The same oxygen you need to live is detrimental to the appearance of a fruit salad. When exposed to air, certain fruits like apples, bananas, pears and peaches will darken to an unappetizing brown. Some people leave these fruits out of fruit salads because of this browning, but you can have a bright fruit salad and eat it, too, without the fruit darkening. The secret is adding an acid to block the oxygen's reaction with the fruit.
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Canned Fruit Juice
Include a can of fruits packed in juice in the fruit salad, and add just enough of the liquid from the can to coat the fruit in the salad. Canned fruit juices are lightly acidic. For even better treatment to prevent browning in your fruit salad, opt for an acidic canned fruit such as pineapples or mandarin oranges. Toss fruits prone to browning with the juice from the canned fruit before adding it to the salad to keep it from browning before mixing the salad. The canned fruit juice has the added benefit of adding sweetness and flavour to the salad.
Lemon juice brightens the flavour of fruit salads while keeping the fruit bright in colour, but use real lemons instead of lemon juice concentrate to keep from turning your fruit salad into a lemon-flavoured salad. Toss the fruit salad components in lemon juice to completely cover the cut surfaces of the fruits as soon as they have been cut. This lemon juice coating creates a barrier between the fruit and the air.
Citrus fruits have a high acid content. Instead of using juices, toss orange or grapefruit segments into your fruit salad. The sliced citrus fruit will release its acid into the fruit salad. Vitamin C in the citrus fruits acts as a natural antioxidant, blocking the degenerative effects of oxygen on the fruit and preventing browning.
To prepare a fruit salad without citrus, use a concentrated source of the active ingredient in citrus fruits, Vitamin C. Sold in pharmacies and supermarkets with other vitamins, Vitamin C will slow the rate of browning until you can finish the salad. Crush a Vitamin C tablet and mix it with 3/4 cup water to toss the cut fruit in before adding to the salad. Not only will your salad stay bright, you will add a boost of Vitamin C to the dish.
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