Fresh berries are truly one of summer’s greatest seasonal treats, but keeping them fresh after purchase can be frustrating. One reason berries tend to have a shorter shelf life than other fruit is that they often have small natural spores that you can’t see on the outside at the time of purchase. These spores won’t harm you as they are, but they can greatly shorten the life of your fresh berries and water isn’t alone is always enough to wash these spores off. Try this quick trick to extend the life of your berries:
When you bring your berries home from the store, wash them in a diluted vinegar bath. Combine 3 cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar in a large bowl. Gently move the berries around in the vinegar bath to remove any grit or dirt that has accumulated. Keep the berries in the bath for about a minute. The pH of the vinegar will kill any bacteria or spores that may be present on the fruit.
After washing in the vinegar bath, drain your berries in a colander and rinse thoroughly with water. This will remove any vinegar flavor from the fruit. Dry more sturdy berries like strawberries and blueberries by placing in a salad spinner. More delicate berries like raspberries and blackberries should be gently dried on a towel.
To store the berries, line a sealable container with a double layer of dry paper towels. If the container is air-tight, leave the lid slightly ajar to allow any natural moisture to escape. Feel free to use the perforated plastic container your berries came in! Just be sure to give it a quick wash first.
Get more hand-picked recipes and cooking tips right in your inbox.