Apple & Orange Meal Prep Fruit Salad – How to Keep Fruit Salad Fresh for a Week
For a fruit salad that keeps well, give this meal prep fruit salad a try! Learn how to keep fruit salad fresh for a week with a homemade citrus syrup and a few simple tips.
Typically, fruit salad is NOT ideal for meal prep. After sitting for a day or two, the fruit starts to brown, get soggy, or become sour. But, fruit is one of my favorite healthy snacks, and I’m more likely to eat it if it’s ready and waiting for me in the fridge.
That’s why I wanted to make a meal prep fruit salad that can last all week—but how? With this apple and orange fruit salad recipe, I’ll show you how to keep fruit salad fresh with 3 basic strategies:
- choose your fruits wisely
- chop your fruits properly
- add some sugar to preserve
Tips for Making Fruit Salad in Advance
Choose Meal Prep Fruit Salad Ingredients Wisely
Some fruits spoil faster than others, and some are more delicate than others. So, when making fruit salad in advance, it’s important to choose fruits that will last well without becoming soggy or sour.
Generally, most berries aren’t a great choice because they tend to fall apart and get soggy. But, some whole fruits with a skin—like blueberries and grapes—will hold up well in a meal prep fruit salad like this.
In terms of fruits that you have to cut, wetter, juicier, or softer fruits can be a risky choice. Fruits like watermelon can leak its juices throughout the week, and sliced banana will brown quickly in a fruit salad that’s made in advance.
My best recommendation for how to keep fruit salad fresh all week is to stick with simple apples and oranges. Or, add some heartier sliced fruits like mango and peach. Apples tend to brown over time, but the acid from the citrus will help to preserve them. And, both apples and oranges stay nice and sweet even after slicing!
Chop Fruits Properly
How you chop fruits for a meal prep fruit salad can make a huge difference. If you have the option to not chop some fruits (i.e. blueberries and grapes), just leave them whole! The fewer the juices in your fruit salad, the better.
For this apple and orange fruit salad recipe, I recommend first chopping your oranges. Wait to chop the apples until your citrus syrup is ready, so they don’t begin to brown.
When chopping oranges, the best way to minimize the juices is to start by slicing off the top and bottom of each orange, then slice along the edge of the orange to remove the rind. Then, slice and cube the peeled orange.
After making your citrus syrup, chop your apples into cubes as well. In terms of how to keep fruit salad fresh all week, it’s best to leave the skin on your apples. You can peel your apples if preferred, but they’ll hold up a bit better with the skin intact. That goes for other fruits with an edible skin, like peaches or pears.
Add a Bit of Sugar to Keep Fruit Salad Fresh All Week
Finally, the most important tip for how to keep fruit salad fresh for a week: add a bit of sugar to help preserve the fruit. You don’t need much sugar, but by tossing this meal prep fruit salad in just a bit of citrus syrup, you can keep it fresh and tasty for days!
In this apple and orange salad recipe, I made a simple citrus syrup using freshly-squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, and a bit of honey. You can also use regular refined sugar if you prefer.
Simply add all of those syrup ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. (Now’s a good time to chop those apples!) Once the citrus syrup has thickened up, pour it over your chopped apples and toss to coat, followed by your chopped oranges.
It’s a simple addition, but this citrus syrup can make a huge difference in making fruit salad that keeps well. Typically, the fruits in a meal prep fruit salad undergo oxidation the longer they sit, which is why they turn brown and soggy. But, just the small bit of sugar in this syrup helps to prevent oxidization and keep your fruit salad fresh!
How Long Does Meal Prep Fruit Salad Last?
Once your meal prep fruit salad is all tossed together, cover the bowl or transfer everything into airtight containers. The more airtight the seal is, the longer your fruit salad will last.
Then, store your apple and orange fruit salad in the fridge and it should last for up to 5 days. Portion it out as desired throughout the week and enjoy!