- Laura Wuthnow
5 Tips to Keeping your Strawberries Fresh
By far the question we asked the most at the farm is "how do you I keep these fresh?" So let's answer this question once and for all with our tried and true tips for making your fresh picked strawberries last as long as possible.
Tip #1 - Leave the stem on
This first tip starts in the field. Remember that plants get all their energy from their leaves and stems to fuel their production and preservation of fruit. Therefore, when you pick your berries, it is best to leave a little bit of the stem attached, say half an inch or so. Keep this stem on until you are ready to eat.
Tip #2 - Leave them on the counter
This tip is absolutely vital if you picked on a hot day.
Once you get your berries home, leave them on the counter and bring them to room temperature before putting them in the fridge. This is even better if you take it one step further by spreading your berries out into a single layer. This helps reduce the amount your berries will sweat. Sweaty berries = mushy berries.
Tip #3 - Wash later
It's best to wash your strawberries just before eating them instead of before putting them in the fridge. Otherwise the excess water will start to make your berries mushy prematurely.
Tip #4 - Add vinegar
If you must was your berries ahead of time, wash in a bowl of cold water with an added capful of white vinegar. Then rinse with water and pat dry.
This is good practice for most produce to ensure ultimate cleanliness.
Tip #5 - Freeze them
I love stocking my freezer with strawberries. I am always so glad I took the time in May so that I enjoy a nice strawberry smoothie in January or batch of strawberry basil muffins in March. Remember, strawberry season is short and store bought strawberries just don't taste the same, so plan ahead now.
We recommend using the "flash freezing" technique. Freeze your berries on a single layer first before bagging them up for final storage. This keeps them from becoming one giant clump in the freezer. You can freeze them whole, halved, or however you would like. Washing ahead of time is optional, but if you do so, pat them dry on paper towels.