Fresh Fruit Bowl HOW-TOs!

Don’t you appreciate how fresh fruit makes such a perfect “grab and go” snack? We can eat an apple or banana in the car with much less trouble than we can eat that typical fat-loaded, weight-inducing, drive-through junk food! We can fly with an orange in our under-the-seat carry on and have a great snack mid-air. Its juiciness satisfies thirst and its fiber satisfies hunger.

This said, I thought since we’re moving into the fresh fruit season, you might like a few tips on how to keep your fresh fruit fresher in your kitchen fruit bowl. I found this advice on a helpful site, The Spruce Eats (

Using a bowl that is attractive will add to the beauty of the fruit bowl, but it is important that the bowl itself is functional when it comes to helping keep the fruit fresh. While any fruit bowl can hold fruit, the best styles permit enough air circulation all around (including under the fruit) to help maintain freshness.

Ceramic is good, but the best choice is a wire mesh bowl. Avoid plastic or metal non-mesh bowls as they tend to make the fruit sweat, which speeds deterioration. It’s also wise not to choose a large bowl; yes, it looks sumptuous when filled with lots of fruit, but it’s also difficult to manage.

Remember to change out or wash the fruit bowl (just the bowl, and not all of the fruit along with it) at least once a week—or more often if needed—to reduce the presence of fruit flies and lower the risk of bacteria and molds that could negatively affect the fruit.

Cleaning a bowl more than once a week may be necessary for those that don’t allow for good ventilation. Make sure you dry it well, however, or the moisture will lead to the fruit deteriorating quickly! It doesn't take much for a smear of rotting fruit on a dish to infect the rest of the contents.

When filling the bowl, keep in mind that less is better; the more crowded the fruit, the less room there is for air to circulate around each piece (which leads to rotting). Also, make sure to refresh the selection often—this will be easier and more natural if you don't overcrowd the bowl to begin with.

Monitor the contents daily. Some fruit decays faster than others (peaches are a good example) and this will affect the remaining fruit in the bowl. Remove and replace decaying fruit to keep the bowl content as fresh as possible. Washing fruit before placing it in a bowl can start the decaying process, so only wash a piece of fruit just before eating (and make sure to instruct all family members of this as well).

First and foremost, place your fruit bowl in a visible and easy-to-reach location—don't hide it on a cluttered part of the counter! This way, everyone will be reminded to have a healthy snack whenever they enter the kitchen.

To extend the shelf life of the fruit, you may want to refrigerate your fruit bowl at night. Why leave fresh fruit out at room temperature when everyone is sleeping? Keeping the fruit cool overnight will help it to last longer.

In warm climates where kitchens are considerably above comfortable room temperatures, you may have to keep the bowl refrigerated for longer periods. In other words, only take it out of the fridge when it's close to snack time or the kids are just getting home from school. If your kitchen is too warm or fruit waste increases, keep the filled bowl on a front-and-center shelf in the refrigerator. It should be the first thing they spot when they open the door to browse.

As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first. Fruit variety is key, so offer a variety of colors, shapes, and tastes to satisfy everyone in the household. Also, remember that certain fruits such as bananas, apples, pears, and kiwi release a gas (ethylene) that speeds up the ripening process, so including these in your fruit bowl can lead to other fruits deteriorating quicker.

And keep things interesting! Add lemon slices to water glasses, and fruit mixed with nuts for healthy snacks.

I’ll close with a unique recipe that’ll help keep things interesting. You can use this for every season because it adapts to whatever fresh fruit is on hand.

Fresh Fruity Burrito

Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 220


2 large peaches (or other fruit in season)
4 8-inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter
cinnamon to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
sweetened whipping cream (optional)

1. Arrange peach slices in a row near center of tortilla.
2. Fold burrito up from the bottom first, then in from each side, folding over the bottom fold, like a diaper. Make sure your tortillas are fresh and not too dry!
3. Melt butter in a chafing dish or skillet. Place filled tortillas in the dish and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown, turning once. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Add dollops of slightly sweetened whipping cream for a real dash of decadence!

NOTE: If you want to substitute strawberries (suggested since they’re about to come into season), use 2 ½ cups, sliced. Omit the cinnamon. Fiddle with this recipe using all sorts of fruits—it’s just about fool-proof!

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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