Let’s face it, most of us live busy lives. Between school drop-offs and pick-ups, work commitments, cooking dinner every night, and everything else in between – there just never seems to be enough time in the day! We barely have time to take care of ourselves let alone our families. One thing we can always do is make sure that when we finally get around to grocery shopping for a family meal or for snacks on the go that we purchase fresh fruit as well. Fruit is delicious and healthy but if you don’t know how to store it properly then all your hard efforts will be wasted because it’ll spoil before you even have a chance to enjoy its goodness!
Three weeks ago I decided there must be a better way of handling my produce than just eating or tossing out everything after one use. I was determined to see what the best method is for washing and storing fruit so that it lasts longer. I hate when food goes bad, especially because then you have to throw it away! It’s basically throwing money in the trash.
So I set out to do a little experiment. I purchased strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes for my test subjects. I tested three different methods – unwashed in original packaging; washed in vented containers, or washed and stored in airtight containers- to see how fast each fruit would age. Keep reading to see how the experiment went.
How to store and wash strawberries to make them last longer
First up were strawberries. To my surprise, strawberries were by far the worst in all three containers at the end of 21 days. I noticed the strawberries had a more rapid decline in firmness and texture than other fruits when left unwashed for 3 weeks. They didn’t mold as fast, but they became shriveled-looking and soft within 2 weeks–almost to where you couldn’t even eat them without chewing on their remains before spitting out what was still stuck between your teeth!
Storing the strawberries venting container yielded similar results compared with an airtight one (but may have fared worse), while the strawberries outside these two categories seemed unaffected or hardly changed after just 1 week. Strawberries were by far the worst fruit across all three containers over those same time periods.
How to store and wash raspberries to make them last longer
I was expecting the raspberries in the venting container to stay fresh longer, but not only did they mold first, but their condition deteriorated so quickly that I couldn’t even eat them by day 21. The washed berries were a different story! They never molded and looked almost brand new after three weeks of storage.
How to store and wash blueberries to make them last longer
I had my doubts about the blueberries, but I was wrong. My blueberries were quite the survivor! They stayed fresh and crunchy for over two weeks without any special care. I must have gotten a really good batch of berries because they didn’t wrinkle up or become soft at all in 21 days, even when unwashed- which is what usually happens to them after just 5 days. By day 21, my berries looked vibrant as ever with no signs of decay whatsoever
How to store and wash blackberries to make them last longer
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the blackberries in airtight containers were fresher than any other berries I tested. While they did not last as long, there was no sign of mold or mushiness when opening at day 21—far better than those stored without protection and exposed to oxygen!
How to store and wash grapes to make them last longer
I like a good grape, but it can be frustrating when they grow soft and wrinkly and look like raisins after just a few days. It was especially disheartening to me because I went out of my way and bought some premium grapes for the occasion! I found that with grapes, washing them in the water and vinegar mixture made a difference for how long they stayed fresh. The unwashed grapes-started going soft and wrinkly within 1-2 days while the washed ones remained crunchy for up to 3 weeks!
The Best Way To Wash & Store Berries
Step 1: Place berries in a large bowl filled with water and ¼ cup vinegar (You can use distilled white vinegar or apple cider. They both work to help kill mold spores). Soak for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Rinse berries really well to remove any excess liquid, this should be done before they are placed on clean towels because it’s important that you air dry them as much as possible before putting them into storage bags. If using strawberries, slice them immediately after soaking so that there is less chance for bacteria growth over time.
Step 3: Spread out single layers onto paper towel-lined plates and place somewhere where they will have plenty of airflow around them until completely dried- tearing up newspaper pieces works nicely!
Step 4: Once dry, place berries in an airtight container (I prefer glass jars) and store them in the fridge.
The Best Way To Wash and Store Grapes
Step 1: Place grapes in a large bowl filled with water and about ¼ cup of vinegar (distilled white or apple cider both work. The vinegar helps kill mold spores). Soak for about 15-20 minutes before proceeding to step 2.
Step 2: Place grapes in a bowl and gently pull them off the wine with your hands to stop their ripening process, remove any soft or mushy ones to make sure they stay fresh as long as possible!
Step 3: Rinse grapes well to remove any traces of vinegar.
Step 4: Spread out grapes on a clean kitchen towel and let them air dry.
Step 5: Once your grapes are mostly dry, place them in an airtight container (I prefer glass jars) and store them in the fridge.
Best Kitchen Tip To Make Fruit Last Longer
This is one of my favorite kitchen tips! I like to wash all types of fruit and vegetables in a vinegar-water bath before storing them. This not only gives your produce a nice, fresh coat but also helps prevent bacteria from growing on fruits that are left unwashed for too long (things like apples, pears, peaches).