10 Fruit Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Fresh fruit is so abundantly appetizing. It can be sweet and sour, crisp and crunchy, or soft and juicy. It is packed full of vitamins, often thirst-quenching, and there is so much variety as well, with seasonal fruits delighting all year-round. On top of that, but fruit is so versatile too. It can be used in a range of recipes, from sweet desserts like pavlova to savory delights such as mango chutney. And don't forget all the beverages that highlight fruit, from blended smoothies to bright and tasty lemonade. 

What's the fruit you like to eat most as a snack, with dinner, or as a dessert? There's a good chance it's a banana, which happens to be the most popular fruit in the U.S., according to a recent report from the International Fresh Produce Association. Or perhaps you're like more than half of Americans who are constantly stocking their fridge with strawberries, grapes, apples, and watermelons. Whatever your preferences are, there are tons of recipes out there to showcase the beauty of fruit. And there are plenty of tips and tricks that make preparing and working with fruit even easier and more enjoyable — from lemon hacks, to cherry tomato tips (yes, they are a fruit.) With so many ways to enjoy fruit, there're plenty of juicy hacks to try that you'll wish you knew sooner. Here's your chance to try a few, and maybe you can even come up with a few of your own. 

1. Pit a peach with pliers

Sometimes you have to think outside the kitchen utensil drawer to discover great fruit hacks. Rather than perspiring during the summer months trying to pit your peaches, reach into your tool kit and grab yourself a pair of pliers. We all know just how wonderfully soft and juicy peaches are — that is, until you get to that rock hard, stuck-in stone in the middle. It's fine to bite your way around it if you're eating a peach fresh, but if you want to make a Texas style peach cobbler or classic peach Bellini cocktail, for example, then you'll have to remove those pits. And there's an easy trick to do it in a way that will leave you with more fruit that's easier to cut, too. 

That's where the pliers come in handy, according to a tip posted on TikTok. Insert a pair of needle nose pliers into the top of a peach, and push down until you can use the tips of the pliers to grab the pit. Then, twist the pliers inside the peach, and you should be able to easily pull them out along with the pit. You'll be left with much less fruit wasted than when you try and hack around the pit. This quick and simple hack is especially great if you have a lot of peaches to pit. With so many great ways to eat peaches, you may want to keep those pliers handy in the kitchen.

2. Rinse bananas to avoid fruit flies

There's something so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing about a fruit bowl that's filled with healthy, colorful goodness. It's no surprise that overflowing bowls of fruit make such perfect still life subjects. They brighten up tables and kitchen counters, and because they're easy to grab, you might be more tempted to reach for a banana before you rush out the door. Plus, if you add the right selection, kids may be more tempted to reach for some fresh fruit rather than a candy bar after school. However, what's not attractive, and is actually rather off-putting, are those pesky fruit flies that circle around your fruit bowl. No matter how many times you swat them away, once they're there, they're there to stay it seems. Luckily, you can avoid fruit flies with a tip from TikTok.

As soon as you get home from the store, be sure to wash your bananas under running water (without peeling them, of course). This rinses away fruit fly eggs that may be on the stems, which hatch once they're in your fruit bowl. You already douse apples and pears under running water before eating them, but because you peel bananas, you might not have even thought about giving them a quick shower. One commenter on the post, suggests adding white vinegar to your sink afterward to make sure all eggs are gone, while another adds that separating the bananas from the stem helps avoids fruit flies, too.

3. Separate orange segments more simply

There's nothing quite as wonderful as biting into a piece of orange and feeling that sensation and taste as the fresh, citrusy juice bursts out. And one of the best ways to eat oranges is to peel and cut them so that they're in natural segments. Kids love grabbing these as well, making them the ultimate fruity finger food. So, you just peel your orange and then start cutting the flesh into separate the pieces, right? You can, but it's definitely not the best or easiest way to segment an orange. Instead, try a tip shared by Food Network Canada

Start by slicing off the ends of your orange, so that the fruit inside and its natural segmentation can be seen on the top and bottom. Then make one cut from top to bottom, at a point where there is a segment, slicing through the peel to the middle of the orange. Using your thumbs, pull apart the orange where the slit is and push against the peel with your fingers, so that the orange opens out. Once the peel is laid out flat, you can simply pick off the segments and eat them straight away. This is a fun way to serve oranges to kids, especially if you open up the orange in front of them, as if by magic. 

4. Make mandarin pieces with one cut

Don't you just love a fruit hack that is not only easy, but looks cool while you're doing it as well? Next time you're in the mood for a deliciously succulent mandarin, you can amaze anyone you know by showing them how to peel and cut the citrus fruit into small pieces with just one deft slice with a knife. Just  grab a knife, a chopping board, and a mandarin, and follow a simple suggestion from TikTok

To start, slice the unpeeled fruit in half, across the middle, so that the halves have either the top or the bottom part of the fruit. Hold one of the halves, with the fruity center facing up. With your fingers on the peel edge and your thumbs on the bottom of the fruit, push your thumbs upward so that the rounded half inverts and the segments are sticking out. Then simply pull off each of the pieces. They should come away from the peel pretty easily. Do the same with the other half, and you're ready to enjoy. Once you've tried this out, you'll probably never cut open a mandarin any other way again. And what better way to eat such a juicy fruit than in these hydrating, bite-size pieces. 

5. Make fruit pops for kids

While it's not uncommon for kids to enjoy a variety of fruit, so often the challenge comes with getting them to try it in the first place, so they can discover how much they actually like it. While there are few children who will turn down chocolate and chips, many may not have the same reaction to a fruity serving of vitamin C. The trick, as with so many parenting problems, is to turn food and eating into a fun activity. And the TODAY Parenting Team has a great suggestion to make snacking on fruit a little more exciting for kids by building fruit pops for little ones.

Literally all you need to do is take a pieces of fruit, such as a strawberries, pineapple chunks, or small orange segments, and pop them on the end of a lollipop stick. Cutting fruit up makes it more appetizing and easier to eat for youngsters. And from there, you can make it even more fun by laying out a selection of fruits and lollipop sticks and letting kids build their own fruit pops — mixing and matching encouraged! And if this trick happens to work wonders in getting your kids to eat fruit, then by all means try it out with veggies, too. 

6. Peel an apple the easy way

Classic desserts are so wonderfully comforting, and one of the best has to be a delicious apple pie with the soft, sweet fruit center, wrapped in buttery pastry and served with a scoop of ice. cream. It's dishes like this that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and are perfect for a family meal after a splendid roast. There's something so honest about a homemade pie that makes anyone eating it feel loved and cared for. 

When it comes to apple pie specifically, one of your tasks in making this dessert (and plenty of other apple dishes) is to peel the fruit. Make it easier with a seamless technique posted on TikTok by @cloudykitchen. Take a regular vegetable peeler and peel a circular strip around the top of your apple, staying as close to the stem as you can. As you get to the end of the circle, and without taking your peeler off the apple, continue down the side of the apple. Turn the fruit in your hand as you do so, and when you reach the other end of the apple, continue peeling by creating another circle here, too. Continuing the fluid movement, rotate the apple once again and move the peeler down the side of the apple. Finish up by peeling the sides of the apple from top to bottom, moving around the fruit until you've removed all the skin. 

7. Open a pineapple without a knife

Pineapples promise a distinct tropical taste and are super versatile. However, with its prickly top, tough, armour-like skin, and hard core, it can be a challenge to peel, cut, and prepare a pineapple. It can roll off your chopping board as you hack into it, and the rough exterior can hurt your hands. Plus, it's easy to end up losing a lot of fruit when you try and separate the flesh from all the parts you want to discard. Next time, avoid the hassle and try this fantastic tip posted on TikTok that makes pineapple prep so much easier. All you need is to do is twist, thud, and roll to get pineapple pieces from a whole fruit. And unbelievably, you don't even need a knife!

Start by twisting the top of your pineapple so that the whole green part comes off cleanly. Next, on a hard surface, tap the bottom of the pineapple down with some gusto. Turn the pineapple in a circle as you go, repeating the thudding about 10 times. Then, lie the fruit down on its side and roll it along your countertop. As you do so, you want to really press down with as much weight as you can with both hands, so that you're slightly crushing the pineapple inside as it moves. Finally, set the fruit upright, grab a spike, wiggle it until it pops out, and you should have a juicy piece of pineapple on the end. 

8. Hull strawberries with a straw

It may not be one of life's greatest conundrums, but there's something delightfully delicious about a hack that is straightforward, does one job really well, and changes the way you'll do something in the future. One of the most beloved fruits is the strawberry and it's fantastic to eat them whole. However, the green bit at the top isn't appetizing, so you need to get rid of this first. If you've ever tried twisting it off, you know it can be tough to remove this way, and you may squash the fruit into a pulp in the process. Slicing the top off can do the trick, but you'll most likely take some of the scrumptious strawberry with it, and you definitely don't want to waste any if you're sharing a punnet. Instead, try this simple and foolproof hulling method from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

Take a drinking straw and some ready-to-eat strawberries. After ruffling the green top a little, so it's not flattened against the fruit, insert the straw into the strawberry from the bottom, in the middle. Push the straw upward through the center of the strawberry and out through the other side. The green, leafy part should pop up and away in one piece without ripping away any extra fruit or ruining the intact look of each strawberry. This method is quick and easy, and you'll be glad you discovered it next time you're preparing traditional strawberries and cream for Wimbledon

9. Turn grapes into sour candies

Do you love the tart flavor of Sour Patch Kids? Do you also avoid any type of candies because of the sugar? We've got the perfect solution for you. If you're craving some sweet and sour goodness, try out this TikTok trend that turns fruit into a healthier version of your favorite sour candy. 

All you need are some grapes (you can use fresh or frozen, depending on your preference) and a lime. Simply slice your grapes in half lengthways, and then squeeze lime juice over the top, If you don't have a fresh citrus fruit for this, then you can sprinkle it from a bottle instead. Let the acidic juice soak the inside of the grapes and try one to see if it stops you from reaching for a bag of candies instead. 

A good tip is to use green grapes for this hack rather than red, as they have a more tart taste. However, based on the post comments, it seems others have used red grapes, or even frozen blackberries, to achieve the same sour candy effect. And others have enhanced the sweetness by rolling their grapes in Jell-O or Kool Aid powder. 

10. Slice watermelon with a double decker technique

Watermelons are so darned delicious, but they're pretty large and have a thick peel, making them quite unwieldy to cut open and slice into small pieces. It can take time, get pretty messy, and you might end up with chunks that aren't evenly sized. Thankfully, there's a way to work smarter, not harder, with a pretty clever watermelon cutting hack posted on Twitter. This double-decker technique will get you two layers of watermelon pieces from a slice, and you don't even need a chopping board. 

Start by cutting your watermelon into big segments and hold one of these in your hand. Run a long, thin metal spatula or knife along the fruit where it meets the peel, but keep it in place. Chop off a piece at the far end and then move the utensil along the fruit once more to halve it lengthways. You should now have two long pieces of watermelon detached but sitting in the curved peel. With a chopping motion, cut pieces of watermelon on the first layer, tilting the fruit slightly so that they fall off the slice, preferably into a container. Next, slice down the center of the lower layer lengthways, then cut across to create cubes that will also fall off just like the top deck did. If you practice and pick up speed, this is a fast and efficient way to cut up a big watermelon.