I remember even when I was really little we would go to the same stand every year. I remember going with my parents and loading up with a case or two of the delicious red berries to take home to snack on or have a yummy dessert of strawberry shortcake. We would get home and my sister and I could hardly wait for them to get rinsed so we could start picking out the biggest juiciest sweetest strawberry to eat first.
Flash forward to 20 something years later and not much has changed with the exception of where we live. Oh! And the lack of strawberry stands on every other corner. But the love of them is still there. And now Zach has caught the berry fever too. But in Arizona berries aren't always the greatest and on that great of a sale. But this last week our local grocery store had them on sale for .87/lbs. Needless to say that I stocked up! But keeping berries fresh for an extended amount of time can sometimes be tricky. But not anymore my friend.... not any more!
Here is what you do.
Step 1: Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Personally I prefer apple cider simply because the smell of it is more tolerable to me while working with it. You won't taste it at all so at the end of the day it just simply comes down to preference. I used 1 cup measurements. So 1 cup vinegar to 10 cups water. You could also just put the water in your sink but I chose to use the bowl to my salad spinner.
Step 2: Put the berries in the mixture. Gently stir the berries around to get them all covered in the solution. You are going to want to leave them in there for 10 minutes. Stirring them every couple minutes or so.
Step 3: Rinse with cold water. You are just going to want to rinse that solution off to remove any vinegar that is on the berries. I like to rinse them in a colander, again I just used the strainer from the salad spinner, and let them sit in the sink for a minute to kind of air dry.
Step 4: Dry the berries. For a sturdy berry like the strawberries or even blueberries you can use the salad spinner as I did but for blackberries you will want to just gentle pat them dry with a towel.
Step 5: Line whatever container you are going to store your berries in with either a paper towel or a napkin. If you are going to use tupper ware of some sort you are going to want to leave the lid slightly opened to allow air flow. The condensation that will build up with a fully closed lid will spoil your berried and after all this you do not want that to happen. I prefer to clean the containers they come in in the same solution that I used for the berries.
And that is it. You are done and ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Ha! Doing this will extend the fridge life of your berries from a few day to a couple weeks usually. Now that they are fully washed I am comfortable with letting Zach grab a few to snack on without assistance. He often times decides he needs a snack when I am feeding Ashley during the day so this is a great option for him.
We are also starting to grow our own strawberries as a part of our veggie/fruit garden and Zach has already enjoyed two strawberries from our plants. Since this is their first year they both have been very small and slightly tart but the kid loves them!
Now if you excuse me I am off to eat some more berries.... or maybe I will try to make some strawberry fruit leather. Hmmm.... now there is an idea!