Buying fresh fruit can be a gamble. When you buy local fruit at the peak of perfection, it should really be eaten within hours of purchase in order to take advantage of the flavors and textures. However, when you buy a pound of peaches or a quart of berries, you might not be ready to eat them all at once. Here is our guide to taking advantage of your fresh fruit by enjoying it in the best possible way over the course of three days with simple tips and delectable fruit recipe ideas..
Day 1: Fresh and Plain
The first day you buy fruit, enjoy it plain, as nature intended. Be sure to wash all fruit – even organic – before consumption, but try not to wash any fruit (especially berries) until a few moments before you plan to eat it. The same goes for slicing: while lemon juice will work in a pinch to keep fruit looking fresh, the best reward you can give yourself for buying the best is enjoying it at its best.
Day 2: Macerated and Infused
The fruit you ate yesterday is no longer as pretty or as perfect as it was when you enjoyed it the first time around. Instead of snacking on sub-par fruit, macerate it overnight in the fridge. A little bit of sugar and some herbs make for a delicious infused fruit snack to enjoy on top of oatmeal or yogurt, or alongside a piece of bread or snack cake. Herb and fruit pairings are infinite, but some of our favorite ideas to get you started:
- 1 pound strawberries, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar and a chiffonnade of mint
- 1 pound peaches, 1 tablespoon honey and a chiffonnade of mint
- 1 pound apricots, 1 tablespoon honey and a teaspoon of almond extract
Day 3: Baked Up and Delicious
Leftover macerated fruit? It’s probably not nearly as delicious as it was yesterday. Take the macerated fruit from yesterday, and bake it up! Baked fruit into a pie or a crisp is a delicious way to use up the last of your fresh fruit, and the herbs lend an interesting twist to your favorite pie and crisp recipes, like our Mixed Berry Plum Crisp, our Billions of Blueberries Pie or our Triple Berry Granola Crisp.
You can also use your macerated fruit for a fruit compote or fruit chutney.
Image: Linda Cronin