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How to keep your crisp, fresh apple slices from turning brown and sad

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

Never get stuck with brown mush again, thanks to these handy tips

Oh, the sadness... when you pack apple slices in a lunch only to pull out limp, brown slices hours later. All it takes is about 10 minutes and some super-common household ingredients to stop crisp, white apples from turning gross and brown. You can pack apple slices for snacking or diced apples to throw into salads for school, work or on road trips. Let these easy methods show you the way to a better sliced-apple experience (and one that's way cheaper than buying those prepackaged apple slices at the grocery store).

More: Lunch ideas so easy your kids can make them — and they should

Never get stuck with brown mush again, thanks to these handy tips
Image: etienne voss/GettyImages


1. Citrus or pineapple juice

The high acidity of lemon and lime juice or pineapple juice keeps apple slices from oxidizing and turning brown. You can soak the apple slices in a bowl of cold water with the juice of a lemon or lime squeezed into it, or simply soak them in a bowl of pineapple juice. The slices will maintain a little bit of the flavor of whatever you soak them in, but not so much as to be overpowering.

2. Honey

Mix 2 tablespoons of honey into 1 cup of water, then toss your sliced apples with the mixture. Honey contains a compound that will prevent the apples from browning.

3. Sprite

It's not the healthiest option (I mean, it's soda), but soaking your apple slices in Sprite or another lemon-lime soda for about three minutes can prevent browning. Drain and store in an airtight container after soaking.

4. Cider vinegar

Add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. Soak your apple slices in the solution for about five minutes, then drain and store in an airtight container.

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5. Salt water

Submerge your cut apple slices in salt water, using a ratio of 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per 1 cup of water. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, then drain and store them in an airtight container. The salty flavor is pretty mild, but you can rinse off the slices if you find the flavor unpalatable.

6. Fruit-Fresh or citric acid powder

Use 1 teaspoon of Fruit-Fresh (a product used for canning fruits and veggies) or citric acid powder mixed with 1 cup of water to soak your apple slices. Soak for five minutes, then drain and store in an airtight container.

7. Plain water

Store your sliced apples in a container of water or a zip-top bag full of water with the extra air squeezed out of the bag before closing. If the surface of the apples don't come into contact with air, they won't brown.

More: After-school snacks your kids can prepare, because they've got hands, right?

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