The Best Way To Store Peaches Just In Time For Summer

While their window of ripeness may not be quite as fleeting as the notorious avocado, peaches can require a little attention to ensure they are at just the right level of ripened goodness. Try to slice or bite into them too soon, and they're nearly as hard as the stone in the center and lacking in flavor. Wait too long, and their soft skin turns wrinkled while the meat of the fruit turns mushy.

Whether you're wrapping your peaches with prosciutto, grilling them to perch atop arugula, or baking them into a peach and cherry crumble, you'll undoubtedly want to bite into a firm, satisfyingly sweet, and juicy peach. The secret is in the storage.

If your newly purchased peaches are hard, you'll want to have a paperĀ bagĀ on hand to help them ripen. However, if they're already ripe and you're not ready to bite right in, a simple plastic bag with a loose seal will be your best friend.

Paper and plastic bags for storage

Paper bags work so well for storing peaches because they have the ability to harness the power of the fruit's emissions of ethylene. By simply placing peaches in the bag, and sealing it shut, the ethylene is captured inside and helps to hasten the ripening process. Within a day, those hardened peaches can be perfectly ready to be eaten (though sometimes it may take a day or two longer).

Meanwhile, to preserve the ripeness of those perfect ready-to-eat peaches, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The plastic bag will retain some of the ethylene so that it doesn't hasten the ripening of other fruits in the fridge. Meanwhile, the cold temperature of the refrigerator will prevent the peaches from over-ripening for at least a few days. You can store the peaches for approximately five days in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Other ways to store peaches

If you have already sliced your peaches and need to store them until it's time to bake or grill them (or just snack) the first step is to prevent them from browning. Simply submerging the slices in a bath of cold water and lemon juice will help to fight discoloration. You can also spray, sprinkle, or brush the lemon juice onto the fruit.

Storing the peaches in an airtight container in the refrigerator will also help to prevent browning and extend their life. This is a great way to keep peaches handy when meal-prepping.

If you want to keep peaches for an extended period of time, you can freeze them. Simply place slices on a parchment paper-lined tray and flash-freeze them. Then, place them in freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. If you want them to last even longer in the freezer, blanch them first, remove the skins, slice them, and coat them with a simple syrup. With this approach, the peaches can be stored in freezer bags for up to one year.