There are so many things to love about the fall season: Cooler weather, tailgating and football parties. As much as we love fall and football, our favorite thing about Autumn is the apple and pumpkin picking. After a day spent at the apple orchard and local pumpkin patch, it’s time to head home and clean your fall haul. Here are the best ways to clean fall produce.
4 Tips for Cleaning (and Storing) Fall Apples
Ditch Damaged Apples
Do not store any fall apples with bruises or soft spots as one rotten apple can spoil other healthy apples. They didn’t come up with the phrase “one rotten apple” for nothing!
Wait Then Wash
Avoid washing fall apples before storing them. Water absorbs through the skin of the apple and will actually speed up the deterioration process. Instead, wait to wash apples until you are ready to eat them.
Store at a Constant Temperature
Apples should be stored at a constant temperature. The best spot is in a perforated plastic bag placed in the fruit drawer of your kitchen’s refrigerator. Just be sure not to store them with other produce such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens or potatoes as these items have a tendency to release a harmless gas that can make apples spoil faster. Unripe apples can be left out at room temperature to ripen, but be sure to check them periodically as they ripen much more quickly at room temperature than if they are stored in the refrigerator.
Wash and Enjoy!
When you are ready to enjoy an apple from your fall haul, simply rinse fresh apples with cool water. If you are looking for a deeper clean, wash apples with cool water mixed with a sprinkle of baking soda. Be sure to eat the larger apples first as smaller apples store better and have a tendency to last longer.
4 Tips for Taking Care of Fall Pumpkins
Inspect Each Pumpkin
A pumpkin’s skin acts as a protective barrier, just like our skin, so when picking out pumpkins, check for any scratches, holes or gouges. Spots like these can make pumpkins susceptible to all types of bacteria. Also, be sure to check the pumpkin’s stem. Look for a firm stem, not one that is soft and soggy.
After picking out the perfect pumpkins, give them a bath. Place them outside and use the garden hose and a bucket or fill up the kitchen sink and give them a good washing with a multi-purpose sponge. Gently brush away any dirt, but remember not to damage the pumpkin skin.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Like many other pieces of produce, pumpkins will quickly go bad if placed in direct sunlight, so avoid placing them in direct sunshine.
Keep Pumpkins Cool
Fall days can still be quite warm and heat, like direct sunlight, is enemy number one of the pumpkin. If temperatures soar with a last blast of summer, place pumpkins in a cool place like the basement, garage or refrigerator. The same goes for freezing temperatures. If temperatures plummet overnight, make sure to bring pumpkins inside for the evening.
Don’t let dirt from the apple orchard or the pumpkin patch dirty your home this season. Instead, use these easy tips to clean your fall produce. Happy Fall Harvest everyone!
Looking for a delicious breakfast before you head out for a day of fun at the apple orchard or pumpkin patch? Try one of these recipes for pancakes three different (and delicious) ways.