Want to know the secret to making your berries last longer? Keep berries fresh using the following tips!
This is exactly how the Chief MOM of MOMables manages to pack 3-4 days of school lunches without her berries spoiling!
Berry season is upon most of us these days, and all of those vibrant, sweet fruits are calling to us from road-side stands, farmer’s markets, and grocery stores.
While my children may attempt to devour the berries as soon as they are purchased, I try to hold a few back to use in our fresh school lunches and in easy summer desserts.
In the past, my refrigerator shelf life for berries was pretty short, especially if I was dealing with strawberries or raspberries. It seemed I would bring them home from the store and find them spoiling within a few short hours. While you can always whip up a batch of strawberry fruit leather before the berries all start to turn, you can also keep the berries fresh and whole in the fridge!
Now, thanks to a quick kitchen trick, I know how to keep berries fresh, giving me more time to use them as needed.
The secret to extending the life of fresh berries? White Vinegar. Check out this short video that shows you how to wash your berries or read step by step directions below.
Wasn’t that so easy? Wash strawberries, blueberries, and even blackberries! Note: I don’t recommend washing raspberries, washing them will actually cut their lifespan. With raspberries, refrigeration is key.
How To Keep Berries Fresh
- Once you bring your fresh berries home, the key to keeping it fresh is to kill any spores on the fruit. The pH of vinegar does that job.
- Place the berries in a large bowl and wash them in a vinegar-water bath: 1 cup of white vinegar and 8 cups of water.
- Let the berries sit in the vinegar-water bath, gently moving them to help dislodge any dirt, grime and letting the vinegar kill spores and bacteria.
- Drain the berries in a colander and then thoroughly rinse the fruit (to remove any vinegar flavor).
- Thicker skinned fruit (like strawberries or blueberries) can be dried in a salad spinner but delicate berries such as raspberries and blackberries should be dried on a towel, patting them with paper or cloth towels.
- Store the washed and dried fruit in a sealed container that has been lined with paper towels — if using an air-tight container, leave the lid slightly open to avoid natural moisture build-up. When I handle fruit I have purchased from my grocery store, I wash the original container and then re-use it, making sure to line it with paper towels.
Other Options To Keep Berries Fresh
- A quick hot-water bath (30 seconds in 125 degree water for strawberries, raspberries and blackberries; 30 seconds in 140 degree water for blueberries) has been shown to kill bacteria, resulting fewer berries going bad.
- Commercial produce cleaner, such as EatCleaner, are another good option for cleaning fresh berries and elongating their life in the refrigerator. This is one of those multi-use products because it also happens to keep your apples from browning.
Recipes Using Fresh Berries
With all these fresh berries on hand, you’ll need some delicious ways to use them up! A few of our favorites can be found below:
- Strawberry Fruit Leather
- Fruit & Yogurt Parfait
- Blueberry Syrup
- Strawberry Syrup
- Fruit & Lemonade Popsicles
- Rainbow Fruit Skewers
What will you make first using all of your fresh fruit?