How to prevent apples from browning (Day 14 of 31 days of Pinterest: Pinned to Done)

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How to prevent apple slices from browning

Today’s project was inpsired by this pin which was pinned from The Yummy Life.  (By the way her site is amazing – tons of great recipes.  Must go pin so more!)

Pinned Image

My husband and I both love apples.  And he would love to take apples slices to work to munch on throughout the day.  But you know what happens when you cut an apple – it turns brown almost immediately.  And buying those prepackaged packs of apples just doesn’t fit in the budget. 

So I was excited to try out her method of cutting and storing apples without them browning.  She had 4 methods in her post – salt water, lemon water, lemon soda, or citric acid.  I tried two – the lemon water and the lemon soda.

First you need to slice your apples.  I LOVE my apple corer/slicer.  Mine came from Pampered Chef years ago but I have actually seen the same type things in stores.  I use this ALL the time.   

How to prevent apple slices from browning

You press down and it cores and slices the apple in one step.  Amazing!  (Don’t know why the apple looks so yellow in this picture, it really was more white looking.)

How to prevent apple slices from browning

Then prepare your mixture to soak the apples in. 

How to prevent apple slices from browning

On the left is lemon water – 1 TBSP of lemon juice to 1 cup of water.    (I didn’t have a fresh lemon on hand so I used bottled lemon juice.  Fresh squeezed lemon juice may work better.)

On the right is a can of lemon-lime soda (I used Sierra Mist) but Sprite or store brand lemon-lime soda would be fine too.  (Super hard for me to say soda!  I am a GA girl so everything is “Coke” here – but for this post I will try to remember to call it soda – LOL!)

How to prevent apple slices from browning

Soak the apples for 3-5 minutes.  I did one red apple and one green apple in each bowl just to see if the type of apple made a difference too.

I then pulled them out of the water and soda and let them sit for 10-15 min just to see what they would do.  Here they are after sitting.  Not really turning brown at all!

How to prevent apple slices from browning

Lemon-lime soda apples…

How to prevent apple slices from browning

Lemon water apples…

How to prevent apple slices from browning

Then I bagged them in baggies, labeled them, and stuck them in the fridge. 

This was about 6 hours later.  A little brown but not bad at all.

How to prevent apple slices from browning

And this was the next day.  I think the ones soaked in the lemon-lime soda are a little better but honestly they are about the same. 

How to prevent apple slices from browning

But this is MUCH better than just cutting and sticking them in a bag without treating them at all.  I know my husband and I would have no problem eating these at all.

How to prevent apple slices from browning

So there’s my little science experiment!  And I am looking forward to enjoying my own DIY cut apple packets – convenient, healthy and simple to do!  Perfect for packing in lunches, taking on a picnic or even for preparing an apple tray to serve at a party.

Do you have any tips for keeping apples from browning? 

Ever tried any of these methods?

I am joining Nester from Nesting Place in writing a 31 days series in October.  You can see all the other hundreds of people writing a 31 days series here.

And I am excited to have 3 blogging friends join me in the insanity! Check out their series by clicking on the buttons below.

31 Days of Blessings in Disguise    31 days of support for your special needs parenting journey   31 days of Homemade Living

And my sister-in-law is joining along too!   Writing about their transition as they move across the country with four children. 

31 days of Rockin transition



  1. Neat! I’ve only tried the lemon water method! I’ve not heard if the others! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for doing this! I’d heard of using sprite but never tried it :). And the Pampered Chef apple cutter really is better than store-bought, I’ve had several and it’s the best! Oh, and here in PA it’s “pop” lol.

    Love your blog, keep up the inspiration!!!

  3. If you use Fuji apples, you don’t have to treat them at all. They don’t get brown. They are sweet & crispy…my favorite.

  4. I can not wait to try this!! My little boy loves apples and this will work great for his school lunches. I stumbled upon your blog from another blog and just love it! I get so many ideas! Thank you!

  5. I totally understand about the “Coke” thing. Here in NC they look at me weird when I ask about my “coke”. “I thought you ordered Dr. Pepper?”, they say. “Yeah, but…Nevermind.” I guess it’s exclusively GA and not just the south. I always do the lemon juice thing with the apples; I’ve never tried “soda”, but good to know it works in case that’s all I have on hand sometime.
    MaryEllen@ImperfectHomemaker recently posted..Pretty Frosted Glass DoorMy Profile

  6. It could be yellow because your camera metered on the white and turned it neutral gray. Or it could beyyellow because of the lighting. Just some thoughts. Love that you compared these. Never hearted of the salt water.
    lisa recently posted..I met Dana at WhipstitchMy Profile

  7. I too have heard of/used the lemon juice. Interesting thought about the Seirra Mist. It never would have crossed my mind.
    Heather @ Thrifty Stories recently posted..Day 15: Homemade Jewelry CleanerMy Profile

  8. just wanted you to know I READ THIS ;0) and will try it!!!

  9. I’m definitely going to try this out. My son likes apples, but won’t eat a whole apple, it has to be sliced and peeled. Needless to say, I can’t cut the apples in the mornings and leave them for his after school snack. Now I’ll be able to! Thanks so much for conducting your experiments!

  10. I’ve done the lemon juice before, but I’ve also done pineapple juice, which also works great! Can’t remember where I heard/read that, but shortly after learning that trick, I used pineapple juice on some apple slices since I had some on hand and took the Ziploc bag of slices with us to the Arboretum … the kids loved ’em!
    Jennifer recently posted..My new tickler fileMy Profile

    • haven’t heard about the pineapple trick. might have to try that. wonder if you can refrigerate the juice and use it multiple times??

  11. I always have cinnamon and sugar mixed for the kids and years ago starting sprinkling that on the apples in baggies…very tasty and keeps them from getting brown as well

  12. I first used vitamin C powder and distilled water. It works fine, actually removes brown where the apple corer touched the apples. (The corer was a cheap one, not stainless. I use a ceramic knife to cut apples and potatoes, because it avoids the iron ions which go brown fast. I guess it’s rust.) When I ran out of the ascorbic acid, I used a bit of white vinegar in the water, and it worked; but a chef told me that apple cider vinegar would be better (I never tried it). Lemon works well.

  13. A dip in salted water will also stop the apple slices from turning brown.


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