Nectarines are similar to peaches, without the fuzz. These summer fruits are grown in different areas of the United States from late spring until the end of summer. As is the case with many other fresh fruits, nectarines ripen quickly once they’re picked. To avoid having the delicious fruit become brown, care for nectarines properly as soon as you bring them home. Proper storage prolongs the freshness, allowing you more time to enjoy juicy, sweet nectarines.
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Check the nectarines you’ve picked or purchased to make sure there aren’t any bruises or brown spots. Set aside the fruit with brown spots and bruises. To avoid complete waste, cut off the bruises and brown spots and eat the remainder of the fruit plain, or served with yogurt or milk.
Store and ripen the nectarines on the countertop if they are hard and do not have yellow in the background color of the skin, or a green color close to the stem area. Place the nectarines in a fruit bowl and store them unrefrigerated for two to three days to ripen.
Speed up the ripening process by placing the nectarines in a paper bag with one ripe apple. Check the nectarines after 24 hours.
Move ripe nectarines to a wire or mesh basket or bowl and store them in the refrigerator. A mesh bowl, basket or even a colander prevent the fruit from exposure to moisture, which causes mold.
Press the pad of your thumb into a nectarine to check for ripeness. If the fruit yields a bit as you press against it, it is ripe.
Substitute nectarines in your favorite peach recipes.
Eat nectarines within a few days after storing them in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage.
References and ResourcesEat Right: How Do I Choose and Store Peaches and Nectarines?
Earth 911; 5 Ways to Keep Food Fresh; Katherine J. Chen; April 2010
Rainbow Foods: A Peach By Any Other Name is...A Nectarine