Keeping Berries Fresh Longer

mustangs81February 2, 2013

I received this from my FoodSaver Yahoo Group; does anyone use this method? Feedback...

Wash them with vinegar.

When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can't taste the vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila!

Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they'll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them. You're so berry welcome!

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I'll be watching this thread to see if anyone tries this. We don't buy many strawberries out of season.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:21PM
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I may try this. The produce market has strawberries for 59 cents a pound and we have been indulging. I bought 2 containers yesterday and may go back for more tomorrow.

Jude31, it is strawberry season in Florida and they are flooding the stores in Chicago, so go look for some.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Strawberries were not as cheap here, $1.69 a pound, but still pretty cheap. We bought some but they were horrible, the traditional "that tastes like nothing" winter strawberry.

I'm glad to know this, though, I'll try it in June when local strawberries are everywhere, I'd love to be able to keep them.

I hope it works, I buy raspberries and they're spoiled the next day, usually.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Cathy, I wash all my fruit and vegetables with vinegar and baking soda. I do it to clean the chemicals off. I don't know if it really works, but I didn't realize that it would prevent mold from growing. That's a bonus.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Berries don't go bad at my house because I eat them too quickly. I'd be interested to know if that method works though Cathy.

I started growing two types of strawberries last summer. One produced berries all summer. The other just had one crop in June. I may use those to make strawberry vinegar this year - the flavor was superior.

I am adding a third variety this year. I was talking to a co-worker about the wild strawberries I picked as a child at the cabin my family had. She said she has wild strawberries on the 40 acres she lives on. She invited me to come and dig up some plants in the spring. I will cram them in amongst my hostas and non-edible plants as I am running out of space.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:00PM
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I may try your method, too Cathy. Thanks for the tip.

Teresa, care to share your recipe/method for making strawberry vinegar? Sounds good.

A couple of years ago I found a single wild strawberry plant at the base of a maple tree at the edge of the woods. It now has grown into a patch about 2 feet in diameter. I am really surprised they grow there, because it's a fairly shady spot. The squirrels and birds get to the berries before I can, tho. I may try some kind of cover/netting this year.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Thanks Cathy, that's a great tip. We're starting to get some nice Fla. berries. Two weeks ago we had some big ones and they were pretty good. This week we got some gorgeous small ones that are sooo good.Christy picked up some more yesterday so I'll try that. I've sure had the experience of getting them one day then the next day tons have mold on them.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Linda - I've never made a flavored vinegar using strawberries. I have made one for years using raspberries though. I fill a quart jar half way with berries. I add a tsp of superfine sugar. More if the berries are tart. Then I add Heinz white vinegar to the top. Shake the jar well and refrigerate for a couple of weeks. Strain the vinegar out - I usually use a coffee filter.

I have also used blueberries and pomegranite seeds. I assume strawberries will work just fine.

I just love a fruit flavored vinegar on bitter greens with chunks of cantelope and toasted almond slivers.

I will also mix 1 Tbsp of a very fruity olive oil with 3 Tbsp. of the berry vinegar for a dressing.

You can certainly use less berries and get a decent flavor which I have done. I happen to have access to a lot of homegrown raspberries so I always use a lot.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Peppi, It is strawberry season here. In fact Lily's kindergarten class is singing at the "Strawberry Festival" next week. I haven't decided if I want to go...JUST KIDDING!

Thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 3:43PM
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I put lemon juice on them to make them last longer, or lime juice if I am out of lemons. I haven't done a side-by-side test to see how well this works. I buy blueberries more than any other berry (for my yogurt and granola), and they keep for a week without treatment. I make sure they are dry and store them in their container with air holes.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:06PM
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I found the best way to keep berries fresh was to buy them from a place that took the best care of their produce, and it doesn't have to be an upscale farmer's market...I used to buy the cheap strawberries from my local grocery store and they would be spoiled the next day. It makes no sense to buy them at such a store only to throw out half the package. I can get strawberries to last almost a week now, although we use them up faster than that.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Sounds like it would work but I usually use up the berries the day I buy them.

We have been enjoying the Florida strawberries the last couple of weeks. I particularly like the flavor of the ones from Plant City FL. I do not buy California strawberries. Once the FL season is over, I'll be on berry hiatus until the local ones are ready.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I've not used the vinegar tip - though I think I really like the logic of it. The baking soda, not so much. Citrus might work too but may impart a residual flavor of its own if you use too much.

Remember to use the straw tip - use a drinking straw to take the center and leaf cap from berries when you're ready to use them, bottom tip to top of berry through the center. Still have whole berries without the rough core or leaves.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 5:09PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Thank you, Mustangs, for that great tip. I googled for more info., the below site stated: "Wash the berries in a diluted vinegar bath (1 cup vinegar plus 3 cups water) and spin them dry in a salad spinner lined with paper towels until they are completely dry. Store the cleaned berries in a sealable container lined with paper towels, leaving the lid open a little to allow moisture to escape.

The vinegar destroys bacteria and mold spores on the berries, helping them stay fresh longer. According to Lifehacker, this method extends the shelf life of berries by days, sometimes even weeks."

Here is a link that might be useful: Smart tip on berries

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Vinegar, soda, lemon juice ------ none of then can get to the nooks and cranny hard to get to areas of fruits and vegetables, where most dirt collect and microbes thrive.

That's because water surface tension forms bubbles and can't permeate into many types of surfaces.

You can do much better:

1. Use detergents. Of course you have to wash well to remove the detergents.

2. Use a vacuum machine to remove air bubbles.

3. Use an ultrasonic cleaner made for cleaning fruits and vegetables.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:22PM
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I've been using the vinegar wash on raspberries and it does work for me; I don't have a problem with other berries.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:34AM
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Just bought a carton of "strawberries" from Plant City, Florida. They looked like strawberries, you know,red and the right shape but when you cut one in two, there was a hard white core with about a sixteenth of an inch of red surrounding. Hard, tasteless, absolutely the poorest excuse for a strawberry that I have encountered in my 81 years. Need I go on?????LOL May be a while before I try again and I hate that. We love fresh strawberries spooned over hot buttered biscuits, for breakfast. Well, I made the biscuits and they were good but the berries....bleh


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:34AM
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