5 Ways to Keep Strawberries from Getting Moldy
There is no better way to celebrate summer than with a bowl of sweet and juicy strawberries. But in most regions, these red berries aren’t cheap so it’s important to keep them fresh as long as possible. For the best berries, follow some of these tips to keep them from turning from a sweet treat to a moldy strawberries catastrophe.
1 - Freeze the Strawberries
Moldy strawberries are commonly a result of being left sitting in the fridge or on the counter too long. If you’re not planning on eating them within a few days, stick the strawberries in the freezer where they’ll keep for much longer. They won’t be quite as delicious as fresh berries but they’ll be perfect for smoothies or jam.
2 - Use the Crisper Drawer
If you want the fresh taste of strawberries instead of frozen, stick them inside the crisper drawer instead. Most refrigerators have crisper drawers, and whether the fruit or vegetable is stored in the high-humidity drawer or low-humidity drawer depends on factors like the product’s ethylene gas sensitivity and how much water vapor is needed. In the case of strawberries, they should be kept in the high-humidity drawer to stay fresh.
3 - Vinegar-Water Bath
For the berries to last even longer, you can try a vinegar water bath. In a bowl, combine eight parts water with one part white vinegar and soaking the strawberries in the mixture. Then dry them on a paper towel before packing them into the crisper drawer or freezer. This vinegar and water rinse helps with freshness as the vinegar kills all spores on the berries and keeps off mold.
Another method, which reportedly doesn’t have as dramatic results as the vinegar and water rinse, is to quickly rinse the berries with hot water to make them last slightly longer.
It’s better to not rinse the berries before soaking them in the vinegar solution, as this accelerates their descent into mushy, moldy berries. In fact, rinsing strawberries with room temperature water isn’t recommended at all for this reason. Instead, only rinse strawberries right before eating them or cooking with them.
4 - Leave the Strawberry Stems On
Another trick for keeping fresh strawberries is to leave the stems on for as long as you can, as removing it will also speed up the poor strawberry’s aging process. Plus, if you’re making a dish like chocolate covered strawberries, you can just leave the stems on all the way up until serving them to friends.
5 - Look for Strawberries that are already Moldy
One bad berry can ruin the whole bunch. Mold can spread easily among strawberries packed together, so if one berry is looking sickly or has a small spot of mold, throw it away as soon as possible. This is another reason why it’s important to look over the strawberries before buying them in the grocery store.
Nothing is more disappointing than forgetting about the once delicious strawberries in the back of the fridge and having a moldy strawberries situation. By taking steps like using the crisper drawer, using a vinegar and water bath, leaving on the stems, and only washing them before consumption, the strawberries will have a much longer lifespan!