions stay fresh because it allows enough air to seep in. You can even use new pantyhose for this, tying a knot between each bulb.
  • Potatoes have a pretty good shelf life without much help, but eventually sprouts will show up. One of the best ways to keep them fresh is by storing them with apples. They love the ethylene gas from apples.
  • Ethylene gas is good for potato freshness, but not so much for celery freshness. Wrap celery in aluminum foil, which will allow gas ethylene to escape.

Fresh fruits and vegetables not only taste better than food that's been sitting around a while, they're also better for you. I hope you'll use some of the tips above to keep your food fresh. And feel free to add some of your own ideas in the comments section below.


  • Melody B - July 25, 2023

    These are great tips; I learned some new ones. Thank you!

  • Christine VanHuss - July 25, 2023

    Thanks for the great tips. Have a blessed day.

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