When to Buy/In Season:
June – September

How to Select:
Look for plump, rich-colored fruit with slight softening along the seam side. Color can be reddish to yellowish, depending on the variety. Slightly firm fruit ripens well at room temperature. Avoid hard, soft or shriveled fruit, or any with a portion of green skin.

Organic Issues:
Nectarines are heavily sprayed in conventional farming, and studies have shown that the pesticide and other residues can not be washed off or easily removed. Organic farming using sulfur, oil spray during dormancy, and Bacillus thuriginiensis to protect and treat the fruit naturally.

Pesticide Issues:
EWG 2009 Dirty Dozen, #5

How to Store:
Nectarines can be ripened on the counter, out of direct sunlight. They are best when not refrigerated. Refrigerate ripe fruit and use within 3 – 5 days.

Nectarines release ethylene, which can spoil some produce. Store nectarines away from:
Brussels sprouts
Lettuce and other leafy greens
Sweet potatoes

To Freeze Fresh Nectarines:

  • Select well-ripened fruit and handle carefully to avoid bruising. Sort, wash and peel.

Syrup Pack: Use 40 percent syrup. For a better quality product, add 1/2 teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid per quart of syrup. Put nectarines directly into cold syrup in container, using 1/2 cup syrup to a pint container. Press fruit down and add syrup to cover, leaving headspace. Place a small piece of crumpled water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down. Seal and freeze.

Sugar Pack: To each quart (1 1/3 pounds) of prepared fruit add 2/3 cup sugar and mix well. Stir gently until sugar is dissolved or let stand for 15 minutes. To retard darkening, sprinkle ascorbic acid dissolved in water over the peaches before adding sugar. Use 1/4 teaspoon (750 mg) ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons cold water to each quart of fruit. Pack into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.

  • Frozen nectarines can be stored in the freezer (0F): 8 – 12 months


See our Basics of Canning Fruit at Home
Home Canned fruits can be stored for up to 1 year; they may lose quality after that point. Commercially canned fruit can be stored up to 3 years.

See our Basics of Drying Fruit at Home

To dry nectarines, select bright, plump fruit with an orange-yellow color between red areas. Wash, cut in half and remove pits. Cut into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices. Pretreat by dipping method if desired. Place on drying trays, peel side down. Dry at 130 – 135oF until pliable with no moisture pockets. Water content of nectartines is 87%.

Dried fruit may be stored 6 – 12 months at room temperature, or indefinetly in the freezer.

To keep dried nectarines moist once a package has been opened, remember to keep under cool and dry conditions; away from heat and/or humidity, as well as concrete or brick walls. If you do want to refrigerate dried nectarines, or even if you want to store them for any length of time, be sure that they are in an air-tight container.

To freeze and thaw dried nectarines: Place in a zip-lock freezer bag, squeeze out the excess air, seal, and place in the freezer. Dried nectarines will thaw quickly, but if you want to ‘speed up’ the process, pour boiling water over the frozen fruit. The heat and moisture will quickly thaw the fruit and it will also help add a bit of extra moisture. Be sure to drain off the excess moisture before using.

Photo Source: 3liz4

Return to Buying and Storage Guide for Fruits

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