The best way to keep your ripe peaches from spoiling for as long as possible is to store them in a bowl or a bag and put them in the fridge. As long as your peach container of choice allows for some amount of air to move around, the fruit should stay fresh for almost a full week!
Of course, this does take into account the idea that your peaches are ripe enough in the first place. As you’re about to find out, we also have a few good tips on how to ripen this particular fruit a tad faster, if that’s what you need to do.
The process is simple enough, and it’s going to allow you to buy peaches you might otherwise have skipped on at the store! We’ll explain everything important in the next couple of sections, so read on!
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How to Store Peaches Properly
As you may already know, the best way to store peaches greatly depends on how ripe they are when you purchase them. Unripened peaches should be kept at room temperature, while ripe ones must go into the fridge if you want to keep them around for more than a few days’ time.
Since they produce ethylene on their own, peaches don’t tend to keep well. Once fully ripened, they’ll spoil in just one to two days if left on the countertop or in a bowl in your living room. Instead, if you want them to stick around a tad longer, you’ll need to toss them into the fridge.
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What you want to do is to grab a plastic container of any kind (these Silivo ones are a good choice), and then wrap the container with plastic food wrap of your choice (suggestion). When the sealing is nice and tight, make a number of small holes in the wrap to let a bit of air in.
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Letting in some air is important because a full seal will greatly speed up the ripening process of the peaches, which will lead to early spoilage if your fruit is already ripe. As we said – peaches produce ethylene, and if you don’t have a way to let ethylene out of the bowl, you’re in for a bad time.
How to Tell if Peaches Are Ripe?
To check if your peaches are ripe, you need to take note of their color, smell, and the way their flesh reacts to touch.
Ideally, a properly ripened peach will be of dark yellow color with a bit of redness (though redness comes specifically from sun exposure, so it’s not a key element). It’s going to give off a soft, sweet aroma, too. Finally, there should be a bit of give when you squeeze a ripe peach.
In some cases, unripe peaches won’t even be the right shape. As this fruit ripens, it grows rounder and more plump along the way. If you’ve got a good eye, you can spot whether a peach is ripe from some distance away.
As we already suggested above, though, buying unripened peaches and ripening them up at home is a fairly valid way of going about things.
How to Make Peaches Ripen Faster?
The process here is extremely similar to the regular storage procedure, with the major difference being that you want to keep the ethylene inside the plastic bowl to hasten the peaches’ ripening.
In fact, if you’re in a rush, you could even add a banana to your bowl of peaches to get them ripe faster still. Note that you’re going to want to keep a close eye on the peaches if that’s what you end up doing, though.
Can I Freeze Peaches to Keep Them Longer?
Absolutely! Peaches can easily be frozen for long stretches of time, but you need to make sure to avoid any mushy pieces that you might have.
The process is simple, though. Peel the peaches, cut them into reasonably thick wedges, and toss them into the freezer on a plate or a baking sheet. You want them to freeze and harden before tossing them into a regular freezer bag, because otherwise they’ll get damaged during storage.
How Long Can Peaches be Safely Stored?
Ripe peaches can be kept on the counter for 2-3 days, but will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If you only have leftover cuts, they can expire unrefrigerated in a matter of hours, but will survive an extra day or two if cooled down properly.
If you freeze the fruit as we described, you can easily get up to 9 months of time before the proverbial best-before date is up, so be sure to consider that option, too.
How Will I Know if My Peaches Have Expired?
Recognizing peaches that are past their shelf-life is crucial, both at the store and at home. Look for the following features:
- Excessive softness
- Leaking of any kind
- Wrinkled skin
Unless you can use the peaches right away, avoid buying fruits that are this far along the ripening process. Of course, your safest bet will always be to avoid any potential spoilage altogether, so we’d recommend not using peaches that play host to these features in any way, shape, or form.
Peach Storage Mistakes: Don’t Make ‘Em!
Peaches bruise extremely easily, and if you’re not careful while handling them during washing or storage, you could easily make them spoil way faster than they otherwise would.
Also worth noting is that it’s all too easy to forget what a stellar ethylene producer peaches are. If you need them to ripen up, then it’s not an issue if they’re mixed with, say, an apple, or a banana, but otherwise, make sure that you’re not causing rot yourself by improper storage.
Finally, one mistake we’ve made ourselves is that we failed to store sliced peaches because we thought they wouldn’t keep well. In truth, even leftover bits from pies and cakes can be kept in the fridge for an extra day or two, long as you wrap them up properly, and make sure that the ethylene they produce isn’t allowed to thoroughly cook them.
Store Your Peaches Correctly
Peaches are lovely, but the fact that they go bad so quickly and easily may put some of us off from using them more often. The whole thing is remarkably simple, though, and learning how to store peaches is just one of those things that’ll come to you naturally down the line. So, don’t fret!