The Swag Guide to Storing Apples Smartly
Crisp and delicious, apples are readily available year-round, but autumn is their peak season. Here’s your guide to storing apples and keeping them fresh all year:
1. Keep them whole
As soon as you cut into an apple, the flesh starts to slowly turn brown from the oxygen in the air. A little lemon juice or vinegar will help to slow that process, and your apple will be fine so long as you eat it shortly. Or, you can keep them whole until just before you eat, use them in a recipe for the best shelf life or you store them cut up in The Swag where they'll stay fresher for much longer - naturally.
2. Store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator
Apples continue to ripen even after they are picked. Why? Because they emit ethylene gas that continues to soften the skin and flesh day after day. Keeping apples cold and in a dampened Swag helps to slow the emission of this ethylene. Place your apples in your Swag and then in the bottom crisper drawer of your refrigerator to keep them breathing and hydrated. They’ll stay fresher for much longer that way!
3. Separate them from other fruits and vegetables
The same gas that ripens apples can also ripen other fruits and vegetables, which is another reason why The Swag is ideal for apples. Apples give off ethylene, which causes vegetables like lettuce to spoil faster. So, try to keep apples in a separate Swag from your lettuce. However, The Swag significantly slows down the ripening of apples because your apples are actually able to breathe. Therefore, you'll have a lot more time up your sleeve to eat them!
4. Avoid long-term room temperature storage
Apples can keep reasonably well at room temperature for five to seven days. However, we suggest to keep your freshly purchased, firm apples in a slightly dampened Swag in the fridge until the day before you're ready to eat them. Then, move your apples from The Swag into your fruit bowl and they'll be ready to eat as soon as hungry hands reach for them.
5. To keep apples fresher longer, refrigerate immediately
To keep your apples fresh and crisp for a couple of months, you need to refrigerate apples immediately after purchase and pop them into their snuggly, slightly dampened Swag sleeping bags. Keep bags slightly damp and replace Swags every two or three weeks with (dampened) clean Swags. Then, throw the other Swags in the wash.
Practical tips for storing apples effectively
Damaged fruit will mould more quickly and infect the entire crop, so make sure you only store firm, unblemished apples in The Swag. Check the apples that you have stored regularly and remove any damaged apples as soon as you can. Apples have a longer shelf life than most other fruits and vegetables, so storing apples to keep them fresh is pretty easy.
Tips for Selecting the Perfect Apple
A big part of apple freshness is having the right fruit to start with. Below are our favourite tips to ensure you get the perfect apples and start your quest for fresh the right way.
Check the apple’s firmness and colour
Pick up the apple and it should be firm to the touch. Gentle pressure shouldn’t yield too much. Also, avoid apples that are noticeably soft, discoloured, or indent easily after you press the skin. Apples that are covered mostly by red or pink-orange hues will be sweet and delicious. Apples with this colour have absorbed lots of sunlight which leads to great flavours.
Visually examine the apple
As you check firmness, turn the apple completely in your hand to check for the quality of the skin and the overall way it looks. Some marking on the fruit is natural and doesn’t signal a bad apple, but if the apples have noticeable bruising or obvious signs of decay, then they aren’t going to provide the best eating experience and should try to be avoided unless used in cooking immediately.
Get to know your apple varieties
There are an ever-increasing number of apple varieties available today and you should get to know the characteristics of your favourites. Commit to memory their colour, size, shape, and overall appearance. You’ll quickly learn which apples are best for baking and which are better for fresh eating, as well as those that are great for either. Selecting an apple that best fits how you’ll use them at home is essential in having a great apple eating experience.
Also, here’s a great article from DrWeil.com on which apples are the healthiest or most nutritious. As a general rule, the brighter the apple, the more antioxidants it provides! Varieties like Red Delicious, Northern Spy, Cortland, Golden Delicious and McIntosh are among the healthiest. They have the highest concentration of polyphenols, a cancer-fighting agent, in their skin. However, you have to eat their skin in order to get the benefits! So, buy organic when you can. When you can’t, rinse them thoroughly with vinegar before eating.
When storing apples, keep this tips in mind and always keep your Swag in hand!