If you’ve spent hours picking fresh berries, or even just picked through baskets of them at the grocery store, you’ll want to know how to make berries last longer. They are, after all, one of the best flavors of summer so why not make them last?
I adore summer berries: whole, sliced, frozen and plunked into lemonade, crushed in a cocktail, blended into a smoothie, simmered into a jelly or jam. Oh, and then there’s my favorite Strawberry Bread, Strawberry Rhubarb Mini-pies, and my Blueberry Lemon Bread recipes! With all the ways to use them, I’m amazed at all the times I’ve had to throw moldy berries away. Until I learned this trick.
Ordinarily, you should hold off washing produce until just before using it. Berries (and melons) are exceptions to that rule. Washing them properly right away will actually prolong their lifespan (though for melons stick with homemade fruit and vegetable wash).
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Homemade Berry Wash
- Simply mix one part white vinegar and five parts cool water.
- Soak the berries for a couple of minutes, then remove them to dry on paper towels, or spin them for fifteen seconds in a salad spinner.
- While berries dry, wash the container they came in using the vinegar mix to kill lingering mold spores. Be sure to toss out any padding that came in the container, and replace it with a clean paper towel.
- Once your berries are dry, return them to the container and store them in the fridge. Change the towel when it gets moist and your berries will stay fresh up to two weeks.
Still have berries left? Berries freeze well when placed on a baking sheet with plenty of room between them. Once they’re frozen solid, pop them into a freezer bag and store for another day. (See How To Freeze Produce for ways to save other fruits and vegetables.)
Or, forego the freezer and slice them, then add 1/4 cup of sugar for every 1 cup of berries. Stir gently and store in an air-tight container in the fridge where they’ll stay good for several more days.
Equipment I Used To Do This: