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How to Really Clean Your Berries and Keep Them Fresh Longer

Andie is a lover of the great outdoors, and snacking on good food, while she chases her "independent" toddler and yellow lab.

Fresh berries are a household staple for us!

Fresh berries are a household staple for us!

Life-Changing Hack for Clean, Fresh Berries

In our home, fresh berries are a staple. We eat them nearly every day. Especially my two-year-old. He is obsessed! I must say though, that berries used to be a source of great frustration for me. We would go to the store, carefully pick out little containers of what should have been fresh, organic berries, spend a pretty penny for these little gems, and then within days, find mold on them!

The frustration was real. I could not deal with it anymore. Yes, I know berries are good for you. They are full of antioxidants. They are low in carbohydrates. They are great for smoothies, desserts, as a treat, and more. But, it was not worth it to me anymore.

Then, a friend suggested a life-changing hack. Not only are my berries cleaner than ever, but they actually stay fresh, for not just a few days, but for about two weeks! GASP! Who could have believed it?!? Now, granted, most weeks, our berries don't make it two weeks, simply because we eat them so quickly, but on slow berry-eating weeks, I have tested it, and we can absolutely make it at least two weeks with this simple trick.

Step 1: Vinegar Wash

  1. After purchasing your berries, dump them into a bowl. I combine all of my berries into one bowl, because we always eat them as a mix, but you can separate them if that is your preference.
  2. Fill your bowl with 1/3 cup of white vinegar. I know, this sounds disgusting, but just trust me on this.
  3. Then, top of your bowl with water.
Give your berries plenty of time to soak.

Give your berries plenty of time to soak.

Step 2: Soak

Allow the berries to sit, undisturbed in the vinegar and water solution for no less than 10 minutes.

Now, during this time, you will begin to notice something gross. If you look along the surface of the water, you will begin to see particles floating to the top. You may even see the water become discolored. Not to worry, this is a good thing! The pH of the vinegar is helping to kill bacteria that may be residing on your delectable little fruit treats and the extra soaking time is allowing more dirt and particles to be released than if you simply rinsed them under the tap for a few seconds.

Step 3: Rinse

After at least 10 minutes has passed, it is time to rinse the berries. Carefully transfer your berries into a colander and rinse them under cold water thoroughly.

Rinse, rinse, rinse!

Rinse, rinse, rinse!

Step 4: Dry

After thoroughly rinsing your fresh and now, very clean berries, it is time to let them dry completely. I can not stress this enough—give this time! They need to be 100% dry before storing them! This will keep them from getting mushy in your storage container. Depending on where you live, and your current humidity levels, this will take varying amounts of time. However, you really will be fine, if they stay out, even overnight, now that they have had their vinegar soak.

Step 5: Store

After your berries are completely dry, store them in a Tupperware (I prefer to line mine with a paper towel, and to be honest, I am not sure if that is done because it is beneficial, or because it is a family tradition) and place them in the refrigerator.

Now you are set! Those berries are thoroughly clean AND they will last you much longer than before! They will keep their shape and texture, mold will be much less likely to develop, and you can truly get your money's worth on your berries!

These berries are at least 2 weeks old and still very much in tact!

These berries are at least 2 weeks old and still very much in tact!

Ideas for Using Your Berries

Now that your berries aren't spoiling so quickly, need ideas on how to consume them? Here are some of our family's favorite ways to enjoy one of nature's best little treats:

  • Side dish with breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  • Mixed in yogurt with granola
  • In smoothies (they mask the taste of veggies in a smoothie really well!)
  • As a garnish on cakes and pastries
  • Make simple syrup for homemade snow cones
  • Use as a filling for homemade pop tarts
  • Topped with whip cream as a stand-alone dessert

What's your favorite way to eat berries? Share in the comments your best suggestion!

© 2020 Andie Garcia

Comments

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 01, 2021:

Thanks for the tip on how to keep fresh berries from molding. We generally eat them quickly so that molding does not happen, but this is still good to know. We also buy bags of them that are frozen. We like eating our berries with some Greek yogurt most mornings. We also use them in other ways.

Liza from USA on January 01, 2021:

Andie, great tips for cleaning and how to save berries from getting mold all fast! I have had the same experience before. I bought berries mostly for baking and for making smoothies. One of my favorite things to do to make sure the berries are long-lasting is to freeze them. After cleaning, I pat them dry with a clean towel and put them in a freezer bag. Thanks for your amazing tips!