When you wash strawberries, you can freeze them and store them for up to two days. This is the best way to preserve them. However, there are some things you can do if you want to store them for longer. You can soak them in white vinegar, place them in a colander, and then refrigerate or freeze them.
How to Store Strawberries After Washing?
Strawberries must be placed in the refrigerator to increase their shelf life. The following instructions will show you how to store them in an airtight container in a single layer for the best results.
- Only wash strawberries right before eating them. When strawberries are washed, they are instantly exposed to moisture, and moisture on fresh fruit causes mold to grow. Strawberries should not be washed before storing them and should only be washed before consumption.
- Keep the berries whole. Strawberry parts that have been chopped up will not keep as long as whole strawberries. Keep the entire basket in the same condition you found at the supermarket or farmers’ market, including the green-leaf tops.
- Use paper towels to line a plastic or glass container. These paper towels will soak moisture and prevent mold growth on your berries.
- Fill the container with the strawberries in a single layer. It is simpler to fit all of your strawberries into a single container. Don’t be afraid to utilize more than one container if you require them to keep that single layer. Strawberries can, of course, be stacked on top of one another (just as they would be in their original container), but doing so allows mold to spread from fruit to berry quickly. Think about layering a paper towel to reduce moisture and contact between layers.
- Refrigerate the container after completely sealing it. Dry, airtight strawberries should last seven days or longer in the refrigerator. But you should consume them sooner if you want the freshest flavor.
Soak them in White Vinegar
If you store strawberries in a plastic container in your refrigerator, they will likely get moldy and shriveled. The best way to keep them fresh and preserve their taste is to wash and dry them before storing them.
There are a variety of ways to wash and dry strawberries. You can use a saltwater bath, a vinegar bath, or a baking soda bath. But whatever method you choose, you should rinse them off well.
If you’re storing strawberries for more than a week, you may want to freeze them. This will help them stay fresh for a longer period.
It’s important to store your berries in a glass or airtight container. You can also line a container with paper towels to help wick away moisture. This is an easy way to keep your berries fresh, making them perfect for meal preppers.
You can also soak your strawberries in a mild white vinegar solution. This will kill the bacteria that can cause your berries to spoil. It will also remove any excess grime from them.
How to Keep Strawberries Fresh?
It’s critical to harvest homegrown strawberries at the ideal time for the finest outcomes when it comes to keeping them. A ripe strawberry should be red and lustrous, with no traces of green or white. These berries will be overripe and possibly already squishy when they turn a deep shade of red and start to lose their sheen. Likewise, avoid selecting too soon.
The same thing—bright, completely red strawberries—can be found in stores. Peggy Van Laanen and Amanda Scott, professor and extension program leader for food and nutrition and extension associate, The Texas A&M University System, advise choosing the strawberries individually rather than purchasing them prepackaged. “It’s tougher to see if the fruit is rotten or damaged if it is prepared.” Avoid sticky or discolored containers if the strawberries are already packaged since they might be tampered with.
These procedures should be taken to keep strawberries fresh.
Don’t Wash Strawberries Before Storing
Strawberries should be washed if you plan to serve them immediately after bringing them inside from the yard or home. However, don’t wash them if they won’t be consumed immediately to extend their shelf life.
The cause? Keep the berries dry because moisture can cause them to mold.
However, make sure to inspect the strawberries before storage. Throw away those that are squishy, dark in color, or exhibit any signs of mold formation. They might ruin the entire harvest if mixed in with the others.
Leave the Stems in Place
Leaving the stems on strawberries is another method for extending their freshness. Only take them out only before eating after washing the berries.
Store Strawberries in the Refrigerator
Before preparation and serving, strawberries should be kept in the refrigerator. Make use of the crisper drawer.
According to Linda J. Harris, food safety and applied microbiology specialist, department of food science and technology, and Elizabeth Mitcham, postharvest extension specialist, department of plant science, UC Davis, “the ideal storage temperature for strawberries in the home is 32 to 36oF (0 to 2oC”) (opens in new tab).
The strawberries should be kept in their closed plastic clamshell packaging or placed into a half-opened plastic bag “to preserve humidity,” according to the experts.
Freeze Strawberries to Lengthen Storage
If the strawberry crop is too enormous to consume all fresh, another option is to freeze them. Before freezing strawberries, ensure none are spoiled and throw away any. Next, wash the strawberries under cool running water, drain the water, and gently pat them dry with paper towels.
Sliced or whole strawberries should be arranged on a cookie sheet in a single layer, spaced out from one another. Remove the stems. The frozen strawberries should be placed in an airtight container or freezer bag and sealed after freezing for a few hours until they are solid. Maintain in the freezer for up to six months.
Does a Vinegar Bath Keep Strawberries Fresh?
According to some home cooks, strawberries hold up better after being first soaked in a solution made of one cup of white vinegar and two cups of water. The vinegar scent and residue are then removed from the berries by rinsing them in a colander. While this approach does a fantastic job of preventing mold, according to some cooks, it also wilts the berries and dulls their flavor. Test this approach during the strawberry season to determine whether you like it better.
Do Strawberries Last Longer in the Fridge or on the Counter?
In the fridge, strawberries keep better. They will rapidly go bad if you leave them out on the counter. But remember that even if you follow the best storage methods, strawberries are not a fruit or vegetable that can be kept for a long time, like potatoes or onions.
According to Linda J. Harris and Elizabeth Mitcham, “Strawberries can only be stored for up to seven days under ideal conditions, and that shelf life also relies on how ripe the fruit was when the fruit was purchased or picked.”
Will Strawberries Ripen at Room Temperature?
Berry ripening does not occur at room temperature. Strawberries do not continue to ripen after being harvested. Thus it is crucial to inspect them in-store before buying them and to ensure that your homegrown strawberries are fully ripe before harvesting.
The kitchen garden’s strawberries should be brightly colored and completely crimson. How about grocery store fruits? Avoid mushy, bruised, leaking juice, shriveled or moldy strawberries, and have dry, brown crowns; advise Peggy Van Laanen and Amanda Scott. Additionally, avoid strawberries that have huge white or green spots on them.
Strawberries should always be kept in the refrigerator for storage. Check them frequently, and throw away any that start to mold or grow soft. Within a few days, eat them.
How to Store Strawberry Purée?
Making fresh strawberry purée from leftover berries is a great use for them. Use the purée as a drizzle over ice cream, cereal, or as part of a yogurt parfait after storing it in the fridge for three to five days in an airtight container. Leave the purée in the refrigerator overnight to thaw before using, or reheat it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. The purée can be frozen for up to three months.
Can you Freeze Strawberries and then Thaw them?
Frozen strawberries work well for smoothies like this Strawberry Mango Smoothie with Banana and slushies. Additionally, you may defrost them and use them to make dishes like Chocolate Strawberry Scones.
Because they no longer have the same crisp texture as fresh strawberries, thawed strawberries are not as good to eat.
Reference: Effect of chitosan–lemon essential oil coatings on storage-keeping quality of strawberry
What can you do with Limp or Mushy Strawberries?
They are ok to eat if the strawberry hasn’t begun to mold. However, they’ll lose some of their firmness and become mushy. It’s a fantastic idea to bake with them or freeze them for the next smoothies once their shine has worn off. You may also prepare strawberry puree to add to pink lemonade or strawberry-chocolate chip ice cream.
Strawberries can be stored in a variety of ways. The obvious conclusion is that most storage hacks and strategies aren’t worthwhile investing your effort in. Usually, as soon as you return home from shopping, you should put the strawberries in the refrigerator. A quick soak in water and vinegar can produce better outcomes if you’re not in a rush.
Do you have a tonne of strawberries in a stack? It would be preferable to freeze them. They won’t work well for fruit salads or cocktail garnishes, but they’ll be fine for most other recipes, such as baked goods and sweets.