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Buying and storing fruit
Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. Choosing fruit wisely and storing it properly can help ensure your selections don't spoil before you have a chance to enjoy them.
Select a fruit to learn more.
Choosing: Look for apples that are firm with intact stems and are free of soft spots.
Storing: Keep refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to three weeks.
Choosing: Select plump apricots that are firm and uniformly colored.
Storing: You can ripen apricots at room temperature. They are ripe when they yield to soft pressure. Refrigerate ripened apricots, unwashed, in a plastic bag. They’ll be good for three to five days.
Choosing: Buy bananas that are firm with green tips and stem. They are at their fullest flavor when the yellow skin is speckled with brown.
Storing: Ripen at room temperature. Store ripe bananas in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The skin might turn brown, but the inside will be fine.
Choosing: Look for firm fruit that is heavy for its size with smooth skin. Avoid fruit with brown spots or softened areas.
Storing: You can keep grapefruit at room temperature for up to a week or refrigerated for up to three weeks.
Choosing: Select firm, plump grapes that are firmly attached to the stem. Don’t buy grapes that are sticky, wrinkling or have brittle stems.
Storing: Refrigerate up to one week in a covered container or plastic bag.
Choosing: Lemons should be heavy for their size. Skin should be firm and thin.
Storing: Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Choosing: Select firm, plump mangoes and avoid those with sap on the skin. Ripe mangoes are slightly soft to the touch and have a fruity aroma. Mangos may be red, yellow, orange or green.
Storing: Keep mangoes at room temperature for up to two days. Once cut, mangoes should be refrigerated.
Choosing: Watermelons should be symmetrical with yellowish undersides. Choose fruit heavy for its size.
Storing: Keep a whole watermelon at room temperature. Once you cut a melon, refrigerate it in a covered container for up to five days.
Buying: Look for oranges that are firm and heavy for their size, with brightly colored skin and no wrinkles.
Storing: Oranges store well at room temperature for one to two days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Choosing: Look for peaches with no blemishes and firm, fuzzy skins.
Storing: Ripen peaches in a paper bag at room temperature. A peach is ripe when it’s slightly soft and aromatic. You can keep ripe peaches for one to two days.
Buying: A pear is ripe if it’s slightly soft at the stem end.
Storing: Ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. Refrigerate ripe pears.
Choosing: Choose pineapples that are heavy for their size. Leaves should be dark green but not dry looking.
Storing: Cut-up pineapple can be refrigerated for two to three days.
You can always get fresh produce from your grocer or farmers market. Find out what’s in season now.
Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Produce for Better Health Foundation
- EatRight.org. "Discover the Health Benefits of Produce." https://www.eatright.org/food/food-groups/fruits/discover-the-health-benefits-of-produce.
- Produce for Better Health. "Apple." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/apple/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Apricots." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/apricots/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Banana." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/banana/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Grapefruit." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/grapefruit/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Grapes." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/grapes/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Lemon." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/lemon/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Mango." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/mango/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Watermelon." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/watermelon/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Orange." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/orange/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Pear." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/pear/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Peach." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/peach/.
- Produce for Better Health. "Pineapple." https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/pineapple/.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Start Simple with MyPlate." https://www.myplate.gov/resources/tools/startsimple-myplate-app.