You just bought some gorgeous strawberries, and you’re ready to start using them up — either in a delicious smoothie or a completely delectable dessert. The only problem? You know that strawberries can be notoriously finicky and don’t last very long once they’re picked. It’s no secret that berries, especially strawberries, don’t stay fresh for long. But with a few simple steps, you can make sure that your strawberries stay fresher and last longer!
Rinse Them Properly
To keep your strawberries from spoiling quickly, proper rinsing is key! Before you eat them or store them away in the refrigerator, here’s what you need to do to preserve their freshness:
- Be gentle when washing—too much agitation will cause the delicate berries to break apart and spoil faster.
- Use cold water, as warm water can cause the strawberries to break down and start to rot from within.
- Don’t soak them in water for too long; a quick rinse should do.
- Pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel after rinsing—this will help stave off mold and bacteria growth which can lead to spoilage.
Rinsing your strawberries correctly really isn’t hard, and it will go a long way toward helping keep your deliciously sweet berries at their peak of freshness for as long as possible.
Use Vinegar Bath
One thing you can do is give them a vinegar bath! This hack is really simple and can extend strawberries’ shelf life by up to a week. All you need to do is fill a bowl with water, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and let the berries soak for 5 minutes. This will help remove any potential contaminants from their surface and make them last longer. After the bath, just rinse them off with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels before putting them in the fridge.
Freeze Them Strawberries
If you simply can’t stomach the thought of eating your strawberries all at once, freezing them is a great way to extend their shelf life. You can freeze whole berries or cut them into halves or slices. To freeze, simply lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch one another. Once frozen, throw the strawberries into an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to use them again, thaw your frozen strawberries slowly in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cold water on the countertop. Frozen and then thawed strawberries will not be as firm as fresh ones, so they may be best used in dishes where texture isn’t important—in smoothies or jams and jellies.
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