4 Ways To Keep Cut Produce From Browning

Prepping your fruits and veggies ahead of time can be a double edged sword. On one hand, you can save a lot of time and be ready to throw in fruits and vegetables into a dish at a moments notice, but you run the risk of having your produce brown before you even get a chance to use it! Keep your produce clean and fresh after cutting with these techniques.

Add Some Citrus

The moment you make that first slice, you’re exposing the inside of your fruit to oxygen, jumpstarting the chemical reaction that results in browning. Citric acid slows this reaction, keeping fruits like apples and bananas aesthetically pleasing. This method is easy to implement too; simply squirt a dash of lemon or lime juice to stop browning. However, it’s important to note that adding citric acid will add a “citrusy” flavor.

Change Your Equipment

Your choice of knife can have a big effect on how quickly your produce starts browning. In some cases, different metals can even cause different discolorations! For example, iron knives can cause onions to blacken. If you want to stay safe, use knives made of non-reactive material like ceramic or plastic when cutting all produce.

Give Them A Bath

Want to knock out two birds with one stone? Washing your produce after cutting can help slow the browning process, but you’ll need to dry anything before use. Soaking is your best bet, but moving beyond plain water is even better; try soaking in a salt water bath for a short amount of time or dipping in an acidic water mixture (think equal parts water and citrus juice). Be careful not to overdo it; there are few things less appealing than a salty apple. 

Wrap It Up

For a quick fix, try wrapping your produce in plastic wrap as quick as possible after cutting. Limiting your fruit’s exposure to air is key because every second pushes the browning process along. Therefore, using this method in tandem with the other techniques can really improve long term shelf-life. Stick with straight plastic wrap; it minimizes airflow better than your typical storage container.