How to Store Kiwis

Storing kiwi fruit properly can extend its shelf life, ensuring you can enjoy its tangy sweetness at its best. When you buy kiwis, they might not be ready to eat immediately. Unripe kiwi should be kept at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, which will allow them to ripen gradually. Place them on your kitchen counter and give them a few days, checking occasionally for the desired softness that indicates ripeness.

Once your kiwis are ripe, to preserve their freshness, it’s advisable to transfer them to the refrigerator. The cool temperature slows down the ripening process and prolongs the fruit’s life. Refrigeration is especially important if you won’t be consuming the kiwi right away; ripe kiwi can last in the fridge for about one to two weeks.

If you have leftover sliced kiwi or you’ve taken more than you can eat at one sitting, place the unused slices in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. This method will keep the slices fresh for a couple of days, allowing you to reduce waste and get the most out of your purchase. Always aim for a balance between proper ripening and preservation to enjoy kiwi fruit at its peak flavor and texture.

Selecting the Right Kiwis

Kiwi Fruit 101 - Selecting and Storing Kiwis

When you’re choosing kiwis at the store or market, pay close attention to their ripeness, appearance, and variety. Making the right selection ensures you enjoy the freshest and most flavorful fruit.

Identifying Ripeness

Ripe kiwis will yield slightly to gentle pressure, indicating they’re ready to eat. Firm kiwis are less ripe and can be left at room temperature to ripen. The skin color of ripe kiwi should transition from a greenish hue to a more goldish or dark brown tone depending on the variety.

Checking for Blemishes and Bruises

Examine the kiwi for any blemishes or bruised areas. Avoid kiwis with visible signs of damage, as these spots can lead to quicker spoilage. Soft spots often indicate overripe or damaged fruit, while small scratches may be superficial and not affect the quality inside.

Understanding Kiwi Sizes and Varieties

Kiwis come in various sizes and types. Choose your kiwi based on the specific variety you prefer, with size affecting the portion rather than the quality. Common varieties include:

  • Hayward: This variety is the traditional green kiwi, typically with a fuzzy brown skin and known for its tangy flavor.
  • Gold Kiwi: With a smoother, bronze skin, this kiwi has a sweeter taste and golden flesh.

In conclusion, carefully selecting kiwis based on ripeness, lack of blemishes, and understanding the different varieties leads to better fruit enjoyment.

Storing Kiwis at Home

How to Store Kiwi

When storing kiwis at home, your approach should vary based on the ripeness of the fruit. You can extend the shelf life of kiwis by keeping them at room temperature or refrigerating them and using airtight containers to preserve freshness.

Room Temperature Storage

Unripe kiwis are best stored at room temperature on a counter away from direct sunlight, which can hasten the ripening process. To avoid premature ripening, also keep them separate from ethylene-producing fruits such as apples, bananas, tomatoes, and avocados. The fruit will typically ripen within a few days.

  • Placement: Counter or shelf away from sunlight
  • Temperature: Maintain consistent room temperature
  • Companions: Do not store with ethylene-producing fruits

Refrigerating Kiwis

Once kiwis have ripened, transfer them to the refrigerator. This slows the ripening process and maintains freshness for a longer period. Keep ripe kiwis in the main compartment of the refrigerator where the temperature remains stable.

  • Location: Main compartment of the refrigerator
  • Duration: Ripe kiwis can last in the refrigerator for several weeks
  • Humidity: Moderate; excess humidity can promote spoilage

Using Airtight Containers

Airtight containers can help maintain the optimal humidity level and protect kiwis from absorbing odors from other foods. Store kiwis in these containers either at room temperature while unripe or in the refrigerator once they’ve ripened.

  • Condition: Use airtight containers for both room temperature and refrigerated storage
  • Benefits: Reduces exposure to ethylene and maintains optimal humidity

Remember to keep a watchful eye on your kiwis and enjoy them once they reach the peak of ripeness for the best flavor and texture.

Ripening Techniques

The ripening of kiwis can be expedited by manipulating the environment to increase ethylene exposure, using a paper bag, or placing them with other ripening fruits. Each technique can influence the ripening process, affecting the texture from firm to soft.


Ethylene Gas Exposure

Ethylene, a natural plant hormone, is a key agent in ripening kiwis. To harness ethylene for ripening your kiwi:

  • Increase ethylene concentration: Store your unripe kiwis in a confined space where naturally released ethylene can build up.
  • Consistent temperature: Keep them at a consistent room temperature away from direct sunlight to avoid variability in ripening speed.

Paper Bag Method

A widely used ripening technique involves using a paper bag:

  1. Place unripe kiwis in the paper bag.
  2. Seal the opening by folding it over to trap ethylene gas.
  3. Check daily for ripeness; this method can greatly accelerate the process.

Ripening with Other Fruits

To ripen kiwi alongside other fruits:

  • Apples and bananas: These fruits emit higher amounts of ethylene and can be placed with kiwis in a fruit bowl or paper bag.
  • Monitor closely: As kiwi is sensitive to ethylene, it will ripen more quickly with these fruits, so check the texture frequently to ensure it doesn’t become too soft.

Preserving Kiwis for Long-Term Storage

Storing Kiwi Fruit Long Term - Roland Canned Fruit

Freezing is a practical method to preserve kiwis long-term. Ensuring proper techniques will keep your kiwis flavorful and ready for future use.

Freezing Whole Kiwis

Freeze whole kiwis by first peeling them and then placing them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. This method keeps them separated and easily accessible for later use.

Freezing Kiwi Slices

For convenience, you can freeze kiwi slices, which are ideal for snacking or adding to dishes without thawing. Slice your kiwi into even pieces, spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freeze until solid. Then, move the slices to a freezer bag, ensuring to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.

Freezing Kiwi for Smoothies and Desserts

Kiwi can be preserved specifically for smoothies or desserts. Cut kiwi into chunks appropriate for blending, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze them. Once frozen, transfer the chunks into freezer bags, label them, and use them directly from the freezer when making your smoothie or dessert to add a tropical flair without the need for ice.

Preventing Spoilage and Extending Shelf Life

[EN]the right way to freeze kiwi 🥝🥝🥝 to prevent them from sticking after they’re frozen

To ensure your kiwi fruit remains fresh and tasty, it’s crucial to monitor ripeness, manage ethylene exposure, and conduct regular inspections.

Monitoring for Overripe Kiwis

Ripe kiwi should have a slight give when gently pressed; overripe ones may feel mushy or emit a strong smell. Storage in the fridge can slow down the ripening process, so once your kiwi reaches optimal ripeness, it’s best to refrigerate them. Moldy or damaged fruits should be removed immediately to prevent them from affecting others.

Separation from Ethylene-Producing Fruits

Ethylene gas is a natural plant hormone that accelerates ripening and can lead to spoilage. Keep ripe kiwi away from ethylene-producing fruits like apples, avocados, and tomatoes to extend shelf life. Store them in a separate part of the fridge or in a different container.

Regular Inspection and Sorting

Regularly check your stored kiwis for signs of spoilage, such as mold or drying out. Sort through them to ensure any overripe or damaged kiwis are removed to protect the rest of the batch. This will help in extending the shelf life of the remaining kiwi and prevent potential spoilage caused by compromised fruits.

Using Kiwis in Recipes and Salads

Kiwi Dressing

Kiwis add a sweet, tangy flavor and plenty of vitamins and fiber to your dishes, enhancing both their nutritional value and taste. When working with fresh kiwis in salads or desserts, ensure that the kiwis are ripe yet firm to touch for the best texture and flavor profile.

Preparing Kiwi for Salads

To prepare kiwi for salads, first rinse the fruit under cold water. Pat it dry, and then, using a sharp knife, slice off both ends. Peel the brown, fuzzy skin with a vegetable peeler or cut the kiwi into halves and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Dice or slice the kiwi into consistent pieces to ensure even distribution of flavor and texture in your salad.

Incorporating Kiwi in Fruit Salads

Add cut kiwi to fruit salads to introduce a vibrant color and a refreshing zest. Kiwifruit pairs well with other fruits such as strawberries, bananas, and oranges. To maintain the freshness of the salad, toss the kiwi in immediately before serving. The juicy nature of kiwi also contributes a natural syrup to the fruit salad, reducing the need for additional sweeteners.

  • Suggested Kiwi Fruit Salad Combination:
    • 1 cup diced kiwi
    • 1 cup halved strawberries
    • 1 cup sliced bananas
    • 1 cup orange segments
    • A drizzle of honey (optional)

Kiwi as an Addition to Desserts

Incorporate kiwi into desserts for a tangy twist and a boost of nutritional value. Top pavlovas with freshly sliced kiwis, blend them into smoothies, or use them as a fresh garnish on cakes and tarts. The unique sweet and tangy flavor of kiwi enhances the taste and visual appeal of desserts, making them irresistibly fresh and juicy.

  • Kiwi-Infused Dessert Ideas:
    • Kiwi slices atop lemon cheesecake
    • Kiwi and mixed berry compote for pancakes
    • Chilled kiwi slices in a fruit tart

Tips for Handling and Preparing Kiwis

How to Select and Store Kiwi Fruit: Tips for Fresher, Sweeter Fruit

Selecting ripe kiwi fruit and preparing them properly is crucial for preserving their texture and nutritional value. Follow these steps to ensure your kiwis are handled correctly from washing to cutting.

How to Wash and Peel Kiwis

To wash kiwi, gently rinse under cool water to remove any debris from the skin. If you plan to consume the nutrient-rich skin, scrub lightly with a vegetable brush. For peeling, slice off the ends and slide a spoon between the flesh and the skin, rotating the fruit to separate the two. Alternatively, if you prefer to peel it with a knife, do so lightly to minimize wastage of the flesh.

  • Wash:
    • Rinse under cool water
    • Scrub lightly if consuming the skin
  • Peel:
    • Use a spoon to separate flesh from skin
    • Peel with a knife, minimizing flesh wastage

Cutting Techniques

Once your kiwi is peeled, cutting it properly will maximize both its appeal and ease of use. Kiwis can become mushy if overripe, so use a sharp knife to cut clean slices or chunks. If the kiwi feels soft to the touch and has noticeable wrinkles or dark spots, it is likely overripe and may require a more delicate touch to avoid crushing the fruit.

  • Slices: Use a sharp knife, cut into rounds of desired thickness.
  • Chunks: Cut the kiwi into halves, then slice into wedges.

Preventing Browning and Keeping Them Fresh

To keep cut kiwi fresh, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Kiwis contain enzymes that cause browning when exposed to air, so covering them with plastic wrap or placing them in a container helps maintain freshness. Keep them away from direct sunlight and sources of moisture to avoid premature ripening or spoilage.

  • Storing Cut Kiwi:
    • In the refrigerator
    • In an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap
  • Avoid:
    • Direct sunlight exposure
    • Excessive moisture

Knowing When to Discard Kiwis

To ensure the quality and safety of your kiwis, being able to identify signs of spoilage is paramount. Knowing when a kiwi has passed its prime and requires disposal protects your health and enjoyment of the fruit.

Signs of Spoilage

Your kiwis should be discarded if you notice any of the following indicators of spoilage:

  • Odor: A sour or unpleasant smell is a clear signal that your kiwi is no longer suitable for consumption.
  • Mold: Any visible mold, usually appearing as fuzzy spots, indicates spoilage.
  • Dark Spots and Wrinkles: While some blemishes might be superficial, dark spots and significant wrinkling often suggest internal spoilage.
  • Consistency: Ripe kiwis should be slightly soft to the touch; however, if they are excessively mushy or liquid is oozing from the fruit, it is time to throw them away.

Dealing with Soft Spots and Bruises

If only a small portion of the kiwi is affected, you may not need to discard the entire fruit:

  • Bruises: Small bruised areas can be cut away, and the remaining fruit is generally safe and tasty to eat.
  • Soft Spots: If the soft areas are not too pervasive or accompanied by mold, consider using the unaffected parts of the kiwi in smoothies or as a dessert topping.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find concise answers to common questions about kiwi storage to maintain freshness and flavor.

What are the best practices for refrigerating kiwis for extended freshness?

To refrigerate kiwis for extended freshness, place ripe kiwis in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This creates a cool, slightly humid environment that helps maintain their quality.

Can kiwis be frozen for long-term storage, and if so, what is the proper method?

Yes, kiwis can be frozen for long-term storage. Peel and slice the kiwi, then arrange the slices on a baking sheet to freeze individually. Once frozen, transfer the slices to a sealable freezer bag or container to prevent freezer burn.

How can you determine if a kiwi has ripened to perfection?

To determine if a kiwi is ripe, gently press the surface with your thumb. It should yield slightly under pressure but not be soft or mushy. The skin of a ripe kiwi is typically dull, not shiny.

What’s the shelf life of kiwis when stored at room temperature?

When stored at room temperature, kiwis can last up to a week. Keep them away from direct sunlight and away from other fruits that might accelerate ripening.

Is refrigeration necessary for preserving unripe kiwis, and how does it affect ripening?

Refrigeration is not necessary for unripe kiwis and can impede the ripening process. If you wish to slow down ripening, then you can refrigerate them; otherwise, leave them at room temperature to ripen naturally.

What techniques can extend the freshness of kiwis while kept on the countertop?

To extend the freshness of kiwis on the countertop, keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Additionally, kiwis can be stored in a breathable bag or container to protect them from external ethylene exposure, which can quicken ripening.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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