It’s summer, which means it’s berry season! Pick your own, take a visit to a farmers market, or pick up several cases at your local grocery store. After purchasing all these berries, there are simple ways to help care for them. Whether it be washing or storing them, both are essential to help those berries last as long as possible.
Don’t Let One Bad Berry Ruin the Entire Container.
Even when you closely inspect the container, it may be easy to miss the several berries hiding in the middle. If you spot any moldy or spoiled berries, toss them away immediately. Molds will spread quickly. Removing bad berries will prevent any spreading to the rest of the bunch.
Know When to Wash Which Berry.
If you’ve ever washed your fruits without drying before storage, the fruit may have turned soggy within a day or two. Most fruits may be washed right away but should be dried completely before storing. Prevent any chances of letting them sitting in water. Raspberries should not be washed until right before they’re consumed.
Use Heat & Vinegar.
When you wash berries, consider using a solution of vinegar (1 cup vinegar for every 3 cups water) or a hot water bath. After, rinse it under cool water. These two methods help delay spoilage and extend shelf life.
Storing: Counter vs. Refrigerator.
When you buy berries, they may not be in the refrigerator but most people store them in the fridge when they get home. If you plan to eat them within a day, leaving them on the counter will be fine. Any longer and the berries should be placed in the fridge.
If you purchased a large case of berries you can’t finish in time, freeze them up to 6 months. Place them into freezer-friendly bags, which can later be used for fruit smoothies or baking.
Overripe Fruit? Not a Problem.
If the fruit is wrinkled and not molded, it is still edible. There are many uses for overripe fruit so think twice before throwing them away. Puree them in a blender, pour into an ice cube tray & freeze to make mini berry cubes. You can even mash them into a fruit spread to top off your pancakes or waffles.
There are many versatile uses for your favorite summer berries. Use fresh berries as a topping on your oatmeal or yogurt, sprinkle over salads, make infused water, or blend them into your favorite fruit smoothies.