Sierra Club
The Green Life  
Daily tips for doing good and living well from Sierra magazine


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Nothing puts a dent in your day like discovering moldy, wrinkled fruits and veggies in your kitchen. This week, we'll share some natural tricks to keep your produce fresher, longer!

Case #3: Ailing Apples

While uneaten apples are generally resilient to molding or bruising for about a week or even two, the moment you slice them open, they remain white for only a few minutes before they begin to turn yellow and brown. Which is a bit of a bummer, especially when you've decorated your fruit-and-cheese party platter to perfection and you suddenly can't tell the difference between the Fuji and the sharp cheddar. This doesn't mean your apples are no longer fresh -- really, they are!

But the immediate browning can make it appear that those slices have been sitting out for a while. The reason for this? Apples, similar to potatoes, have a special enzyme in them that reacts when exposed to oxygen. The reaction forms a type of rust on the surface of the apple that we see as the browning effect, and it actually does cause the apple to spoil at a slow rate.

But there is hope! In order to keep your apples looking fresh, simply do the following:

After you cut your apple slices, immediately soak them into a bowl of cold water mixed with salt (about 1/8 of a cup of table salt mixed in one quart of water per apple). Afterward, rinse the apples under cold water. It won't leave an overwhelming salty taste. Because salt acts as a preservative, it does just that: preserves the apple from oxidizing! Or, if you'd like to keep your fruits a bit more citrusy, you can also soak your apples in lemon juice, orange juice, or any other type of acidic juice, which will counter the oxidization process as well. Your healthy treat shouldn't just taste good -- it should look good too!


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