How To Store Peaches And Nectarines To Keep Them From Spoiling

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Fruits are one of nature's best delights! They can satisfy anyone's sweet tooth in a crunch. But, the sad reality is that they tend to spoil quickly. More specifically, peaches and nectarines are challenging to keep for the long term. If you're wondering how we can prolong their lifespan, let's take a look.

Before you think about storing your peaches and nectarines, you want to make sure they're ripe! If you plan to lock them away before they're ready to eat, they'll become grainy as time goes by in the fridge. Ideally, if you buy unripe peaches or nectarines, it's best to leave them at room temperature for a day or two. Once they're fully ripe, you can extend their shelf-life for another 1-2 days by transferring them to the fridge.

An extra couple of days may not be enough for you. Instead, you might want to find out how to save them for a later date. So, you'll have to keep searching for ways to achieve that. Additionally, you might want to know more about peaches and nectarines in general. If you'd like to take a deeper dive into these pair of stone fruit, keep reading ahead.

Slices of peaches in a bowl, How To Store Peaches And Nectarines To Keep Them From Spoiling

How Long Are Peaches Good in the Fridge?

The first stone fruit we will go over is peaches. Peaches will not last long if you keep them at room temperature. At most, they'll last you a few days before they quickly turn rotten. So, you might think about throwing them in the fridge to extend their lifespan.

Selective focus of ripe peach fruit

From here, it depends on when you plan to throw them in the fridge. If you throw the peaches in when they're fully ripe, they can last up to five days. Still, you'll have to keep a close eye on the fruit. Cold temperatures can dehydrate the peaches. So, if they start developing wrinkles, you might want to consume them as soon as possible.

Regarding containers, chucking the peaches in the fridge while they're still in a loosely sealed plastic bag is sufficient enough. 

Cut Peaches

Fresh peaches on wooden table

Of course, sometimes you might cut a peach and find out that you can't finish it. Regardless of the reasoning, now you want to find out how you can store it properly. In this situation, how long the peach slices can last depends on what preparations you make. 

When you make the correct preparations, cut peaches can look presentable while still being tasty! Peach slices tend to oxidize when it becomes exposed to oxygen. To prevent oxidation, you can sprinkle some lemon juice to let the portions keep their bright color. If you're not aware why lemon juice helps, it contains ascorbic acid.

The acid helps to react with the oxygen until the juice evaporates or becomes absorbed entirely. So, it buys you some time to keep the peaches looking presentable. 

Storing

If you don't care about this aspect, you can go ahead and wrap the cut peaches tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, place the cut peaches in a resealable container or bag and refrigerate. They will last you 3-4 days. So, plan your recipes accordingly before they begin to spoil.

Freezing

Sometimes we buy too many peaches to consume in a week. Plans may also change. So, we no longer need to make that peach cobbler that everyone's craving! In these situations, freezing the peaches would make more sense if you're not planning to eat all of them as soon as possible. 

Freezing them requires the same process as storing cut peaches. In other words, you'll first have to make sure the peaches are ripe. 

  1. Then, wash, pit, and halve/slice the peaches. 
  2. Coat the peaches with a solution to prevent darkening. Use 1/2 a teaspoon of ascorbic acid for every six tablespoons of cold water. 
  3. Add 2/3 cups of sugar for every quart of peach. Stir the sugar until it dissolves completely. 
  4. Place the peach slices/halves in an airtight container. 
  5. Lastly, store them in the freezer.

If you follow all the steps correctly, they can last you 10-12 months in the freezer. Beyond this timeframe, it will remain edible. But, it will lose its quality. 

Can You Cut Up Peaches Ahead of Time?

Whether you're preparing a peach cobbler or any other recipe, you can always cut up peaches ahead of time. But, once again, you need to make sure they're ripe before you do anything with them. To make the ripening process faster, you can place the peaches in a paper bag. After 24 hours, check to see if they're ready for use.

From here, you can choose between freezing or refrigerating them. It all depends on when you plan to use the peaches. 

What Can You Put On Peaches To Keep Them From Turning Brown?

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Nothing looks worse than a peach that has begun to brown. It doesn't look presentable as its original bright colors. As we mentioned above, you can sprinkle some lemon juice to preserve the color. But, this addition can also alter the flavor. It adds a tartness that some might not like. 

So, while it benefits the looks, it doesn't necessarily benefit the fruit itself. As an alternative, you can use an ascorbic acid solution. Using ascorbic acid ensures you maintain the color and flavor to your best ability. In general, you can coat each peach with a solution of 1/2 a teaspoon of ascorbic acid mixed with six tablespoons of water. 

What Is the Best Way To Freeze Peaches?

Frozen peaches on a wooden board

Peaches can be frozen whole or cut into pieces. But, the best way to store them for the long term is in its cut form. In this state, it's more convenient to take out pieces whenever you'd need them for a smoothie or anything else. Of course, the downside is that you might finish the peach before making a dish that requires a lot of them. 

Regardless, if you're still iffy on the details of prepping the peaches for the freezer, let's take a more detailed approach! Let's look at another method of freezing cut peaches. To start, you should: 

  1. Cut the peaches into slices. The number of slices depends on your preference. The optional step is to cover them in an ascorbic acid solution or lemon juice. 
  2. Take a parchment paper and line it up with a baking sheet. Lay your peach slices in a single layer apart from each other. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours. 
  3. Once frozen, transfer the slices into a resealable plastic bag. Push any air out before sealing the bag. Place the bag back into the freezer until you're ready to use the peaches. 

As an additional step, you can also remove the peel if you'd like. To accomplish this, you'll need to blanch the peach first. Then, gently remove the peel before following the steps above. 

How Long Can You Keep Nectarines in the Fridge?

Nectarine fruit on a wooden table

Nectarines follow a similar approach to peaches. They do not take well to the cold before they are ripe. So, like peaches, they can be left at room temperature for a couple of days before placing them in the fridge. Once they're ready, you can transfer them to the refrigerator. Whether it's cut or whole, nectarines will last 3-5 days in the fridge. 

If you decide to cut the nectarines when they're ripe, they'll last 2-3 days in the fridge. Like peaches, you'll also want to sprinkle lemon juice or coat the nectarine slices with an ascorbic acid solution. This way, you keep the nectarines presentable for a longer time. 

Regarding placing nectarines in the freezer, you can follow the same procedure to preserve peaches. Line them up in a baking sheet and wait until they're frozen. Then, place the nectarines slices in a resealable bag. Be sure to eliminate as much air as possible and store it in the freezer until you're ready to use them. 

Nectarines will last 10-12 months in the freezer. It's best to use them around that timeframe for guaranteed quality. Once they're past 10-12 months, they will remain edible. Still, the texture and flavor will degrade over time. 

Will Nectarines Ripen in the Refrigerator?

Once again, nectarines are similar to peaches concerning what happens if they're exposed to cold temperatures before they're ripe. Their texture will not be the same. Many recommend you let the nectarines stay at room temperature and away from sunlight. This way, you draw out the flavor to its maximum potential. 

Regardless, the reason many recommend not storing them in the fridge before they're ready concerns chill damage. As they claim, placing them in a refrigerator with temperatures hovering around 36-50 degrees Fahrenheit stops the ripening process. As a result, the nectarines won't get the chance to mature and draw out the flavors you're familiar with. 

Final Takeaway

Peaches and nectarines are a delight to have on any given day. But, like most fruit, they last a short while. So, you'll have to establish a game plan before you go buying a bunch of them to enjoy. We hope you found the information above insightful. 

Before you go, do you need help storing other foods? Are you searching for some of the best ways to keep bread? We can help! You can find out more by checking out our post here.

Do you also need to save onions for another time? We go over the best way to store them in our post here. Until next time!

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