One of the weekly meal prep goals in our household is to eat more fruit! To achieve this, I make sure to always have ready-to-eat fruit stored in the fridge. And guess what? It works!! When we have ready-to-eat fruit staring us in the face, WE EAT IT, every time.
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To meal prep fruit for the week is an easy 3-step system:
- Cut fruit that can be cut ahead of time, such as melons, citrus fruit, and tropical fruit.
- Wash your berries.
- Make meal prep fruit jars!
Not only will I be sharing the step-by-step system I follow to meal prep fruit for the week, but I will also be sharing how I wash my fruit and many pro tips along the way!
This post is all about How To Meal Prep Fruit For The Week!
1. Cut Fruit That Can Be Cut Ahead Of Time
Some pre-cut fruit lasts better than others! Let’s get into which fruit can be cut ahead of time:
As a general rule, melons, citrus fruit, and tropical fruit are great fruits for cutting ahead of time. Pre-cut fruit lasts in the fridge for up to 4 days.
1. 1. Melons
Melons are the ultimate pre-cut friendly fruit. They are firm and maintain great quality and freshness for up to 4 days once cut and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
1.2. Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruit, such as oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins, is another wonderful option for pre-cutting. You can slice them into easy-to-eat wedges and store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
1.3. Tropical Fruit
Tropical fruit, with the exception of bananas, generally make great pre-cut fruit too. Think papaya, mango, pineapple, etc. Peel, remove the seed(s) or core, and chop them into bite-sized chunks. Once chopped, store them separately in airtight containers for up to 4 days!
1.4. Fruit To Avoid For Pre-Cutting
Some fruit has a tendency to go brown, even if you toss them in lemon juice. Although it is safe to eat fruit that has slightly oxidized, it is not the most appetizing sight. Since I do believe we eat with our eyes, I tend to avoid pre-cutting it. Instead, I have those fruits stored in a fruit bowl on the counter and prep them whenever we are ready to eat them.
It’s best to avoid:
- Apples, and
- Stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, etc.
1.5. Why Pre-Cut Your Own Fruit, Instead Of Buying Pre-Cut Fruit?
Here are a few reasons why you should pre-cut your own fruit, instead of buying pre-cut fruit:
- Buying pre-cut fruit instead of doing that food prep yourself is a lot more expensive. In 2018, Vice found that precut produce was up to three times more expensive.
- When you prep your own fruit, you most likely store it in reusable containers! Buying pre-cut fruit comes in single-use plastic containers, which is a big no-no for the planet!
- Store-bought pre-cut fruit is more susceptible to contamination. The more fruits and vegetables are handled, the greater the risk of contamination.
2. Wash Berries
Berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and even grapes are fruits that are naturally ready to eat. They don’t require any form of preparation, except for a good wash. And yes, you read that right, grapes are part of the berry family!
Generally, washing fruit before storage accelerates their deterioration, but most berries are an exception to this rule. To make strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries last and not go soft and moldy quickly, you should wash them in a diluted vinegar bath. A vinegar bath helps destroy bacteria and mold spores on the berries.
2.1. How to wash strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries to destroy bacteria and mold spores:
- Submerge and soak your berries for up to 20 minutes in a diluted vinegar bath (4-part water, 1-part vinegar).
- Rinse them thoroughly in a colander to rinse off the vinegar. You don’t want your berries to taste like vinegar.
- Dry them as well as possible with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Do not slice them!
- They are best stored in mason jars.
- Pro tip: If you suspect that the berries are not fully dry, add a paper towel to the top of the mason jar, to absorb excess moisture. Store the jar upside down.
Grapes too require a good wash before they are ready to eat, to get rid of the pesticides and their waxy coating. Wash them with water, baking soda, and salt for the best results.
2.2. How to wash grapes to get rid of the wax film:
- Submerge and soak your grapes for 1 minute in a large bowl of water with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of salt added to it.
- Give them a gentle rub to loosen the wax coating.
- Rinse and dry them very well.
- Grapes are best stored in mason jars.
- Pro tip: If you suspect that the grapes are not fully dry, add a paper towel to the top of the mason jar, to absorb excess moisture. Store the jar upside down.
3. Make Meal Prep Fruit Jars
If you wish to turn your pre-cut fruit and washed berries into cute on-the-go fruit salads, meal prep fruit jars are your jam! Layer your fruit in the following order for maximum freshness:
Bottom: melons or tropical fruit
Middle: citrus fruit or grapes
Top: berries (never skip the berries on top!)
3.1. What are the best containers for meal prep fruit jars?
For meal prep fruit jars, I love using 500 milliliter or 16 oz mason jars! They are the perfect size for a snack-sized fruit salad.
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This post was all about How To Meal Prep Fruit For The Week!