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Storing Apples - Tips

Best Way to Store Fresh Apples
Over Winter

Are you looking for information and tips for storing apples, to keep apples fresh longer?

Do you have a lot of apples that you wish to keep from getting soft over the winter months?

You have come to the right place!

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Basket of Apples - How to Keep Apples Fresh / Storing ApplesStorage Tips for Apples

To store a small quantity of apples for a relatively short period of time, I keep them in a perforated bag, or I remove them from the bag and keep them in a bowl lined with a piece of paper towel, or in a basket, and keep them in the refrigerator.

If you purchase the apples in a plastic bag, be sure to poke several holes in the bag to allow air circulation and the prevention of too much moisture build-up which may cause the apples to spoil.

If you are planning to store a large quantity of apples through the winter months, here follow simple guidelines for keeping the apples fresh as long as possible.

Almost any type of apple variety, if stored correctly, will keep for three to four months (until February or March), or, in some cases, even longer.

The length of time that apples can be stored depends partly on the selection of apples. Some apples are able to be stored longer than other varieties. Apples, such as "Jonathans" are a variety of apple with a thicker peel, and therefore keep longer than, for example, "Delicious" apples which are generally apples with a thinner skin or peel.

Also consider that later-ripening apple varieties (those harvested in October) usually will store for a longer period of time than varieties of apple that ripens earlier in the fall. Example of later ripening apples are: Red Delicious, Ida Red, Crispin, Braeburn, Fugi, Golden Delicious, Mutsu and Northern Spy.

Pick apples for storage that are ripe and fresh-picked. Under or over-ripe apples do not store as well.

The main cause of apple spoilage is improper storage practices, causing one or more apples to begin to rot, and then coming into contact with more apples. As the saying goes, "one rotten apple will spoil the whole bunch".

Before placing apples in a box or basket for storage, quickly examine them, and determine which apples are "keepers". Handle the apples carefully, to avoid bruising them or damaging them in any other way. Apples which are bruised should not be used for long-term storage. Only apples that are perfect should be considered for long-term storage. Even minor imperfections speed up the spoiling process of apples. 

Storing Apples - How To Store Apples for the Winter

To prevent contact between apples, it is best to store them during the winter individually wrapped in newspaper or other paper. (If using newspaper avoid sections with coloured ink.)

Wrap and store apples in boxes, checking each one for cut peel, soft spots or bruises. Apples with these imperfections will still taste good when they are fresh, so use these apples for eating fresh or for baking a scrumptious apple pie, apple crumble, healthy apple muffins, or make another delectable apple recipe!

I use apples which are imperfect, or "C-Grade Apples" as they are often referred to, to make homemade applesauce. That is the way our family loves to enjoy the delicious flavour of all winter long! Applesauce is an all-time favourite in our home! Using the handy Victorio strainer, making 100 one litre jars can be done in a relatively short time. Canned applesauce will keep for at least one year or more.

Applesauce can also be used in many recipes such as muffins, breads, cakes and more!

Once the apples are wrapped, box them with a loose-fitting lid. When storing apples they should be stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated spot, (an area that has air circulation) such as a root cellar, a cool or unheated basement, an enclosed porch, in a garage, or in a refrigerator. It is important that the apples in storage are not subjected to freezing temperatures. Apples cannot withstand freezing. Freezing will damage the cells of the apple, causing it to spoil immediately.

Apples cannot withstand freezing temperatures, but they do require cold temperatures to store successfully. An ideal temperature for storing apples over the winter is just above freezing (above 32° F, or 0° C, with about 90% humidity. Exposing the stored apples to warm temperatures will cause the apples to lose their flavour and crispness rapidly. Avoid storing the apples in an area where the temperature will rise above 40° F.

It is recommended not to store apples right next to potatoes or onions. As potatoes ripen, they release a gas that speeds the ripening process of the apples.

Using these simple guidelines for storing apples, you can store them and enjoy them well into the winter months!

If you have apples on hand that will require storing for a long period of time, instead of storing them, you may wish to preserve them instead by drying the apples (dehydrating) or peeling and freezing the apples.

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