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How to Keep Strawberries Fresh

After harvesting, ripe strawberries turn soft and mushy very soon. With proper storage methods, you can restore their rich flavor for an extended time. So, learn how to keep strawberries fresh, and you will succeed in storing them for several days and weeks to come.
Strawberries taste great, when served alone or along with breakfast cereals. These juicy fruits are listed in the top 50 food items that contain the highest amounts of antioxidants. As per food nutrition data, strawberries contain high amounts of vitamin C, dietary fiber, folic acid and manganese.
They are incorporated in the treatment diet for arthritis, gout, cancer, heart problems and other inflammatory health problems. Besides these, strawberries helps in reducing allergies and improving skin health.
One thing about strawberries that concerns us is, they get spoiled very soon. This is quite obvious, owing to their thin skin and sweet flesh. In summertime, when the temperature is hot and humidity is high, even the best strawberry varieties turn mushy within 2 days.
So, there is no point in buying strawberries in bulk or harvesting them in large amounts. But, you will be glad to know that applying simple fruit storage tips will go a long way in extending the shelf life of these perishable fruits.

Tips to Keep Strawberries Fresh

Well, the best method of storing these berries depends upon whether you are interested in short-term storage or long-term storage. Considering the fact that spoilage of strawberries is brought about by bacteria that feed on fruit sugar, the storage methods are revolved around slowing down the growth of bacteria.
Tips for keeping strawberries fresh are discussed below.
• If you are harvesting garden strawberries, pick them at the right stage. Check the berries regularly and harvest them before they turn overripe. They should be rich colored, firmed, plumped and strongly fragrant.
Tips for keeping strawberries fresh are discussed below.
• If you are harvesting garden strawberries, pick them at the right stage. Check the berries regularly and harvest them before they turn overripe. They should be rich colored, firmed, plumped and strongly fragrant.
• As for purchasing strawberries, consider buying them from the local farmer's market. As expected, they are fresher than the imported ones. Of course, you can purchase the exotic berries for instant consumption.
  • Check the texture, color and fragrance of the berries before buying them. Choose the ones with green caps and fresh stems, which indicate fresh berries. If they are soft and dull with bruises, don't purchase them as they are already spoiled.
  • Make a point to check harvested strawberries or store bought berries before storing them. Watch for soft spots and mold growth in the berries. Discard the musty fruits, which otherwise will spread mold to remaining berries.
• Never make a mistake of washing strawberries, unless you are serving them immediately. Having very thin skin, the fruits absorb water quickly. This excess moisture not only reduces fruit flavor and taste, but it causes rapid spoilage.
  • Storing of fresh strawberries is best done in a refrigerator, which extends their shelf life to about one week, but not more than that. This is because, the low temperature works in reducing the growth rate of bacteria, and not in stopping their growth.
  • In short, fruit spoilage by bacteria and their secreted enzymes still occurs in low temperature condition, but at a very slow rate. Thus, you are expected to consume them within the said time (one week) to enjoy the best tasting, flavorful berries.
• For keeping strawberries fresh in the refrigerator, you can use air tight containers lined with tissue papers or zip-top bags. You can add the berries (along with the green caps) in the containers or bags, and keep them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
  • How to keep strawberries fresh in a colander? Line it with an absorbent paper at the base. Gently add the strawberries in one layer, place a tissue paper and then, arrange another fruit layer. The paper absorbs excess moisture from the berries.
  • Keeping berries in the colander allows air circulation between the fruits, thereby reducing excess moisture buildup and warm temperature. Since bacteria thrive well in high humidity and warm temperature, lowering these factors help in retarding bacterial growth.

• As far as long-term storage of strawberries is concerned, freezing is the only method to keep them fresh for a longer period. Put sliced berries in a storage bag and add a layer of brown sugar to cover them. This method increases the storage life of strawberries to about 6 months.
In the market, you will come across freeze-dried strawberries, which shelf life is mentioned in terms of years. It is not practically possible to freeze dry perishable foods at home. The procedure calls for freezing them, followed by reduction of the surrounding pressure to such an extent that the ice gets converted to vapor directly. 
The preserved foods are no longer accessible to microbes, which are the causal factors for food spoilage.
Although freeze drying berries work well for increasing shelf life, the flavor and taste of strawberries are reduced to a great extent. So, you can purchase the freshly picked berries from your local grocery store, and adopt the above tips for storing them.
Use these nutrient rich strawberries for healthy snacking in between meals. And before they become soft, use them in making jams, muffins, pie, smoothies, or simply top them over salads.