Sweet, juicy grapes are the best, but not when they get soft and squishy.
For a long time, I was allowing my sweet fruit to go bad without even knowing it. I did that by washing them right away, and then leaving them out on the counter.
I figured, since they grow in warm climates, they’d be fine on my kitchen counter. Boy was I wrong.
Here’s a quick look at how I store them, now that I know better. I recommend that you do the same, in order to make them last.
Picking only the best
When it comes to getting the most out of this juicy fruit, the decisions that you make at the store can have an impact.
You want to avoid buying a bunch that is overripe. Seems obvious, but if you don’t know what to look for, it can happen.
Be sure to choose fruit that is firmly attached to the stems, not falling off. Also, find ones that are plump and free of wrinkles.
You’ll want to avoid any with major discoloration or bruises, as that’s another sign of expiration and damage.
Keep them cold
The best place to store this fruit is in the refrigerator. They like to be kept nice and cool.
Between 30-40°F is ideal. I recommend placing them in a paper bag, or a plastic bag that is breathable.
You can also freeze this fruit for an icy treat.
To prevent your washed grapes from sticking together and creating a rock solid brick, lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze overnight. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag where they’ll keep for up to a year.
Frozen grapes make a great snack, dessert, or even a delicious way to keep your drink cold.
Give them room to breathe
You’ll also want to avoid stacking them on top of each other. Separate the fruit into two bunches for storage, and use another bag if you need to.
When you stack them you restrict air circulation, and that will cause them to spoil sooner. If stored properly, they will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Washing and prep
When you’re ready to eat, be sure to wash them really well under cool running water. From there, they’ll be ready for consumption or cooking.
If you’re cooking, be sure to dry them with a paper towel so they don’t water down your recipe.
Like raisins? Expert selection and proper refrigeration still counts here, since you want to dry your fruit at the peak of ripeness and freshness. DIY raisins make an excellent addition to homemade biscotti.
I hope this helps you to avoid some of the storage mistakes I made when I first started buying this fruit.
Where I’m from, grapes tend to be pretty pricey, so I like to really get my money’s worth. I’m sure you do as well!
What’s your favorite grape recipe? Have a new storage tip to share? Let me know in the comments!
Photo credits: Shutterstock.
About Sarah Hagstrom
Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.