Of all the delicious fruits out there, grapes are among the most popular. No matter which variety you prefer, this sweet snack is chock-full of nutrients (like potassium, copper, and vitamins B and K) and may be a good way to boost your overall cardiovascular health, among other potential benefits.
But as good as grapes are, these bite-size treats can go bad quickly. If you leave them out on the counter at room temperature, they can spoil within just two to four days. For grapes that stay fresh and juicy for potentially weeks at a time instead of mere days, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
How To Pick the Best Grapes
First of all, picking the best grapes is half the battle when it comes to extending shelf life. Look for bunches that are plump and firm, as well as securely attached to the vine. Stems that look somewhat green are usually in good health; if they’re shriveled and brown, it can be an indicator that the grapes are on the older side. Also, you may want to avoid grabbing bags with lots of loose fruit at the bottom, as grapes off the vine are likely to spoil faster than those that are still attached.
If you spot a pale, almost white coating on your grapes, don’t be alarmed. Known as bloom, this residue is created from the natural waxes on the surface of the fruit and may help to lock in moisture. One thing you do want to avoid, however, is eating grapes raw. As this produce can get pretty dirty, rinsing off before eating is generally recommended, although some experts claim you should hold off until you’re ready to chow down, as washing grapes too early could speed up the fruit’s deterioration.
How To Store Whole, Cut, and Frozen Grapes
In terms of storage, be sure to keep the grapes in a well-ventilated container (like the bag or clamshell they came in), then slip it in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer to promote air circulation. This could help them last for up to three weeks at a time. If you opt to cut your grapes, you can store them in an airtight container in your fridge and they should stay fresh for up to 48 hours—like a bottle of wine.
Want to make them last even longer? Consider freezing them. If properly stored, frozen grapes can stay good for up to three months. To do this, simply rinse and dry off your grapes, then spread them out on a lined baking sheet. After chilling them in your freezer for a few hours (or overnight), transfer them to a storage container and you should be good to go.
[h/t Real Simple]