Oranges are best to consume when in season, but this does not mean you can’t enjoy oranges the rest of the time. There are multiple ways that you can preserve oranges to make them last longer right at home! Before we move on to preserving oranges, what about fresh oranges? Oranges that you bought and are now not sure how long they are good for? Well, this blog post will answer all the possible questions you might have about how long oranges last. So read on!
The first thing that you should know about oranges is how to buy them. Here are some tips to help you buy the perfect oranges every time.
Now that you know how to buy oranges let’s chat about how long oranges last in different forms and how to store them to increase their shelf life.
Unlike some fruits, oranges do not ripen after being plucked from the tree, which is why it becomes super important to buy oranges that are just the right amount of ripe. Once you have your oranges, you are on the clock to use them.
Depending on the climate, ripe oranges will last on your counter at room temperature for a week or two. Any more than that, and you will notice the oranges are starting to shrivel and lose flavor. Oranges like to be stored in cool and dry temperatures, so the ideal place to store them is in the refrigerator. But if you are planning to use the oranges very soon, then go ahead and store them on your counter.
Even on the counter, place the oranges in a mesh bag or a loosely woven basket. Leave them in a cool corner of the kitchen and never near the stove or oven.
If you have oranges that are already cut or peeled, you cannot store them on the counter. Either keep them in the refrigerator or use them the same day they are cut.
If you bought a bunch of oranges and are not sure how to store them, the best bet is to refrigerate them until you decide how to use them. The refrigerator will extend the life of the oranges to up to 4 weeks.
Store the oranges in a mesh bag, or if you don’t have mesh bags hand, you can even store them in paper bags. Just don’t seal the bags. Place the oranges in the crisper drawer, and you are all set!
Freshly cut and peeled oranges can last in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. The trick is to eliminate the contact of the cut oranges with the air outside. Wrap the cut oranges tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate. Remember to check the condition of the oranges before you eat them.
Even oranges that are stored in the refrigerator tend to dry out after a while. If you are looking into long-term storage for the oranges, you might want to consider freezing them to extend their shelf life.
There is a multitude of ways that you can experiment with freezing oranges. You can try freezing them peeled or even in syrup if you enjoy a little extra sweetness. The options are endless.
Properly frozen and stored oranges can last anywhere from 10 to 12 months. Always store the frozen oranges in freezer-safe containers for food safety reasons. You can store these containers in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Always remember to label and date your containers with the packing date so that you are always aware of exactly when the oranges were packed and how long they are still safe for use.
Drying or dehydrating oranges is another safe way to preserve them. You could use the dried oranges in your desserts or even simply for snacking. We already have a blog post explaining all the different ways you can dehydrate oranges right at home!
Dried oranges are easy to store. They can be easily stacked in your pantry and are always at hand whenever you need them. Properly dehydrated oranges can last in your pantry for up to 2 years!
You can always rely on your senses to tell if the oranges have taken a turn for the worst.
The first sense to use is the sense of touch. If your oranges feel too soft to touch, they have started to go bad, and you have just a few days to use them. If your oranges are completely mushy, it is time you discard them.
Oranges that are past their prime can start to get moldy. So if you notice any sort of mold growth on the whole oranges, peeled oranges, or even the frozen and dried oranges, you need to discard them straight away.
Ripe oranges always have a refreshing citrusy smell. Oranges that are starting to turn or have already turned might develop a sour smell that alerts you straight away.
Whenever you consume any sort of stored produce, whether it is fruits, vegetables, or anything else, it is imperative to consume them while they are still safe. If you are ever in doubt about the quality of the product, simply toss it.
Mandarin or any other kind of oranges all approximately follow the same timeline above. The timeline can vary slightly depending on the quality of the mandarins you buy, the climate you live in, and how well you store the oranges.
There are several things that you can make to use up your oranges.
Orange Juice: Cut the oranges in half and deseed them before squeezing them to get some delicious orange juice. Store the freshly squeed orange juice in a jug and use it within a day.
Smoothies: Blend some peeled and deseeded oranges with frozen bananas, fruit juice, and some protein supplements for a great and healthy smoothie.
Oranges are one of the most popular citruses in the market with many health benefits and many ways to use them, be it savory, desserts, or even drinks. Now that you know how to use and store oranges in different forms, start incorporating them into your everyday diet to enjoy their many benefits! And always remember, when in doubt, throw it out!
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