One of my favorite Texas Traditions is dewberry picking. It’s so fun to be outdoors and there’s nothing like the taste of fresh berries! The drawback to fresh berries, especially when you pick the wild, is that they are exposed to the elements. They can collect dirt and debris and sometimes get too much sun.
Once you get your berries home, the shelf life can be somewhat short. This is true for store bought berries just as much as wild picked berries. This DIY Kitchen Hack on How to Clean Berries and Keep them Fresher Longer is easiest way to keep your berries as long as possible.
And it’s so easy!
Supplies to Clean Your Berries and Keep them Fresher Longer:
That’s it! Hopefully you already have these supplies so this cleaning recipe can be super simple.
Be sure that your bowl of water is large enough for your berries. Fill it to the top with cool water and add a splash of vinegar.
Your ratio of vinegar to water doesn’t need to be precise. I used about 1 quart water to 1/4 cup of vinegar. I’ve also heard 1 oz of vinegar for every 8 oz of water. I have not found a difference in practice with either of these recipes.
Now dunk your berries in the cool vinegar bath. Swirl the water around gently and use your hand to stir the berries throughout the water.
What you are doing is dislodging any dust or dirt. The vinegar kills the spores and anything growing on the berry. That is what causes the berry to decline faster.
After swirling the berries gently for a few minutes, place them in a colander and rinse them thoroughly to remove any vinegar essence.
Dry them thoroughly and package them in something that can breathe a bit to store in your refrigerator.
Viola! You Have Clean Berries that will Keep Fresher Longer!
How Long Does It Work?
It depends on the berry. It depends on it’s ripeness. But it will usually extend the life a few days longer. Perhaps even a week or more!
Can You Taste the Vinegar?
No! Especially if you rinse the berries thoroughly after their vinegar bath.
What Kind of Berry Can You Use it On?
You can use any berries like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and more! I have read that raspberries are so delicate, that you avoid a vinegar bath for them. But I find, that the trick is being sure that the water for the vinegar bath is nice and cool. If you are extra gentle while swirling them in the bath and remove them quicker than other berries, I find that to be useful too. And last, when rinsing your raspberries after their bath, use very gentle water pressure. Just be gentle!
What’s the Best Way to Store Berries?
The best way to store berries is to completely dry them. Make a nest with a paper towel at the bottom and store them in a container that can be placed in the refrigerator. Be sure to use a container that has holes so it can breathe or a container without a sealed lid. The plastic and paper packages that they arrive in are perfect.
If the berries are fresh picked a little basket or Tupperware Container (without the lid) works great.