Properly storing apples for long term will help extend their shelf life to more than one month. Easy steps for apple storage involve selecting variety, sorting apples, preparation, and storing them.
Apples are nutritious fruits that we all love to have them raw or in cooked form. You might have come across different types of apples, which differ in size, shape, taste, flavor, firmness, and other attributes. If store apples correctly, and you can enjoy them fresh for a longer period without sacrificing their flavor and quality.
Tips to Store Apples Properly
So, you have a stock of your favorite, late ripening apples that you bought from local market, and want to preserve them? As with any type of fresh fruits, some factors directly affect apple spoilage, such as variety, time, cut skin, and presence of rotten apples. Before you to store them, you need to sort out the apples first. Similarly, follow the correct preparatory step and choose a proper storage area. Here’s how you can store apples for winter.
Selection of Apple Variety
Choosing long-keeping types of apples is of utmost importance in storing them. Needless to say, those having firm flesh and thick skin can be kept for a longer period than those with soft flesh and thin skin. Likewise, very sweet apples with high sugar content are not suggested for long-term storage. To be more precise, you should store tangy tasting and thick-skinned apples of the same variety for later use.
Sorting of Perfect Apples
Since one of the main reasons for apple spoilage is cut skin or bruises, separate those that have the same. You should instantly eat them or use in recipes, or they may get rotten very soon. From the apples that you have sorted for storage, see if they have any soft or brown spots. If yes, again separate them from the rest. A rotten apple causes spoilage of those that are in direct skin contact with it.
Decide Storage Area
The next step for storing apples long-term is preparing them. This depends on where you are planning to store the fruits. For this, you have two easy options: either keep them in a fridge, or store in a cool and dry place. For both options, you should use only dry, unwashed apples.
Storing in Refrigerator
The easiest option to store apples is refrigerating them in the crisper drawer. However, this method is ideal for apple storage for one month, not beyond that. Hence, if you are interested in long-term storage, consider freezing them. In order to store apples in the fridge, all you need is put unwashed apples in a plastic bag, and keep in the crisper drawer.
Storing in Root Cellar
First, wrap each apple in a newspaper, twist the top and keep them in a tight cardboard box. This helps in blocking air circulation thereby extending the shelf life of apples. Keep the box in a dry, cool (ideally 30-32°F), and dark area, preferably a root cellar, dry basement, garage, outhouse, unheated attic, or pantry.
When going about the process of storing apples, make it a point to handle them carefully. Presence of any bruised apple will spoil the adjacent fruits. While storing apples in a root cellar, ensure that they are not kept together with potatoes. It is found that these tubers release gas that affect the stored apples indirectly.