So you came home from the grocery store with a batch of strawberries. Now what? How can you keep those tender berries fresh until you’re ready to enjoy them? And when it’s time to wash them, what’s the best way to clean them without bruising or smashing those bright, delicious berries? We’ve asked the experts and found everything you need to know about caring for berries and keeping them fresh.
Tip #1: Buy Good Berries
Fresh berries begin when you buy them. It’s always best to buy fresh strawberries in season to capture their sweet, juicy goodness. Start looking for them in the produce aisle in late spring and through early summer. Choose plump, tender, brightly colored berries and avoid containers with moldy, smushed, or soggy berries. For pick-your-own farms, make sure the berries separate easily from their stems, since berries don’t ripen after picking.
Tip #2: Store in the Fridge
If you don’t plan on eating strawberries right away, refrigerate them unwashed. Otherwise, the damp berries get mushy and encourage mold growth. It’s important to keep the stems on until washed, since the water can affect the flavor and texture of the berries.
Tip #3: Wash With Care
When ready to enjoy, wash berries with a bit of TLC. The tender, ripe fruits can be easily bruised, so experts recommend a gentle bath in cold water. The Good Cook Bowlander Soak and Strain Colander is designed to gently and easily wash and strain strawberries without having any if them falling into the sink. Here’s how it works:
- Place strawberries in the bowl of the Good Cook Bowlander Soak and Strain Colander
- Tip the bowl so the strawberries fall into the colander.
- Rinse the strawberries in the colander under cold running water for 60-90 seconds.
- Allow the water to drain from the strawberries.
- Tip the berries back into the bowl and gently pat the rinsed berries dry with a paper towel.
Tip #4: Prep with a Paring Knife
To hull the berries, insert a paring knife into the strawberry at a 45 degree angle where the core and flesh meet. Rotate the knife and berry in opposite directions, and the core will release, leaving an intact strawberry. For a quick hulling method that leaves a hole in the strawberry, place an unbent straw in the bottom of the strawberry, push the straw straight through the berry, and the straw will pop the cap off.
Tip #5: Freeze Fresh Berries
The great thing about berries is that they freeze beautifully. If you buy a flat or visit a pick-your-own farm, freezing the extra berries is a great option. You’ll need to wash the strawberries in the Good Cook Bowlander Soak and Strain Colander, gently pat them dry, hull, and place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet until completely frozen (about 6 hours). This way the berries won’t freeze in a clump. Transfer the frozen berries to a freezer-safe plastic bag using a measuring cup, and label the amount and date on the bag. Strawberries can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.
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