Caring for fresh summertime berries is important to increase their longevity. With our helpful storage tips and our fizzy Best Berry Wash recipe, consisting of purified water, baking soda and vinegar, your berries will last longer and retain their freshness.
An Easy DIY Homemade Berry Wash:
Perfect to Add Longevity to Fresh Summer Berries
When strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and other fabulous summer berries are in abundance at your local grocery store or fruit stand, or if you happen to live in an area where berries are grown and you participate in u-pick opportunities, temptation invariably sets in to make all sorts of fresh summertime berry desserts. As always, you end up being seduced into “loading up” on fresh berries of all types. All of a sudden, you arrive home with your Great Berry Haul and realize that you now have to quickly process and then eat the berries as soon as possible since they have a very short shelf life when purchased fresh.
The Berries To Wash Right Away
With strawberries, blackberries, huckleberries, mulberries and other berries, such as those grown in your own backyard, it is best to wash these sweet gems immediately for added longevity to retain their freshness. Just make sure to dry them well before storing in the refrigerator.
The Berries To Wash Just Before Eating or Using In Recipes
When it comes to washing blueberries and fragile raspberries, or even grapes (botanically, a berry), it is best to wait until you are ready to eat them or use them in recipes before giving them a quick dip in a berry wash. Once you bring these berries home, immediately stash them in the refrigerator. We like to place these berries in a drawer in the fridge along with our BerryBreeze® unit beside them to increase their shelf life.
Since fresh berries are susceptible to mold, it is very important to wash them thoroughly. Conventional wisdom dictates a simple water wash. However, if you really want to give your berries a deep clean, we recommend an all-natural process using both vinegar and baking soda in purified water to create a bubbling or fizzing action that will “scrub” any mold spores, dirt, etc. from your fresh berries.
The process starts by sorting the berries to remove any of poor quality—especially soft berries as they have been affected by mold—then rinsing them well before immersing them in a bowl of purified water with baking soda added. After adding the berries to the water with baking soda, vinegar is added and the fizzing action begins. Watch the natural reaction “scrub” your berries clean. Next, we like to gently and occasionally agitate the wash with our hands or a spoon to loosen debris until there is no further fizzing action. Following this, we leave the berries to sit in the solution for a good 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain the wash from the berries through a large fine mesh sieve or colander and rinse thoroughly over the sink with purified water—such as from a filtered water source. Not to worry, we have used this method many times and have never had a problem detecting any off-tastes from the baking soda or vinegar in this wash. In fact, the berries actually taste both clean and fresh following this wash and rinse when compared to simply rinsing with water alone. After draining, place the berries on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towel. Gently shake the baking pan in a rotating motion so that the berries “dance” around the pan until water is absorbed into the paper towel and they are dry. Proceed with the final sorting of the berries to make sure all stems or imperfect berries are removed.
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Meanwhile, we hope this recipe and tutorial, Caring for Fresh Berries & The Best Berry Wash, has been helpful to you.
Happy summer berry dessert making!
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Caring for fresh summertime berries is important to increase their longevity. With our simple but helpful storage tips and our fizzy Best Berry Wash recipe, consisting of purified water, baking soda and vinegar, your berries will last longer and retain their freshness.
For Small Batch in Small Bowl
- Small bowl full of purified (distilled or filtered) water
- 1 tablespoon (14.5 g) baking soda
- ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
For Medium Batch in Medium Bowl
- Medium bowl full of purified (distilled or filtered) water
- 1½ tablespoons (22 g) baking soda
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
For Large Batch in Large Bowl
- Large bowl full of purified (distilled or filtered) water
- 2 tablespoons (29 g) baking soda
- ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
To make either a small, medium or large batch of homemade berry wash, simply select size of bowl and fill it ¾ full with water. Add baking soda and stir in until dissolved.
Add fresh berries that have been rinsed and picked through. Next, pour in vinegar. The berry wash will immediately begin to fizz. With hands or a spoon, gently agitate the water then allow berry wash to cleanse away mold, bacteria and dirt. Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes.
Following the berry wash bath, drain berries through a large fine mesh sieve or colander. Then, rinse berries thoroughly with filtered water over sink.
Dry berries on a rimmed baking sheet with a few layers of clean paper towel. With hands, gently shake rimmed baking sheet from side-to-side to allow berries to roll around and dry off.
Place berries on another rimmed baking sheet with a large sheet of clean paper towel to dry completely. Once completely dry, fresh berries are ready to use in recipes.
Yield: Makes small, medium or large batch of homemade berry wash to wash a pound (454 g) or up to three (3) pounds (1362 g) of fresh berries.
If desired, briefly place freshly cleansed and dried berries into vented containers and place into the refrigerator for storage until ready to use. Using a BerryBreeze® unit in the refrigerator helps keep mold growth to a minimum and, therefore, adds longevity to your produce—a few days longer or up to one full week longer.
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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