Where to Keep Fresh Strawberries
If you intend to use your strawberries soon after bringing them home, they can be left on the counter at room temperature. It’s important to hold off on rinsing them until right before you eat them, because the berries will serve as sponges and absorb the moisture. If rinsed and left on their own, strawberries will become mushy and could even develop mold.
Note: If you notice a moldy berry in your bunch, remove it immediately. Mold can spread quickly but, if spotted early, you may be able to salvage the rest. When shopping for strawberries, flip the container over and inspect the bottom. This is where water may gather in transport and where mold is more likely to occur.
If you plan to use strawberries within a few days, it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator. This will help to maintain humidity and keep the berries from losing their own moisture to surrounding air. Transfer the unwashed strawberries from their original container and place them in a partially closed container, such as Glad Entrée Food Containers, lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
If your berries are at peak freshness and you won’t be using them immediately, consider freezing them for a later date.
Methods of Freezing Strawberries
When frozen properly, you can maintain most of the nutrition and flavor from your fresh strawberries. They can be frozen whole or sliced, with or without sugar. Be sure to wash and dry your berries before beginning your freezing process.
For whole berries: Freeze the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet to keep them from getting stuck together. Once they’re solid, transfer the berries to a container, such as FreezerWare™, or a zip freezer bag such as Glad® Freezer Zipper Gallon Bags.
For sliced berries: Remove the stems and halve or slice your berries into a bowl. For each quart of berries, mix in ½ cup of sugar and gently stir until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer your mixture into a freezer container, such as FreezerWare™, seal tightly and freeze.
Keep in mind that after freezing and thawing your strawberries, they will be much softer and the color may be darker. These thawed strawberries are great in milkshakes, desserts or in other recipes where the flavor of your fresh strawberries can shine. As with most fruit, be mindful that the consistency of the berry may change after thawing and it may lose its original firmness.
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