How Long Do Oranges Last? 5 Great Ways to Make Them Last
Love for Oranges
Juicy, sweet, and full of the goodness of Vitamin C, orange is one of the most popular fruits in the world. Just peel and eat it or drink its juice; it is tasty any which way. It can add a special tang to the recipes and make them more mouthwatering.
Oranges have a freshness about them, which most citrus fruits have. It belongs to the citrus species of the Rutaceae family. They are round with finely-textured skins that are orange in color. Some varieties have thick, and some have thin skins. They can range from 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Oranges are available from winter through summer with seasonal variations, and some are sweet while some are sour. This citrus fruit has many beneficial properties, and it would be great if you could use them throughout the year. If, like most people, you also want to know ‘how long do the oranges last?’ then here is some information for you.
Types of Oranges
Though the origin of oranges is in Asia, now they are found everywhere. There are several varieties of oranges which include:
Preserving Oranges for Longer Time
There is no doubt that oranges are delicious and have an uplifting aroma. Do you know how rich this fruit is in vitamins and trace elements? Vitamin C, which is necessary for our immune system, is present in abundant quantities in oranges. Oranges can help in weight loss without resulting in any vitamin deficiency. However, to enjoy all these benefits, you have to choose them correctly and then store them correctly. When and where you decide to store them, depends on, “how long you plan to store them?”. The shelf life of oranges can be increased by changing the storage conditions. Let us see how best we can store them:
1. At Room Temperature
When you get fresh oranges, soon after harvesting, they can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 to 3 weeks. A lot will depend on the weather and temperature in your area. If it is humid or very hot, it is better not to keep the oranges out for more than a week. However, if the weather is good, you can keep them in a basket that allows air to move freely. Keep them dry and check them often.
Oranges are at their best when you eat them fresh. Like all other vegetables and fruits, oranges have a fixed time and can start to decay after some time. Moisture is the biggest culprit and can cause mold to form on its skin. You can try wrapping each one separately in wax paper to extend their life.
2. In The Fridge
If you keep fresh whole oranges in the fridge, they can easily last for 1 to months. However, if you cut them, it is best to consume them quickly and not keep them in the fridge for more than 2 or 3 days. While keeping the oranges in the fridge, make sure that there are no bruises on the peel and the fruit is firm to touch. Please place them in a suitable plastic bag, which is large enough.
Don’t cramp the oranges. The cold inside the fridge stops the mold from forming, but you can notice the first signs after a month or so. Immediately, throw out the affected orange and clean the skin of the others. An airtight container is also good at keeping the moisture out.
3. Frozen Oranges
If you want to keep the oranges for more than a few months, you can try to freeze them. It is not highly recommended because the taste and texture change drastically. However, if you have no other option, then try it out. Slice the oranges or cut wedges and put them in airtight containers and place them in the freezer. Intense cold degrades the taste, and the original sweetness is missing from frozen oranges. Some people cover the sliced oranges in sugar syrup before freezing to keep the sweetness locked in. Some varieties like the Navel orange can get extremely bitter after freezing. Freeze oranges only when you have either bought in bulk or have a bounty from your farm.
4. Canned Oranges
If canned and stored properly, oranges can last for about one to one and a half years. You only need the juice and flesh of the fruit. Removing pith and peel completely can prevent bitterness. There are many ways to keep the oranges canned. You can keep them whole or sliced. Please place them in a jar and leave space on top. Prepare sugar syrup and pour it on top of the oranges, when hot. Seal the jars tightly. This will keep them safe for months and even a year or so.
You can try drying the oranges with a dehydrator. It can take up to 8 hours for the orange slices to become completely dry. Please place them in airtight containers. Soak the dried oranges before using to make them soft. Jams, jellies, and marmalades are also part of the canned products and most popular. This is the best way to preserve oranges for a long time.
5. Cooked Oranges
We are more familiar with canned fruits like jams, jellies, and marmalades. However, it is possible to cook with oranges by using them in making sauces for dishes, cakes, salads, and many desserts. These dishes can last from a day to a few days or weeks depending on how you cook and store them.
How To Choose The Best & Sweetest Oranges
Here are a few tips for you to help you choose the best oranges. Watch this video for more useful information about oranges.
If you have planted some orange trees and are waiting for the tasty fruits, you should know some things about harvesting them. From the time you notice flowers, it may take between 6 to 12 months and even a couple of months more for perfect ripening. The best time to harvest is within a period of two to three months before over-ripening. The correct harvesting time will also depend on the variety of orange and which region it is being grown in.
Navel oranges are mostly harvested between October and June, while Valencia oranges are harvested from March to October. You will come to know if it is time to harvest when you see a couple of mature oranges fall off the tree.
When oranges are used for commercial uses, they are harvested only after extensive testing. Specific levels of acidity, sweetness, and essence are required, and harvest time can change depending on that. Most of the harvesting is done by hand. A combined movement of twisting and pulling is enough to get the oranges from the tree. If the fruit has a thin crust, it is better to use shears and cut from the stem.
Nutrition in Oranges
Some people may ask, what is so special about an Orange? Well, it is a fruit that packs a punch in every way. It is so versatile that you can use it in innumerable ways. Oranges are available in several varieties, with each variety having unique features. A regular orange will have approximately have:
Most importantly, there is no fat or sodium, which makes it ideal for people who want to lose weight.
Due to its composition, oranges can offer you many health benefits, and it makes sense to consume oranges regularly.
Tips for Storing Oranges
So, you have a bounty of oranges and have decided to store them for future use. You must take some steps and prepare for the process for the fruit shouldn’t lose the flavor or essence. Here are a few tips:
Probably the best way to prolong the life of oranges is to leave them on the tree and pick them as and when you want to have one. The more time they spend on the tree, the sweeter they will get. However, if you notice oranges falling off the tree on their own, it means they are ready to be harvested. You cannot do much about the oranges which come from your farm or are a gift from your neighbor’s yard.
However, if you are buying oranges, then you must try to pick the best ones. Coming home to find the oranges bitter or dry is really annoying and a waste of money. If you have too many oranges, then use one of the methods mentioned earlier to store them. It is best to use a mix of things to maximize your pleasure and enjoy the oranges for a longer time.