Nobody desires to spend their Saturday stalking the farmers marketplace for stunning berries which are moldy come Monday. These recommendations on how to retailer strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries will assist you to mitigate the insanity of rapidly perishing produce as soon as and for all. With just a bit additional effort up entrance, you’ll get monetary savings, forestall meals waste, and preserve your peak season berries contemporary lengthy sufficient to take pleasure in them out of hand or prepared to use in berry desserts and treats all season lengthy.
Choose the perfect berries from the bunch
Whether or not you’re buying them from a grocery retailer or choosing them your self, selecting the right berries is vital to their longevity. As a result of berries are fragile fruits which are thin-skinned, one moldy strawberry can flip the entire bunch. Select and discard any which are already bruised, slimy, or spoiled. When you’re noticing blackberry stains on the clamshell container or strawberry juices pooling on the backside of the carton, it’s a superb indicator that there are a pair berries previous their prime within the combine. As a substitute, search out agency, plump, shiny berries. When you’ve already bought some squished berries readily available, don’t waste them: Save them for smoothies, make a breezy berry compote to high pancakes, or soak and mash in rum for a tangy, syrupy ice cream topping.
Give your berries the spa remedy
Washing strawberries earlier than use could seem counterintuitive—we all know that moisture and dampness are the enemy when storing produce—however giving them a fast vinegar bathtub (with a diluted vinegar answer of 3 cups of water to 2 Tbsp. white vinegar) as quickly as you’re residence from the market will kill any present mould spores and lengthen your contemporary strawberries’ shelf life. Rinse totally to take away any lingering vinegar style, then dry the berries gently to keep away from bruising.
Don’t crowd your berries when storing
Crowded berries get smushed simply, main to speedier spoilage. After washing, as an alternative of returning your berries to their unique packaging, allow them to breathe by storing contemporary strawberries in a large, flat container lined with paper towels. Then cowl the container with a loose-fitting lid to let extra moisture (a breeding floor for micro organism) escape. You don’t need to use hermetic containers right here. For straightforward and environment friendly storage—sans paper towels—use produce-specific storage containers that promote airflow to assist preserve these berries contemporary. We just like the Oxo Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keeper, which has an elevated, detachable colander that lifts produce up from the container partitions for max airflow and minimal berry rotting. This produce keeper additionally has a carbon filter that traps and absorbs ethylene gasoline (a plant hormone that hastens the ripening and rotting course of). Consider it as a mini fridge crisper drawer with adjustable vents to keep optimum moisture ranges on your fruits and veggies.
When you actually need to guarantee extended freshness, toss a sheet of FreshPaper into the container earlier than placing your berries within the fridge. These compostable paper sheets are infused with natural spices (like fenugreek) which are naturally antibacterial and antifungal, which assist offset spoilage.
One other professional tip: Keep away from storing berries within the coldest nook zones of your fridge the place they’re vulnerable to getting frostbitten. As a substitute, retailer them entrance and heart the place the temperature is much less frigid. (This additionally helps to preserve them high of thoughts, making certain you keep in mind to take pleasure in them sooner moderately than later.)
Freeze them for later
Even when you know the way to retailer strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries correctly within the fridge, you continue to may end up overwhelmed by extra fruit than you’ll be able to presumably use. When you’re blessed with an abundance of contemporary berries that you simply completely know you received’t have the ability to take pleasure in earlier than they spoil, stash them within the freezer for long-term storage. All the identical guidelines apply: Choose solely the perfect berries, toss out the spoiled ones, rinse them in vinegar diluted with chilly water, and rigorously and totally pat dry. Word: Generally you’ll need to freeze entire berries, however in the event you’re freezing strawberries, we suggest you hull them first for ease of use later.
For higher outcomes along with your frozen strawberries, begin by spreading them out right into a single layer on a baking sheet and freezing till strong. Then you’ll be able to put them in a sealable bag earlier than storing them within the freezer for six months to a yr. When you’re on the lookout for reusable freezer baggage, take into account the silicone ziptop baggage we use for (nearly) all the things—they get up by themselves and are dishwasher protected. To forestall freezer burn and preserve your berries in tip-top form, watch out to take away as a lot air as attainable from the luggage earlier than freezing. The easiest way to take away 100% of the air is to use a vacuum sealer, just like the Zwilling Recent & Save, which we use often with each plastic baggage and glass containers.