If you’ve got your hands on some star fruit, then congratulations ! These things are hard to come by, especially at a fair price.
You may be wondering how to store star fruits, now that you have them. No worries, as it turns out storing these fruits isn’t difficult, but will require some care on your part.
In this article we’ll cover how to store star fruit to make it last longer, and how to watch out for when it’s fully ripe.
How to store star fruit
After star fruit is ripened, it can be stored for a maximum of 1 week with the countertop and fridge combined. But the exact timing may depend on the state of ripeness of the fruits.
As a rule of thumb, underripe star fruits can be stored at room temperature for about 2 weeks, and in refrigerated storage for about 4 weeks.
On the other hand, fully ripe star fruits turn to mush quickly and should only be stored in the fridge, for a maximum of up to 1 week.
There is no special method needed to store star fruits. It can be kept at room temperature anywhere inside the home, from kitchen top to the store room, as long as it’s underripe. Ripe star fruits are much more tricky.
If you’ve bought it from a store or market, it’s almost definitely underripe. Star fruits are sold like bananas and avocado, you have to keep them on the counter or at room temp for a little while to ripen them.
The answer to how to store star fruit depends on many factors, including how many you have. For example, it can vary for a person who has bought a few dozens of star fruits to a person who is a home gardener whose one time harvest may run into several kilograms.
This is why we’ll be covering the answer from both points of view.
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Storage tips for just a few star fruits
If you’ve bought a small quantity of star fruits from the market, you can store them on your kitchen counter. If they are not fully ripe, allow them to ripe in the natural course.
It can take 3-4 days and during this period, you should turn the fruits once in about 12 hours so one side does not remain exposed to the hard surface for a long time. This way, all the fruits will ripen in the course of 3-4 days, and you can consume them as they ripe or as needed.
But if the star fruits are fully ripe, they must be used immediately because these are extremely fragile fruits that can’t be stored for long after they have ripened fully.
However, you can keep them for as long as a week inside your refrigerator. Do not wash them all, only store them in a plastic bag and in the vegetable crisper.
You should not wash fruits or vegetables before storing them, as this will add extra moisture and eventually rot the food, even in the fridge. Only wash as needed.
Store tips for large star fruit harvests
If you are a home gardener with a few star fruit trees, you are going to have a huge harvest, from 8 to 15 kg from each of the trees. So your storage needs are different from an individual who buys a couple of dozens of these fruits from the market.
You need a bigger area to store your fruits. But we come to that later. Right now, let’s figure out what you need to keep in mind before harvesting.
The harvest time for star fruits ranges from mid-summer to late fall. During this period, the fruits ripen and need to be picked. When the star fruit ripens, it turn completely yellow with a waxy skin appearance.
At this, the fruits are only feebly connected to the trees and they can slip into your hand on a gentle tug. If you leave the ripened fruits on the tree, they will fall to the ground and get bruised.
Ripe star fruits cannot be stored for more than a couple of days, and must be used immediately. To make sure that fruits do not start falling on their own, they must be handpicked at the right time. Keep an eye on your garden or farm.
So, after the mid-summer you should keep a watch on the fruits and when you think the fruits have begun to ripe and should not be left on the tree any longer, you can pick and store them inside your home.
To store large amounts of underripe star fruit you need to find a place that is dark but with an efficient air flow. You can put the fruits on the ground on a sheet of cloth or any natural fiber, or even a bed of leaves from the garden will do.
Let the fruits lie there for as long as two weeks if necessary. During this period, you should check the fruits every day to remove fully and over ripe fruits, and turn the rest of them.
If you’re going to sell the fruits at a marketplace or ship them to supermarkets make sure each fruit is individually wrapped, so they don’t squish each other during transport. They will need to be sold before they all become ripe.
How to keep star fruits longer
Apart from these storage methods, star fruits can also be preserved beyond the 2-4 weeks of storage periods. For preservation, these fruits should be properly cleaned and cut horizontally so that you have star shaped slices. Be sure to cut the browning edges before slicing them.
Now these slices should be placed on a baker’s sheet in a single layer and kept inside the freezer. After a few hours when the slices are frozen, they should be placed in a separate, airtight container and back in the freezer.
You can store frozen star fruit up to 3 months this way.
You can also use a slightly different process to preserve star fruits. Following the above-mentioned process, cut star fruit into star shaped slices. Remove the seeds, as we’ll be blending these slices.
Blend the slices and pour out the thick star fruit puree in ice trays. Put these ice trays, make sure they’re airtight or they will pick up freezer flavor.
Once fully frozen, take the ice trays out and pop the puree out. Put the cubes of star fruit in proper containers before placing them back inside the freezer.
Now, whenever you need your star fruit, you can take the container out of the freezer and remove as many as needed. Keep in mind that thawed star fruit will brown quickly, just like bananas. Use it in smoothies.
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Although star fruits aren’t easy to come by, you cannot store these fruits for months. You can freeze them for a few months, but that’s it.
It’s important to enjoy star fruits fresh as much as possible, otherwise the flavor will fade. Seeing as these are very seasonal fruits, it may be best to not try and hang onto them too long.