How To Keep Your Berries Fresher Longer

Get those beautiful summer berries to go the extra mile with an easy wash of vinegar diluted in water.

Mixed Fresh Berries
Photo: Adventure_Photo/Getty Images

For every 10 fresh berries you manage to pop into your mouth and enjoy, there are approximately two* that end up covered in fuzzy mold in the blink of an eye. Because as juicy and delectable as fresh berries are, they're also impossibly delicate. Perhaps that's what we love about them.

(*This is an approximation based on years of berry eating, not a real statistic.)

Luckily, we have a simple trick for keeping your precious berries fresh and mold-free for as long as possible this summer. And, the key is already in your kitchen cabinet.

How to Wash, Dry, and Store Berries

A simple solution of white vinegar and water reportedly destroys bacteria and mold spores, which in turn, help the berries to last longer. Below are the instructions for the best way to wash, dry, and store your berries:

  1. Go through berries and throw out any that are already overripe and too juicy. A too ripe strawberry can accelerate ripening in the fruit it is being stored with.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar. Immerse your berries in the water and gently stir in order to wash. Let the berries soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the berries in a colander and rinse under running water.
  4. Place berries in salad spinner lined with paper towels. Spin until berries are completely dry.
  5. When preparing to store, do not mix berries. Keep them separate as some berries ripen faster than others.
  6. Store berries in paper towel-lined sealable containers, keeping lids slightly open to allow release of excess moisture.
Summer Cobbler Cocktail
Helen Norman; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Our Favorite Ways to Use Berries

Cocktails

We want you to use those berries in good health, and can't think of a better use for blackberries than a refreshing cocktail. Shake up a Summer Cobbler cocktail with some ice for the whiskey-lovers at your summer party once, and you'll have a line of people wanting to try this cocktail the whole night. Other than throwing a few ingredients in a cocktail shaker, this cocktail recipe takes no effort.

Blackberry and lime peel twist garnishes make it look pretty for guests, but our test kitchen professionals said a sprig of mint would complement this cocktail, too. For an extra touch, we think this Summer Cobbler Cocktail might be a perfect excuse to get out those silver mint julep cups.

Strawberry Galette
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

Pies

A pie without the stress, a galette makes the most of a messy, open fold and lets the filling take center stage. Store-bought piecrust makes this no-fuss dessert even more approachable. A refrigerated piecrust creates a crunchy envelope that holds its structure under the strawberry filling. Electing to make a strawberry galette will ensure that your dessert course will probably not live to see a leftover stage.

Blueberry-Plum Pops
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Frozen Pops

These blueberry-plum popsicles gain their deep indigo hue from fresh plums and blueberries. We use fresh fruit in these pretty plum popsicles to create an all-natural treat that will leave you feeling great this summer. The popsicles pack the perfect amount of sugar, which is balanced out by the lime zest and juice, adding a lovely freshness and tang. Pull these fancy popsicles out at the next pool party and you'll be the talk of the town. For the adults, we love to dunk these popsicles in a glass of sparkling wine.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles