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How to make strawberries last longer is a post that puts 2 popular Pinterest methods to the test. See which kept strawberries fresh for 3 weeks!
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Strawberry season is here! To kick it off, I did a little experiment. For the past month, I have taken strawberries and tested different methods to make them last longer in the refrigerator.
There was one clear winner. Today, I’m sharing my results with you in this post!
Recently, strawberries at my local grocery store were on sale. Scratch that. They were a steal at $0.88 for a 1-pound container! You better believe I stocked up 14 pounds (yes, pounds).
I have big plans for these berries:
- Easy Strawberry Syrup
- Easy Strawberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Cupcake and Buttercream
- Strawberry Pizza with Bacon
- Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta
- Avocado Strawberry Spinach Wraps
- Strawberry Shortcake Roll Up Cake
- Dark Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Strawberry Smoothie
- Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Topping
- Strawberry Cream Cake
- Strawberries & Cream Cheese Blintzes
- Dark Chocolate Pound Cake with Strawberries and Cream
- Simple Patriotic Cake
- Lime Rice Pudding with Strawberries
- Fruit Spangled Cheesecake Dip
I know that I have to pace myself so I don’t overload my family with strawberries! That’s where this experiment comes in.
As a side note, this would be a fabulous science fair project or experiment to do with kids!
How to Keep Strawberries Fresh
Will strawberries keep longer when kept in their original container, in a glass jar, or teated with a vinegar wash when stored in the refrigerator over a 3 week period? Basically, what is the best way to store strawberries?
I researched two popular Pinterest methods for how to keep strawberries fresh. I used strawberries stored in their original container as the control group.
I then gave some berries a Vinegar Wash and stored them in an open container on top of paper towels in the refrigerator.
For the third and final group, I stored unwashed strawberries using the Glass Jar Method. This is where unwashed strawberries are kept in an air-tight glass canning jar.
If I treat strawberries with a vinegar wash, they will:
A- Keep longer in the refrigerator than berries kept in a glass jar or their original container.
B- Not keep longer in the refrigerator than berries kept in a glass jar but keep longer than berries in their original container.
I used berries from the same 1-pound plastic clamshell to test the two variables and the control. Berries were of varying sizes and generally the same ripeness. Any berries that had begun to spoil, I discarded.
Berries were simply placed in a glass jar, unwashed, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Berries were placed in a vinegar wash:
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 5 cups of water
They sat in the vinegar wash for 5 minutes. Then I drained them and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Finally, I placed them in a paper towel-lined bowl and left them uncovered in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Berries were kept in the original packaging, unwashed, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Week 1 Data:
After one week, I placed all the berries side-by-side and compared them.
Original Container: A little shriveled, but very much still edible.
Vinegar Wash: They look nearly perfect. They have ever so slightly started to shrivel, but they’re perfectly fine.
Glass Jar: They look just as good as the day they went into the jar.
Week 2 Data:
Original Container: Severe shriveling has set in. These berries would only be good for making jam at this point.
Vinegar Wash: The berries have started to shrivel significantly. While they aren’t the prettiest berries, they are still ok to eat.
Glass Jar: These berries a still plump and they have yet to shrivel. I have noticed that they have lost some of their vibrant red color.
Week 3 Data:
Original Container: Shriveling has continued even more. I do not recommend eating these berries.
Vinegar Wash: Shriveling has gotten to the point where these berries would only be good for making jam.
Glass Jar: These berries are still plump and juicy, but they have lost some more of their vibrant red color. Most of the berries tart fine, but a couple has a fermented taste to them.
Storing Strawberries Results:
Glass Jar Method:
The berries look almost like they did three weeks ago. The stems and leaves are still bushy and green.
They are plump, and they have not started to shrivel. They taste good, with a few having a slight fermentation taste to them. This would be a good method for storing strawberries in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
The berries look okay. They’re starting to shrivel quite a bit, and the stem and leaves are beginning to dry out.
They taste fine, but they’re not at all pleasing to the eye. The vinegar wash is a good method for keep strawberries for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Control – Original Container:
The berries have seen better days. They’ve shriveled quite a bit and are inedible by week three, and some strawberries are starting to mold.
The stems and leaves have dried out. They taste over-ripe. This is an ok method of storing strawberries for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
The glass jar method is the clear winner. Strawberries that last three weeks in the refrigerator are a total win!
You can keep these berries for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. The vinegar wash method is fine for keeping the strawberries for 1-2 weeks, and the original container is best for keeping the strawberries for one week.
Strawberries are such a fresh and healthy snack and even a treat! They are delicious in salads, desserts, on pizza (yes!), in a smoothie, and the list goes on and on. Additionally, they are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin B9. They are great for your heart and blood sugar control.
Strawberries can be left unrefrigerated after cutting them for up to two hours. You will want to put them in the fridge after two hours to help the berries stay fresh and be safe to eat.
However, if you have not cut or washed them, they can sit at room temperature for up to two days. However, storing them at room temperature will not stay fresh for as long as they will by storing them in a glass container in the fridge.
Strawberry Storing Tips:
- Do not remove the stem, and do not wash the strawberries before storing them.
- Use a clean glass jar that’s been washed and dried thoroughly. It needs to have a tight-fitting lid. I like using large mason jars. Large jars like pickle jars are perfect for larger quantities of strawberries, too.
- Discard any spoiled or bruised fruit. Do not put the spoiled ones in the jar with the other strawberries.
- Place the jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
- The strawberries will not get moldy using this method. They will, however, start to ferment. They may seem fine, but they aren’t edible if you leave them too long in the refrigerator.
***NOTE: The results will vary based on the ripeness of the fruit when placed into the jar, refrigerator temperature, etc.
This post first appeared on FFF in May 2016. I have since updated the pictures and added a video.