Many people use lemon or other citrus juices to keep sliced apples and pears from turning brown, but did you know that honey can keep sliced fruit from turning brown even longer? When cut apples are exposed to oxygen, the pulp quickly turns brown.
This natural process does not affect the taste of the apples unless they have been stored for too long. Nevertheless, sliced apples should look as fresh and crisp as possible when served in school lunches, in salads or on cheese boards.
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How to keep apples from turning brown with Honey | Ultimate Guide 2024
Why do apples turn brown?
Like avocados, brown apples are safe to eat, but they are not appetizing. Browning is a natural chemical reaction that occurs when oxygen comes into contact with the polyphenol oxidase enzyme found in fruits and vegetables. Oxidation not only changes the appearance of the fruit, but also reduces its flavor and nutritional content.
If you slice the apples and eat them immediately, there is no need to process the slices. Just be aware that the longer you wait, the more brown they will become. If you slice a few hours (or even days) in advance, these methods will keep their natural color for at least a while. To store sliced apples, always use an airtight container or resealable bag in which the air has been expelled.
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How to prevent apples from turning brown
Sprinkle them with salt
This is a very easy way to preserve the appearance and taste of apples. Simply sprinkle freshly cut apples with kosher salt (up to 1 tablespoon per apple) and store in a container or sandwich bag until ready to use. As long as you don’t sprinkle too much salt on them, they won’t be salty. Sodium is a natural preservative and helps slow down the oxidation process.
Use plain water
A very simple way to prevent apples from browning is to slice them and place them in cold water. You can leave the container uncovered, but a lid is more effective because it prevents more oxygen from entering the apples. Leave them in the water until you are ready to use them. They will stay crisp and fresh for several hours.
You can also use this method to make pies and tarts. Simply place a bowl of water on its side and add the sliced and peeled apples. Use the apples as soon as you’re done slicing them, or cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Store apple slices in the refrigerator
The refrigerator slows down the enzymatic degradation of apples. If they are kept below room temperature, freshness is preserved to a large extent.
This method can also be applied to other fruits and vegetables that tend to brown, such as avocados, pears, potatoes and eggplants.
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Soak in honey water
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep apples from turning brown. It is also convenient because most people already have honey on hand. Honey is a natural preservative that has been used in various ways for centuries. Honey contains compounds that prevent polyphenols and PPO from reacting, which means oxidation is less likely to occur.
To use honey to reduce apple browning, mix a small amount of honey in a bowl of water and let the apples soak for a few minutes. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey per cup of water; after 5 minutes of soaking, drain and rinse quickly. The apples can be placed in a container or plastic bag and placed on a plate on the counter. This method works very well. The apple slices stay fresh, beautiful and crisp for up to 12 hours!
Squeeze the lemon juice
Fresh lemon juice contains citric acid, a natural antioxidant that helps slow down oxidation. Squeeze half a lemon over the apple slices to prevent them from turning brown and discoloring. You’ll notice a slight lemon taste, but more depending on the amount of juice. If you like the taste of lemon, try squeezing a lot. If you want less lemon taste, rinse it off before eating or squeeze it lightly when juicing. A small amount can help with browning.
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Soak in brine
Soaking sliced apples in brine is also easy. Use ½ teaspoon of kosher salt per cup of water; soak for 5 to 10 minutes, then drain and rinse. After rinsing, the apples won’t be salty at all and will stay fresh and crisp all day. This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep apples from turning brown and it works surprisingly well.
Sprinkle with citric acid
This method works in much the same way as kosher salt. Sprinkle the citric acid over the sliced apples and hold until ready to use. Citric acid is a natural antioxidant that significantly slows the oxidation process and prevents the apples from turning brown. Although this method works, citric acid can make apples taste sour even after they have been washed. If you don’t mind the sour taste of apples, this method may be better for you. Citric acid is available in the canning section of grocery stores.
If you want to take the immersion method a step further, you can add some citrus or pineapple juice to the water. What do these juices have in common? These juices contain citric acid, which slows the chemical reaction and prevents browning:
1) add two tablespoons of juice to the water and immerse the apple slices.
2) immerse the apples in the juice.
3) squeeze lemon, lime or orange directly onto the surface of the apple slices. The only drawback to this method is that the juice will add some flavor to the apples.
Store in airtight containers
Again, the most important thing to avoid discoloration of apples is to reduce or eliminate exposure to air after cutting. Once you have chosen a method and processed the apples, store them in an airtight container such as Tupperware or a Ziploc. Then store them in the refrigerator.
There is no absolute way to keep apples from turning brown, but these methods allow you to wait an extra hour or two before they start to discolor. They will also stay fresh and tasty much longer than untreated apples in fruit trays or salads.
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Soak them in lime soda
It’s probably not one of the most economical options, but dipping sliced apples in soda works very well because of the citric acid in the soda. Lemon-lime (Sprite or 7up) is most often recommended, but any soda that contains citric acid will do. Many sodas, such as Ginger Ale and Pepsi, contain citric acid, but Coke does not. To use this method, fill a bowl with soda, soak apple slices in it for 3-5 minutes, drain and rinse. The apples will stay fresh for several hours.
Use rubber bands
Like plastic wrap, this method prevents browning by keeping as much oxygen away from the exposed flesh of the apple as possible. After slicing the apples, wrap a rubber band around them to hold them together. If you have a round apple slicer, this method works well. When you wrap the rubber band around the apple, make sure the core is in the middle. Another method is to cut the apples into a ticking shape.
Dipping apples in vitamin C
You can find ascorbic acid powder, vitamin C, in many health food stores and drug stores. Dissolve this powder or the vitamin C tablets in water and quickly dip the slices in the water to prevent them from turning brown.
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How to prevent apple and pear slices from turning brown
Soak them in one of these solutions for five minutes. Citric acid is an important ingredient in some of these as it helps prevent oxidation (browning). My favorite is to soak them in salt water and honey water, both of which have always worked well.
1. Soak in a bowl of cold salted water. Too much salt will affect the taste of the fruit. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt per cup of water. Soaked apples will taste a little salty, but this can be remedied by rinsing them quickly before eating.
2. Soak them in a bowl of honey water. Use 2 tablespoons of honey for every cup of water.
3. Soak in cold lemon water. If you don’t mind the taste of lemon, this is a better option than pouring lemon juice directly. Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of water.
4. Dip into a lemon-lime soft drink like Sprite or 7-Up.
5. Soak in a bowl of fresh fruit (or citric acid powder) and cold water. Fresh fruit is available at stores that sell canned fruit. Use one teaspoon of fresh fruit per cup of water.
How to keep apples from turning brown with Honey | Video Explanation
Most methods kept the apples from browning for about two hours at room temperature, so you can use what you have on hand in the short term; after seven hours, all the out-of-bag methods showed signs of browning, except for citric acid, honey water, and salt water. The saltwater and honey treated apples, still in their zip lock bags, held up overnight in the refrigerator.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here