I did something different this week. Several weeks ago, I ordered four bushels of organic Fuji and Cameo apples from a local organic food co-op in Goodletsville, TN called Bulk Natural Foods. By the way, I spent about the same per one bushel of apples that I usually spend on a week’s worth of apples from the grocery store. I put them in cold storage in a spare refrigerator. I’ve had friends do this very successfully, so I decided to give it a try. Here’s the article directly from the Bulk Natural Foods website where I learned to preserve the whole fresh apples.
Choosing the Best Storage Apple
In the north, where temperatures are reliably cold in fall and winter, it’s pretty easy to keep apples fresh for a long time just by storing them in an unheated pantry or root cellar. Here in Tennessee, we have some extra challenges with heat and moisture, but it can be done.
First, you want to choose a late season apple with firm flesh and a thicker skin. Fuji (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/fuji-apples/), Cameo (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/cameo-apples/), Ida Red (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/ida-red-apples/), Braeburn, and Mountaineer are some of the very best keepers. Mutsu (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/mutsu-apples/), Rome (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/rome- apples/), Jonagold (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/jonagold-apples/), and Jonathan (http://bulknaturalfoods.com/jonathan-apples/) are pretty good also, but they won’t keep as long.
Make sure the apples you plan to store are free from bruises and blemishes. Even a small cut or bruise can spoil a whole lot of apples, so it’s best to use the blemished ones for something else.
Keeping the Apples Separated
It’s important to keep the apples somewhat separated, so that if one starts to go bad, it doesn’t affect the others.
Some people suggest wrapping each apple individually in newspapers, but the inks are toxic and not something I want touching my fruit. Instead, I like to use blank newsprint paper, which I buy for about $3.50 a roll end from my local newspaper office. (It’s good stuff to have on hand for sewing patterns and school projects anyway. We use it all the time.) You could also use paper towels, or even scrap fabric.
Either layer the newsprint between layers of apples, or individually wrap each apple in the paper, twisting to keep the paper secure. Or, take a look at Wilda’s method below. She’s amazing when it comes to fruit storage! Wilda keeps all her fruits this way, and she often tells me she still has peaches in her fridge from 4 weeks prior.
If apples are not kept in a humid environment, they start to become shriveled, soft and dried out. To keep the apples from drying out, place the layered or paper-wrapped apples into plastic bags. Leave the bags slightly open or perforate them to allow for some air circulation.
Keeping Them Cold
The very best place to keep apples is in the refrigerator. They last the longest when they’re kept between 30 and 32 degrees and at about 90% humidity. The problem we run into is that our refrigerator is not nearly big enough to hold all the apples we would like to eat between fall and spring!
Our solution is to put as many apples as we can comfortably fit into the fridge. The rest, we put in an unheated outbuilding where they’re safe from mice and other critters. The outdoor apples are used first, leaving as many as possible in the refrigerator, and we move more to the fridge as space allows.
Occasionally, on very cold nights, the apples need to be brought into the house so they don’t freeze. I put a thermometer on top of one of the boxes so I can keep an eye on the temperature and bring them in if it gets below 30 degrees. (Apples freeze at about 28 degrees.)
Even though the weather is still relatively warm when we buy our storage apples in late fall, the combination of fridge and out building storage has worked well for us, and we’ve been able to keep our apples into February and March, sometimes even April. That is, if we’ve bought enough of them!
Erin, Our last two Ida Red apples are gone! The last ones were as good as the first. They did not shrivel, have bruises, or bad places. They have kept better than any other kind of apple I have tried, and we really like the flavor.
I asked Wilda how she kept them so nicely, and this was her reply:
I store the apples in an extra refrigerator I have in the basement. I put them in plastic grocery bags, a couple layers of apples in each bag, with paper towels top and bottom, and between the apples. The paper towels absorb extra moisture. Store them loosely (don’t tie the bags) so they have some air circulation. I did not lose one apple. This has worked for me for years.
Wilda, Bulk Natural Foods
A posh term these days is “anti-aging”. We see anti-aging terminology all over the place – in cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, prescription medications, etc.
Since I’m well past forty, I feel like I’m qualified to speak my mind. I don’t agree with the term “anti-aging”.This term simply carries a connotation that there’s something wrong with growing older. Quite frankly, I feel like I’m just now coming into my prime. Age seems to bring with it a degree of benefit.
I prefer the terms “Preventive-Aging” and “Longevity”. These convey a meaning of being empowered with the preventive measures necessary for living healthier for longer periods of time. Let me give you a quote that I recently read:
The gradual wasting away of the body over the course of decades is not a necessary or normal component of aging.
Rather, it is the natural outcome from a lifetime of unenlightened lifestyle choices.
Through unhealthy choices you may actually function and be aging biologically at the same level as someone 15-20 years older!
So, here’s the golden question…
How can you be one of those people who function and age biologically at a level equivalent to someone who is many years younger than you?
A Term That Makes No Sense…
If I’m totally honest, I must inform you that we, as Americans, have potentially been fleeced. Over the past 8 years, politicians have led us to believe that there is such a thing as “Healthcare Reform”. Sadly, this is not true. The reality is that it’s not “Healthcare Reform”. Instead, it is “Sick Care Reform”. Let me explain…
- Exponential numbers of Americans today are turning 65 years old
- There’s a nine-fold increase in the cost of sick care of those over 65 – 85 years compared to those prior to age 65 years.
• More than 75 cents of every dollar spent in healthcare goes toward treating preventable sickness (ie, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, obesity)
• Most medical providers are trained to wait until patients are drowning before they throw them a life preserver…. this is, in essence, “downstream” medicine.
What if there was a way to hedge the risks?
There is a way. It’s called “preventive-aging medicine”. At the Optimal You Clinic, we specialize in this area of medicine and partner with you to custom-design a preventive aging plan to fit your individual needs. Individualized weight loss coaching & hormone rebalancing are just a couple of the techniques implemented
to help achieve your goals.
To Your Health,
Brian G. Brown