How to Store Peaches So They Don't Bruise
Peaches are one of the great luxuries of summer. Bright and tangy, with a floral sweetness, they're best eaten over the sink to catch all of the juices. If you decide to cook with your peaches, there are all sorts of directions you can take. We know and love peaches in desserts like cobblers and buckles, but they're also wonderful in savory dishes such as Caprese salads or even pizzas.
Sadly, once peaches have been picked, they have a short lifespan and tend to bruise easily due to their delicate skin. While peach season will always be fleeting and precious, we have some tips for lengthening the ripeness of your peaches at home. Keep reading to learn more!
How to Store Peaches
The first step is to determine whether your peaches are ripe or not. If they feel quite firm and aren't particularly fragrant, they are not yet ripe. In that case, store them on the counter at room temperature in a single layer (to avoid bruising) for a few days, or until they are nice and ripe. The signs of a ripe peach are when it's aromatic, and when there's a little give upon gently pressing the fruit's skin.
RELATED: How to Pick a Perfectly Ripe Peach
It's best to eat ripe peaches right away, but if that's not in the cards, store them in the refrigerator. The cool environment will slow down the ripening process and buy you a little time. In either scenario, wait to wash your peaches until right before you intend to eat them, as peach skins have a natural preservative to help protect the flesh.
How to Store Cut Peaches
If possible, store your peaches whole, as exposing the flesh will speed up the ripening process. With that said, if you store cut peaches properly, they can last for up to four days in the fridge. Start by sprinkling them with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning, then place them in a covered container and refrigerate.
Can You Freeze Peaches?
In short, yes, you can totally freeze peaches! In fact, freezing peaches is a great idea if you want to avoid food waste and give your future self the gift of summer peaches. They will stay fresh in the freezer for about 6-12 months.
RELATED: How to Freeze (and Thaw) Food—Plus How to Keep Your Freezer Organized
You can use frozen peaches in anything from jam to oatmeal, or smoothies to cocktails, so they're great to have on hand. We like peeling peaches before freezing them to save some trouble later on. Here are the steps to take to freeze peaches so they're easy to work with whenever you have a peach craving:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath beside the pot.
- Use a small knife to carve a shallow X in the bottom end of each peach.
- Place peaches in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice water bath.
- Gently peel off the peach skins with your hands. This should be very easy post-blanch!
- Pit and slice the peaches, then lay them out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze until solid, roughly three hours.
- Move the frozen peach slices to a freezer-safe sealed plastic bag, and return to the freezer.