One of the joys of late spring and summer is the variety of fresh produce available from local farmers. Zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers are readily available for tasty salads and making homemade pickles and relishes. For people with a sweet tooth, this time of year can be a celebration of healthy options like delicious locally-grown fruits such as cherries, peaches, plums, and berries.
Unfortunately, the high perishability of delicate berries can be a drawback to including them in your diet. Below are a number of approaches you can take to make your berries stay fresher longer so you can have a chance to enjoy them and improve your health.
Using a Vinegar Bath (Good for All Types of Berries)
One of the reasons berries do not keep well is because of mold spores on their outer surfaces. Once the mold spores begin to affect the fruit, the berries can go bad quickly. And since mold can be airborne, the disintegration of the fruit is not limited to only a couple of berries—a whole container can be affected quickly.
To kill the mold spores naturally, you can use something you probably already have in your kitchen: vinegar.
- Simply make a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar in enough quantities to cover the berries you would like to clean.
- Next, sort your berries looking for any berry that shows signs of mold and discard it.
- Add the mold-free berries to the water/vinegar solution and swirl around so all outer surfaces on the berries come into contact with the water/vinegar solution; then allow the berries to sit in the solution for about five minutes.
- Drain the berries in a colander and rinse well with cool tap water.
- Place the berries on a layer of paper towels and pat dry; then allow the berries to air dry until you are sure there is no moisture on the surface of the berries.
- Line a container with fresh paper towels and place the berries inside.
- Cover the container with a lid, but keep it open slightly on one side; this allows the berries to stay dry.
- Place in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Cutting Stems (Good for Strawberries)
If you have a bunch of strawberries you would like to keep fresh but don’t want to use a vinegar bath, try the following method:
- Sort through your strawberries to find any fruit that shows signs of mold and discard.
- Cut off the stems of each strawberry with a paring knife.
- Layer a couple of paper towels in an airtight container and place the strawberries inside, top side down on the paper towels; keep some space between each berry for air to flow.
- Cover and seal the strawberries and refrigerate for up to one week.
- Wash the strawberries before eating them.
Sweeten the Taste of Berries Without Sugar
Berries can often have a sour taste, so sugar is added to them to increase their sweetness. However, adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to berries compromises their healthy benefits and increases their calorie count. To keep berries are healthy as nature made them, eat them after consuming a MiraBurst Miracle Berry Tablet. Miracle berries are one of the only naturally-occurring taste modifiers and can mask sour tastes so they seem sweet, all without adding any calories. Purchase miracle berry tablets from MiraBurst today and enjoy the fruits of the season while improving your diet and health.