How to preserve kiwi - The best way
We may know better than to shop when we’re hungry, but we all do it anyway.
There are worse things than finding yourself with 20 kiwis after a famine buy, especially if you know how to store them properly so they don’t go bad before you can enjoy every last one.
How is the kiwi stored? Kiwifruit are best stored at room temperature, but not exposed to direct sunlight or major temperature fluctuations. This will keep them fresh for up to a week. You can also store the kiwis in the fridge, which is recommended when they are ripe.
Throughout this article, you will learn all the possible ways to preserve kiwi so that you can enjoy this juicy fruit in many different ways. We will also cover some related issues, such as how to cut the kiwi and if it can be frozen.
What is a kiwi?
Kiwis are small, egg-sized fruits with fuzzy brown skin and juicy, bright green flesh.
They were originally grown in China, but are now mostly grown in New Zealand or California, and are in high demand year-round.
The brown outer skin of kiwis may be relatively nondescript, but inside they are bright green with a decorative white or pale green center and a black burst of tiny edible seeds.
Depending on how ripe the fruit is, they are mainly sweet, but can also taste surprisingly sour.
The nutrition you can get from a kiwi is impressive. These little powerhouses are packed with enough vitamin C to make lemons and oranges look pale in comparison.
They are also high in fiber and many other vitamins and minerals.
How to choose the kiwi
The best secret to preserving kiwi starts with choosing the right fruits to start with. If your kiwi is nearing the end of its shelf life when you leave the store with it, your storage options are limited.
However, if you choose kiwis that are not yet ripe, you can store them for up to a week or more, as long as you follow our simple recommendations.
If you buy in bulk , try to find kiwis that are still firm, as they will be slightly immature . They will stay fresh longer and continue to ripen over time.
However, be sure to choose some that are soft and ripe so you can eat them right away.
If you are only going to buy a few to eat soon, choose kiwis that are already soft, and therefore ripe , to enjoy them quickly.
Although the size does not change the flavor or quality of the kiwis, you should always make sure the skin is not blemished and gently check for bruising. Wrinkles are a sign of an old kiwi and are best avoided.
How to know if the kiwi is ripe
To check if the kiwi is ripe, press the center of the fruit with your thumb. The fruit should be firm, but with some slack, like a peach or mango.
Kiwis will be ripest towards the top of the fruit, where it was connected to the stem. Avoid pressing this area if possible so as not to bruise it.
When the kiwis are ripe, they will also have a pleasant aroma , with a sweet and fruity smell. If your kiwi smells too syrupy, it may be overripe.
How to keep kiwi at home
Once you have your kiwi at home, the way to store it depends on two things.
- How ripe your kiwi is
- how you want to use it
Ripe and unripe fruit should be stored differently, as well as whole and cut fruit.
The best way to store kiwi
Ideally, your kiwi should not be perfectly ripe, in which case the best way to store the fruit is at room temperature, away from any direct exposure to sunlight or wide fluctuations in temperature.
A fruit bowl or basket on the counter, away from the stove and windows, would be perfect.
Kiwis are hardy when slightly immature, but as they mature they become more delicate.
Avoid placing too many fruits on top of each other and always place kiwis on top of the heaviest items in your fruit bowl, such as apples or oranges, to avoid bruising and squashing.
If your kiwis share their bowl with other fruits, be aware that some fruits emit ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process.
Apples, bananas, and pears are common examples, so keep an eye on all your fruit daily to make sure it isn’t overripe.
Do kiwis need to be refrigerated?
Should kiwi be refrigerated? Yes, if the fruit is already ripe and you don’t want it to ripen further or you don’t plan to eat it for a couple of days, you should refrigerate your kiwi .
Kiwi will continue to ripen as long as it is at room temperature or warmer, so once the fruit is ripe, you should move it to the fridge to prevent it from getting too ripe before you can eat it.
How to keep kiwi in the fridge
If you store kiwi in the fridge, you’ll want to protect it from bruising, so it can help to store it in the fruit drawer , as long as it’s not too crowded.
Store them with lettuce, tomatoes, or other lighter, somewhat fragile items to reduce the chance of crushing.
You can also store the kiwi in an airtight container to keep it safe. This can take up more space in your fridge, but it will also prevent the fruit from accidentally spoiling or spoiling.
How to store the kiwi after cutting it
Once the kiwi is cut, it will not last long. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days , but be sure to eat it as soon as possible before it gets slimy.
Storing cut kiwi has two risks: exposure to air and crushing by other objects.
To prevent both from happening, first transfer the cut or sliced pieces of kiwi to an airtight bag . Press down gently and release as much air as you can from the bag before sealing it .
This will protect your fruit from exposure to air, which will dry it out and allow any off-flavors in your fridge to taint the pure sweetness of the fruit.
Next, you’ll also want to place the sealed bag of fruit in an airtight container . This will prevent it from getting squashed in your fridge.
If you have enough kiwi to fill a container with little air in it, you can skip the first step and not use a bag. The bag adds an extra layer of protection, but is not required if you have a resealable container.
Can kiwi be frozen?
If you have more kiwi than you know what to do with, you may be wondering: can I freeze whole kiwi or even with the skin on?
Unfortunately, freezing kiwi in any form is not recommended.
Kiwi is a very juicy fruit that is delicious when eaten fresh, but can be badly damaged by freezing. All the water content inside the fruit turns into ice crystals, breaking down the fibers and proteins that make up the structure of the fruit.
If frozen whole, or even sliced or cubed, it will be very soft when thawed.
How to keep kiwi in the freezer
If you really want to freeze the kiwi, it’s best to puree it first . You can do it with or without the skin.
Once the fruit is well blended, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
The best way to do this is to seal the bag for the most part, then lay it flat on your counter. Press the kiwi puree to all four edges of the bag, removing all air bubbles. Seal it when the kiwi is evenly distributed and the bag is almost flat.
Place the flat bag filled with fruit on a baking tray and put it like this in the freezer for 1 to 3 hours , until frozen. At this point, you can remove the cookie sheet and stand the bag upright to save space in the freezer.
We also have a whole article on freezing kiwis, which are slightly different, if you have any questions related to freezing kiwis.
How long does the kiwi last?
The kiwi can last anywhere from a few days to a month , depending on how ripe it is when you buy it.
An immature kiwi in the fridge will last the longest , but the quality and sweetness of the fruit that has been stored in the fridge for so long will not be as pleasing as the ripening process is very unnatural.
The fruit is best when allowed to ripen naturally on the tree and picked only when ready to eat, immediately. However, unless you are lucky enough to have your own producing kiwi tree, this is an unrealistic situation!
In most cases, kiwi will stay fresh for about a week at room temperature, although its shelf life can be nearly doubled if placed in the fridge.
However, once the kiwis are cut , they will only last a day or two at the most and need to be refrigerated.
As we have already said, you can also freeze kiwi puree, although it is better to consume it within 3 months of freezing. Beyond that, the fruit gradually loses its flavor, being washed away by the water content.
Here is a table that summarizes the duration of the kiwi according to its type and storage situation: whole or cut, ripe or immature, at room temperature or in the fridge (or freezer):
|kiwifruit condition||how long does kiwi last|
|Whole, immature, at room temperature||up to 1 week|
|Whole, ripe, at room temperature||Up to 3 days, depending|
|Whole, immature, refrigerated||up to 10 days|
|Whole, ripe, refrigerated||up to 1 month|
|Cut or sliced, refrigerated||up to 2 days|
|Pureed, frozen||up to 3 months|
How to ripen the kiwi
If you’re looking forward to eating your kiwi but it’s not ripening fast enough, you can try moving it somewhere slightly warmer , or giving it some cool sunlight . This will speed up the ripening process naturally.
If you don’t have any sunny windowsills, you could also place a kiwi or two in a brown paper bag along with a banana, apple, or pear . All of these fruits give off ethylene gas which makes the fruit ripen more quickly.
Close the bag tightly and your kiwi should be ready to eat within a day, depending on how firm it is when you put it in the bag.
However, keep in mind that the other fruits in the bag will also ripen more quickly. Apples and pears are quite long-lived, but bananas will start to brown quickly.
how to eat a kiwi
The kiwi is usually eaten raw , when it is perfectly ripe. Apart from this small requirement, you can eat kiwi in many ways.
You can slice, quarter or dice it and add it to fruit salad or sauce, or just scoop out the fruit and eat it. Of course, you can eat a kiwi like an apple, including the skin, but most people prefer to avoid the skin.
Kiwi is also a very tasty addition to homemade juices or smoothies , and can easily be pureed to use as a topping for granola, ice cream or pancakes, to name just a few.
How to peel a kiwi
There are two common ways to peel a kiwi, using a knife or spoon:
- Peel a kiwi with a knife
If you are going to serve the kiwi or you are not going to eat it immediately, peeling it with a knife is the best option.
Start by removing the top and bottom into even slices. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully peel the surface of the fruit as you would a potato. Be very careful, as the juice that is released as you peel will make the fruit slippery to handle.
- Peel kiwis with a spoon
You can also use a spoon to peel the kiwi, which is especially helpful for children.
You can cut off the top and bottom, as in the first example, or simply cut the fruit in half so the top and bottom are separate pieces.
Take the spoon and gently press the kiwi between the skin and the pulp. Using steady pressure, work the spoon around the kiwi until the fruit falls effortlessly from the skin.
Is the skin of the kiwi edible?
Yes, the skins of the kiwi are edible , although most people discard them because of their texture. They have a pasty and rough touch if you take a large piece. However, they are nutritious.
If you want to try eating the skin, try slicing the kiwi into thin slices so you don’t end up with a big piece of skin all at once. You can also add them whole to a smoothie or puree them with the skin on to get the nutrition without the texture.
What does the kiwi taste like?
The kiwi is a unique fruit that defies many classification standards, even when it comes to describing its flavor.
The kiwi is a slightly acidic fruit, but it is not a citrus . However, if eaten before it is ripe, it will taste sour, similar to citrus.
A ripe kiwi will be mostly sweet , and if you didn’t know otherwise, you’d swear it came from the tropics. Its flavor is a cross between strawberry, pineapple and a touch of banana.
Can kiwi be cooked?
You can cook the kiwi, but it is not the best method of preparation, far from it. The heat will destroy the flavor, the color and also most of the nutritional value.
It is much better to eat kiwi raw, but if you are interested in how kiwi can be used to tenderize meat or the best way to use kiwi in desserts, you can read more about it in our related article, which appears then.