How To Store Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries so They Stay Fresh Longer

Nobody wants the time spent at the farmers market looking to find berries that will be moldy next Monday. This guide to storing raspberries and blackberries helps mitigate quickly perishing produce once and for all. If you make extra efforts in the beginning, you can save on the cost of your berry purchase.

Berries are a wonderful addition to any dish, but they can be tricky to store. Fortunately, with the right techniques and equipment, you can keep your berries fresh for longer and make the most of their flavor. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to store berries in vinegar and water, best storage practices, and how to use up leftover berries.

 

Pick The Best Berries From The Bunch

Berry Season is here and the lure of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries can’t be resisted. Selecting the best berries from the supermarket is important for long life. A single moldy strawberry can ruin an entire strawberry bunch. Get rid of all of what’s bruised. The blackberry stains on the clamshell containers can show ripe fruit that has been accumulating in the bottom of the bag. Instead find firm, smooth, lustrous berries.

Obtaining the best shelf-life for most berries involves the simple trick of choosing berries that are mold-free, beautifully colored, smell pleasant, and without blemishes. While in the grocery store or farmers market, carefully examine all berries in their original packaging and only purchase or pick the most high-quality berries. The perfectly chosen berry will taste great, stay fresh longer, store well, and have a longer shelf life.

 

Why Fresh Berries Go Bad 

Most people say it is best to not wash berries right before they are eaten because moisture can cause mold to grow on berries and quickly spread into the baskets of fruits. Good news: The berries should be soaked and dried before they go into the fridge to prevent them from forming a moldy mess.

 

Berries Deserve A Spa-like Treatment: Vinegar & Water Solution

 One way to extend the life of your berries is by soaking them in a mixture of one part white vinegar to four parts ice cold water after you bring them home from the grocery store. This will help kill any bacteria and mold spores that may have been on the fruit when you bought it.

To do this, simply add one cup of white vinegar to 4 cups of ice-cold water in a large bowl or container and submerge your berries in the solution. I submerge my berries in the vinegar wash for about 15-20 minutes depending on the quantity and how much dirt is present on the fresh berries. Be gentle as you wash berries in the vinegar solution. Raspberries are very delicate so be very gentle while rinsing and manipulating them, whereas blueberries and strawberries are more forgiving.

 After about 20 minutes, gently rinse the berries in a cold water bath until there’s no more odor from the vinegar rinse. Don’t worry, your berries will not taste like vinegar given the dilution of the vinegar rinse. Let the berries sit and drain in a colander for five minutes and pat dry with paper towels. For firmer berries, like strawberries or blueberries, a salad spinner can be used. 

After drying the berries, lay the berries flat on a paper towel in a single layer. Overcrowding berries will expedite spoilage and cause the berries to become mushy. Let the berries dry for about an hour. 

I have noted that a vinegar wash seems to be the best way to preserve the freshness of berries. After using this technique, I am able to keep my berries mold-free and fresh for about 10 days in the fridge.

 

Best Storage Practices: Don’t Crowd Your Berries When Storing

Crowded fruits are quickly smashed, causing faster spoilage. After washing strawberries, put them in a large, flat container filled with paper liners and a paper towel to allow them to breathe and dry. Cover the container with a loose lid to keep the moisture away. No airtight containers here. Use produce-specific storage bags that improve airflow so they stay fresh.   

Do Not Use Airtight Containers: Produce -Specific Storage Options

Elabo Food Storage Produce Containers Fridge Produce Saver contains a vented lid system that regulates air flow in and out of the containers and controls interior humidity that keeps fruits and vegetables from spoiling so your food will have a longer shelf-life. These containers also have a filter tray at the bottom to elevate produce away from moisture.

LUXEAR Vegetable Containers for Fridge Produce comes as a 3-pack BPA-Free fridge organizer. Each storage container is designed with adjustable vents that regulate airflow in and out, and control humidity to keep produce fresh for long periods of time. A filterable basket that functions as a colander and a partition that is used to separate different foods in each container prevent overcrowding of produce.

 OXO 1.6 qt Greensave Produce Keeper is my favorite container for storing fresh berries. This uses an all-natural, non-toxic activated carbon filter to trap and absorb ethylene gas, therefore slowing down the spoilage of fresh berries and other produce. Inside there’s a removable basket that elevates and allows for airflow and prevention of moisture buildup. Finally, the lids vent to maintain proper humidity for the berries. 

FRESHPAPER is a great way to naturally keep food fresh. The product uses infused organic botanicals that are chemical-free, food-safe, plastic-free, and 100% BPA-free. These organic botanicals naturally extend the life of fresh produce up to 2-4 times longer. The sheets are reusable so save you even more money. Just add the FRESHPAPER to your fruit bowl, berry container, or crisper drawer; it works either in or out of the fridge. You can trim the paper down to fit custom containers as well.

 

 How To Freeze Fresh Berries

If you want to enjoy your berries even longer than just a few days then freezing is always an option! To freeze your berries properly, start by picking the best berries of the bunch, washing the aforementioned vinegar solution, and then patting them dry with paper towels. Or on day 8 or 10, remove previously prepared and uneaten berries from the fridge to freeze. Next, arrange single layers of washed fruit on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or wax paper and place into the freezer until frozen solid (about 2 hours). Once froz
en solid, transfer berry pieces into freezer-safe bags or containers for long-term storage (up to 6 months).
 

I like two options for long-term berry storage. Zip Top Reusable Food Storage bags are a cool option. They are lightweight, convenient, stand up straight, dishwasher safe, and reusable. They are not only great for berry storage, but I have safely stored soups, sauces, purees, and smoothies in them too. The Zwilling Fresh and Save Vacuum Starter is a great tool to store your berries without freezer burn as well as other food items. You must make sure your berries are dry and remove all the air from the containers with the vacuum device. If your berries are prepared as stated in this blog, freezing them should give them a shelf-life of 6 months to a year. Finally, label each bag/container with the type of berry + date before placing them into the freezer.

 

How To Use Left Over Berries 

Not ready to eat all those delicious strawberries yet? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways you can use up your leftover berries! From smoothies & jams/jellies/preserves/compotes (to name a few), making desserts such as pies & cobblers; even adding chopped fruits onto salads & oatmeal bowls – just get creative! Remember – every little bit counts so don’t let anything go wasted if you don’t have to.

Storing berries can be tricky but with these tips above you should be able to keep your beloved summertime goodies fresher longer without losing any nutritional value along the way! Whether it’s soaking in vinegar & water solution; using proper storage containers; freezing; or finding alternative ways for usage – just remember there’s always something new (& fun!) around every corner.

 

How To Store Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries so They Stay Fresh Longer FAQs

  

What is the best way to store fresh berries in the refrigerator?

Store washed berries in a single layer, in large, wide containers so as not to crush berries. The container should be lined with a paper towel and covered with a loose lid to allow air to circulate and minimize moisture build-up and allow ethylene gas to escape to prevent the ripening of the fruit.

 

Should berries be stored in airtight containers?

Berries should not be stored in an airtight container. The berries need proper airflow to reduce humidity so mold won’t grow and allow ethylene gas to escape to prevent the ripening of the fruit.

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