How to Prepare Fruit


Even highly original and visionary artists use the same simple techniques to prepare their canvases or achieve basic visual effects. It's the same in the kitchen. Cooking involves a great deal of creativity and personal expression, but there are a few basic prep steps, like zesting a lemon or pitting a cherry, that are pretty much the same for both professionals and amateurs.

In this article, we'll take you step by step through several techniques that will come in handy when preparing a variety of fruit. We'll start with tips on how to juice citrus on the next page.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.

How to Juice Citrus

Citrus refers to fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. They are usually known for the strong smell and, of course, popular juices.

Try It!
Here is a recipe from our collection that uses citrus juice:

Drinking freshly squeezed juice is among the
best things you can do for your body. While
we're used to getting our juice in cartons or
gallon jugs, juicing citrus is fairly easy, even
in the morning for people who aren't awake
until after they've consumed their daily fruit
juice.
  1. Cut fruit in half on cutting board; with tip of knife, remove any visible seeds.

    Use the tip of your knife to remove any seeds.
    Use the tip of your knife to
    remove any seeds.

  2. Use a citrus reamer or squeeze fruit tightly with hand, squeezing juice into small glass or dish. Remove any remaining seeds from juice.

    A citrus reamer will help your extract the most juice.
    A citrus reamer will help your
    extract the most juice.

Zesting is another common technique used with citrus fruits. Learn how to zest on the next page.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.

How to Zest Citrus

Many recipes call for the zest, or rind, of a fruit for a little added flavor. Here's how to get that tricky ingredient:
  1. Hold fruit in one hand. With the other hand, remove the colored portion of the peel.

  2. To make strips, use a vegetable peeler.

    To make strips of zest, use a vegetable peeler.
    To make strips of zest,
    use a vegetable peeler.

  3. To make smaller pieces of zest, use a zester.

    For a more fine zest, use a zest.
    For a more fine zest, use a zest.
  4. For especially fine pieces, grate the peel with a box grater.

    For very fine zest, you will need a box grater.
    For very fine zest, you
    will need a box grater.

  5. Whatever method you use, be careful to remove only the outermost layer of peel and not any of the bitter, white pith.

Pitting a fruit can be a difficult task. Find out how to remove the pit of a nectarine in the next section.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.

How to Pit a Nectarine

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Here is a recipe from our collection that uses nectarines:

When using a nectarine in a recipe you have to first remove the stone.
  1. Insert knife blade into stem end of nectarine; slice into halves lengthwise to the pit, turning nectarine while slicing.

  2. Remove knife blade; twist halves to pull apart.

  3. Remove pit from nectarine using tip of paring knife; discard.

    Taking care, remove the pit with the tip of a knife.
    Taking care, remove the pit
    with the tip of a knife.

Cherries are another fruit that need to be pitted before used in a recipe. Find out how on the next page.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.

How to Pit Cherries

Try It!
Here are some recipes from our collection that use cherries:

Cherries can be quite delicious, but their stones can get in the way. Here's how to pit them:
  1. Slice an "X" into ends of cherries with paring knife.

  2. Squeeze out cherry pits with thumb and forefinger.

    Gently squeeze the pit out of the cherry.
    Gently squeeze the pit out of the cherry.

Though they are harder to find and might cost a little more, tropical fruits offer wide array of dazzling flavors. Learn how to prepare papaya in the next section.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.

How to Prepare Papaya

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Here are some recipes from our collection that use papaya:

The papaya is native to the Western Hemisphere, most likely the Caribbean, but early in its history, it spread to other subtropical areas.

The fruits, which are shaped like elongated melons or pears, vary in size from about 1/2 pound to 15 pounds.
  1. Slice papaya lengthwise in half on cutting board. With large spoon, scoop out seeds; discard.

  2. Remove peel from papaya using vegetable peeler or paring knife.

    Peel the papaya using a vegetable peeler or paring knife.
    Peel the papaya using a vegetable
    peeler or paring knife.

Find out more about how to use the avocado in cooking on the next page.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.

How to Prepare Avocado

Try It!
Here is a recipe from our collection that uses avocados:

Avocados, native to Mexico, are widely loved
by Americans for their use in guacamole.
They have a rich, butter-like texture and a
mild, almost nutty flavor.
  1. Place avocado on cutting board. Insert knife into stem end; slice into halves lengthwise to the pit, turning avocado while slicing.

    Turn the avocado around the knife, thereby slicing it in half.
    Turn the avocado around the knife,
    thereby slicing it in half.

  2. Remove knife blade; twist both halves to pull apart.

    Twist the halves of the avocado and pull them apart.
    Twist the halves of the avocado
    and pull them apart.

  3. Press knife blade into pit; twist knife to pull pit free from avocado.

    Lodge the knife blade inside the avocado pit and pull it free.
    Lodge the knife blade inside the
    avocado pit and pull it free.

  4. Sprinkle avocado with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

  5. For slices, cut avocado halves lengthwise on cutting board. Starting at stem end, carefully peel skin away from each avocado piece. Slice to desired size.

  6. If you will be mashing the avocado, perhaps for guacamole, there's no need to be so precise. Simply scoop avocado meat out of skin using a large spoon.

Now that you know how to prepare your favorite fruits, you're ready to use them in all kinds of recipes, from main entrees to desserts.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Fruit Trees: Discover the wide variety of fruit trees and where they typically grow on our Fruit Trees page.