Apples are a great fruit to pack in the lunchbox: they’re cheap, liked by most people, and last a good while in the fruit bowl. But there’s a big problem with them too: how to stop apples going brown!!
A child who isn’t that keen in the first place is just not going to eat an apple that is brown. Neither would I, it’s just not appealing at all. But you’ll be pleased to know that there is more than one way around this problem. So take a look and pick your favourite!
Use Lemon Juice
Using lemon juice to stop your apple slices going brown is probably my favourite method.
Once you’ve cored and sliced your apple, simply get a pastry brush and paint the exposed areas with some lemon juice. Don’t soak it, just use enough to coat it. And I don’t use fresh lemon juice, as that just seems wasteful. I use the bottled kind, or the one shaped like a squeezy lemon 🙂 Just pour a little into an egg cup or other small container, dip your brush in, and quickly coat the cut areas.
Pineapple and lime juice also work particularly well, so it just depends what you have around.
Soak In Water
If you have the time then you can soak your apple slices in either soda water or just regular water. Soda water works marginally better, but to be honest it’s a barely noticeable difference so I wouldn’t waste your supplies. Regular water is fine.
So cut your apple and pop the pieces in a bowl of water for a while (about 30 mins is best) before draining and packing in the lunchbox.
Use Pink Lady Apples
There’s clearly a scientific reason for this, but I’m not a scientist so… I’ll just tell you that my friends who use Pink Lady apples and pack them straight into a container and then cover it do not have the problem with apple slices going brown.
I really do not know why, but there’s clearly something in them, or not in them, that stops the browning issue.
Use a Hair Bobble
Sounds unlikely but this really works. You might have seen it on Pinterest using an elastic band, but to make it more child-friendly (no one wants a twangy elastic-band injury) I use a cheap and clean hair bobble.
Think of the core as a square shape and cut your way around it. Cut down one side next to the core, turn 90 degrees and repeat. Keep going around the apple until you have eight apple segments.
Hold them together as the whole apple, in one hand, and put a hair bobble over the apple with the other hand. It keeps everything all together and stops the air getting to the cut pieces of apple. Therefore, the apple doesn’t turn brown!
Coat Your Apples
Oh so yummy, but not a method to try if you’re short on time when packing the lunchbox. You can prevent the problem of browning if you cover the cut areas with something so they aren’t exposed to the air, and so then the browning will not take place. This could be as simple as covering the apple with yogurt, or something that takes a little longer, like a nutty crumble coating.
Make Unsweetened Applesauce
Unsweetened applesauce contains all the appley goodness with nothing taken out, but because the apples are cooked this means that the sauce will not go brown. Nothing else is added to the apples if you follow my method of making applesauce.
Applesauce is also really easy to pack into a lunchbox and is freezeable too. So make up a batch and freeze a few portions for when you need them.
I hope that’s given you at least one usable tip for stopping apples going brown in the lunchbox, and if you have any others then I’d love to hear from you 🙂