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No one wants to spend their Saturday stalking the farmers market for beautiful berries that are moldy come Monday. These tips on how to store strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries will help you to mitigate the madness of quickly perishing produce once and for all. With just a little extra effort up front, you’ll save money, prevent food waste, and keep your berries fresh long enough to enjoy them out of hand or ready to use in berry desserts and treats all season long.
Select the best berries from the bunch
Whether you’re purchasing them from your farmers market or local grocery store or picking them yourself, selecting the best berries is key to their longevity. Because berries are fragile fruits that are thin-skinned, one bad berry can turn the whole bunch. Pick out and discard any that are already bruised, slimy, or spoiled. If you’re noticing blackberry stains on the clamshell container, or strawberry juices pooling at the bottom of the carton, it’s a good indicator that there are a couple berries past their prime in the mix. Instead, seek out firm, plump, shiny berries. If you’ve already got some squished berries on hand, don’t waste them: Save them for smoothies, make a breezy berry compote to top pancakes, or soak and mash in rum for a tangy, syrupy ice cream topping.
Don’t crowd your berries in storage
Crowded berries get smushed easily, leading to speedier spoilage. Let your berries breathe by storing them in a wide, flat container lined with paper towels once you bring them home. Cover with a loose-fitting lid to let excess moisture (a breeding ground for bacteria) escape, or use produce-specific storage containers that promote airflow to help keep those summer blueberries fresher longer. Another pro tip: Avoid storing berries in the coldest corner zones of your fridge where they’re at risk of getting frostbitten. Instead, store them front and center where the temperature is less frigid. (This also helps to keep them top of mind, ensuring you remember to enjoy them sooner, rather than later.)