Post Harvest Cherry Storage Tips – How To Handle Harvested Cherries
What are post harvest cherries?
The term “post harvest” refers to fruits or vegetables that have been harvested but not yet eaten. They may still be good for making jam, jelly, pickles, etc., but they aren’t necessarily edible right away.
How long can cherries sit out at room temperature?
Cherries will keep for up to two weeks if stored properly. If left out, they’ll lose their flavor and texture within a week. You can extend the shelf life of your cherries by storing them in the refrigerator after picking (or even before). Some people like to put them in ice cube trays or other containers with air holes so that they don’t get too cold!
How to handle post harvest cherries?
You can either eat them immediately, or you can let them go into the fridge for a few days until they’re ready to eat. The best way to store them is in an airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic bag. Don’t forget to take off any stems when storing! You could also freeze some of these cherries in ice cubes. That way you can make frozen cherry juice or even add them to smoothies without having to thaw anything.
If you’re not going to be able to eat the cherries within a week, it’s best to put them in the fridge right away so that they stay as fresh as possible.
How to freeze cherries?
Make sure they’re dry before putting them in the freezer. You can either dry them with a cloth or just let them sit out for an hour or so. Take a piece of paper and draw 4 circles. The first one should be about the size of a quarter, and each circle after should be twice as big as the last (so the second circle should be the size of a half dollar, the third circle should be a dollar coin, etc.) Put the cherries in a bowl and use these circles to portion out the cherries. Fill the circles with cherries and pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, let them thaw for a few minutes so they aren’t too hard or keep them in the fridge if you want them to last longer.
How long do cherries last?
If a cherry has blemishes, insect bites, or soft spots, it could be a sign that it is overripe. The flesh may also have begun to breakdown and cause the cherry to become mushy. These overripe cherries will have a shorter shelf life than those that are kept in the peak of their freshness.
How long do cherries last unrefrigerated?
Unrefrigerated, ripe cherries can typically last for 1 to 2 days.
How long do cherries last refrigerated?
If kept in the fridge, cherries will last for up to 1 month.
How long do cherries last frozen?
It is recommended to only freeze ripe cherries as freezing them while they are still unripe can turn their texture into an undesirable one. Frozen cherries will typically last up to 1 year.
How do you make cherry jam?
When it’s time to make the jam, quarter and de-stem the cherries. Combine them in a large pot with a little water (enough to cover the cherries). Bring to a boil then simmer for about 10 minutes. While the cherries are cooking, stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Raise the heat and bring to a rolling boil then continue to boil for about 10 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir for about 5-7 minutes. Check the set of your jam. To test, take a small spoonful of the jam and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. If it has thickened and is able to hold its shape on the spoon, then your jam is done. If it doesn’t seem done, put the pot back on the heat and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Skim off any foam that formed on top of the jam. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and allow to cool. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to a year or it can be processed in small batches in water bath canner for longer storage. (To sterilize the jars, submerge them in a deep pot of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of water covering the tops of the jars and there are no air pockets in the jars, inserting a knife around the outsides if necessary to eliminate any air pockets. Check all jar lids for rust and cracks before starting. Once the jars are sterilized, drain them and turn upside down to drain completely—this ensures that your jam will be sealed properly later. Lids, rings, and utensils used in the jam making process should be boiled separately. Cap lids will not seal if there is any fat or water on them when you put a new lid on the boiled jars. When you have boiled your jars, ladle the jam into them making sure to eliminate all air pockets. Place the lids on the jars and turn each jar upside down to seal—if properly sealed the lid will not move. If you maintain a boiling water canner used solely for canning, you can process your jams and jellies. Always follow the instructions that come with your canner for the specific information for that model.)
Jams and jellies are high in sugar. They can provide a great source of calories when needed most, as long as you are careful about your water intake. It is important to keep in mind that these high calorie foods can lead to problems if not used sparingly, so it is best to use these only when you need extra calories. They can be eaten alone or mixed with other foods such as peanut butter or cheese.
Despite the high sugar content, these foods are good choices for food. If you are ever in a survival situation and need a quick energy boost, these can be very helpful.
Sources & references used in this article:
Relationship between fruit respiration, bruising susceptibility, and temperature in sweet cherries by CH Crisosto, D Garner, J Doyle, KR Day – HortScience, 1993 – journals.ashs.org
Green peduncles may indicate postharvest freshness of sweet cherries by M Linke, WB Herppich, M Geyer – Postharvest biology and technology, 2010 – Elsevier
Effect of continuous exposure to exogenous ethylene during cold storage on postharvest decay development and quality attributes of stone fruits and table grapes by L Palou, CH Crisosto, D Garner, LM Basinal – Postharvest Biology and …, 2003 – Elsevier
Postharvest management of fruits and vegetables storage by HR El-Ramady, É Domokos-Szabolcsy… – Sustainable agriculture …, 2015 – Springer
Comparison of alternative postharvest quarantine treatments for sweet cherries by LG Neven, SR Drake – Postharvest Biology and Technology, 2000 – Elsevier