When to Buy/In Season:
All year. Best supplies in winter and early spring.

How to Select:
Look for firm oranges, heavy for their size. Strict state regulations help assure tree-ripened fruits. Slight greenish color or russeting of skin of some varieties does not affect quality. Navel and Temple oranges peel and section easily. Valencia, Parson Brown, Pineapple, and Hamlin are juicy. Avoid dry, soft, or spongy fruit.

Organic Issues:
Citrus crops are highly sprayed and chemically treated. Selecting organic lemons and limes is especially important if you are using the peel or zest, where most of the chemicals remain.

Pesticide Issues:
EWG 2009 Dirty Dozen, #23 for pesticide residues

How to Store:
Keep at room temperature a few days, or refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.



See our Basics of Canning Fruit at Home
Home Canned citrus fruits can be stored for up to 3 – 6 months; 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

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

To dry lemon and lime peels, choose fresh fruit that is NOT labeled “color added”. Wash well to remove surface dirt and pesticides. Cut a thin layer of peel from fruit, avoiding the bitter, white pith. Dry at 135F until crisp.

Photo Source: Kyle McDonald

Return to Buying and Storage Guide for Fruits

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