How to preserve nectarines

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to preserve nectarines”, and discuss the different methods used to preserve nectarines. We will also look at selecting the best nectarines for preservation.

How to preserve nectarines

Nectarines can be preserved by refrigerating, freezing, dehydrating and canning.

Nectarines are a variety of peaches characterized by smooth skin instead of the usually fuzzy skin of peaches. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. 

How to store unripe nectarines

Unripe nectarines must be stored at room temperature. It will take 2-3 days for the nectarines to ripen completely.

To speed up the ripening process, store the nectarines in a plastic or paper bag with holes cut to facilitate airflow. Place the bag at room temperature away from sunlight.

How to preserve nectarines by refrigerating

Ripe nectarines can be preserved for a few days by refrigeration as the cold temperature slows down the ripening process. Ripe nectarines can be preserved for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

To refrigerate nectarines:

  • Place the nectarines in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
  • Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

How to preserve nectarines by freezing

Freezing reserves of nectarines for about 1 year. To preserve nectarines by freezing:

  • Wash and peel the nectarines.
  • Slice the nectarines into desired thickness.
  • Place the nectarine slices on a tray or a baking sheet and freeze them.
  • Transfer the frozen nectarine slices into a zip lock bag.
  • Squeeze out the air, label the bag and freeze and place it back in the freezer.

Frozen nectarines can be used in baking, cooking and can also be eaten on their own. 

How to preserve nectarines by dehydrating

Dehydrating preserves nectarines for about 1 year. 

Nectarines can be dehydrated by using a food dehydrator, using an oven or by sun-drying.

Using a food dehydrator is the most efficient and easiest way to dehydrate nectarines. Using a food dehydrator better preserves the nutrients in nectarines compared to using an oven or sun-drying. The only drawback of using a food dehydrator is that the process takes about 18 hours to complete.

Using an oven to dehydrate nectarines is a faster method. However, the nectarines must be closely monitored to make sure that they don’t burn.

Sun-drying is the most time-consuming method of dehydrating nectarines. For sun-drying to be effective, the temperature must be at least 30 °C. Sun-drying also results in a loss of nutrients.

To prepare the nectarines for dehydrating: 

  • Wash and peel the nectarines.
  • Cut the nectarines into halves and remove the pits.
  • Slice the nectarines into desired thickness. 
  • Soak the slices in lemon juice or citric acid. This will prevent the nectarine slices from browning.

To dehydrate nectarines using a food dehydrator:

  • Place the nectarine slices on the dehydrator tray with gaps in between the slices.
  • Dehydrate at 60 °C for 12 to 18 hours.
  • Store the dehydrated nectarines in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.

To dehydrate nectarines using an oven:

  • Place the nectarine slices on baking sheets and place them in the oven.
  • Set the oven temperature to the lowest possible setting.
  • Allow the nectarines to dry for about 8 hours. Check the nectarine slices once every hour to ensure that the temperature is not too high and that the slices have not burnt.
  • Store the dehydrated nectarines in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.

To dehydrate nectarines by sun-drying:

  • Spread the nectarine slices on a tray and then in sunlight until they are completely dry.
  • Store the dehydrated nectarines in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.

How to preserve nectarines by canning

Canning preserves nectarines for the longest time. 

If the nectarines are canned into sterile jars and processed in a water bath, they can be stored for about 2 years. If they are not processed in a water bath, they must be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.

Nectarines are usually canned in a sugar or honey syrup. Other fruits such as blueberries and spices can also be added to enhance the flavor. There are several recipes for canning nectarines. One such recipe can be found here.

How to select the best nectarines for preservation

Most preservation methods such as dehydration and canning require the fruit to be ripe. For best results, it is recommended to purchase partially ripe fruits and allow them to ripen at home.

The ripeness of nectarines can be identified by their:

  • Color: Ripe nectarines range from yellow to reddish yellow while unripe nectarines are green.
  • Aroma: Unripe nectarines exude little aroma while ripe nectarines exude a rich, sweet aroma.
  • Texture: Nectarines become softer as they ripen. Over-ripe nectarine will be too soft and have bruised spots while unripe nectarines will be too hard.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve nectarines”, and discussed the different methods used to preserve nectarines. We also looked at selecting the best nectarines for preservation.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/canning-nectarines/
https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-tell-when-nectarines-are-ripe/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.