If you’re like me, you’ve stood in your kitchen at 7:00 am cursing your raspberries for being mushy or molded within two days of buying them. Cleaning and maintaining fresh produce is one of those tricks you need to learn, but as soon as you conquer it, you’ll feel invincible – I swear. We all want to be as efficient in the kitchen as possible, making sure that things are ready when we need them when we’re bumbling around half asleep in the kitchen trying to make a bowl of oatmeal.
So we try and wash fruit ASAP when we bring it home from the store, in the name of efficiency! The problem is, you may not be doing it right if you’re just rinsing and a lot of people say not to wash fruit until you need to use it. Wrong! Trust me, I’ve been battling fruit for awhile now. I specifically want to talk about berries, though because they seem to give people the most grief.
Washing & Storing Guide
Once you bring your fresh berries home, your first defense against spoiling fruit is to kill any spores on the fruit and we have white vinegar for that job. The ph in white vinegar effectively kills any mold spores already developing on the fruit. Neat, huh? I’ve been doing the following for a year now and it actually does the trick:
- Place the berries in a large bowl and wash them in a vinegar-water solution: 1 cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of water
- Let the berries sit in the vinegar-water bath, moving around a bit them to help dislodge any dirt, grime and letting the vinegar kill spores and bacteria
- Drain the berries in a colander and then rinse the fruit to assure that the vinegar does not tarnish the flavor of your berries
- Let the berries dry on a paper towel, patting them with paper or cloth towels
- Once dried, store the fruit in a sealed container, lined with paper towels
For an effective produce washing solution for vegetables and tougher-skinned fruit, please refer to my Organic Fruit and Vegetable Wash post from last week.
Here’s a neat little infographic to refer to when you’re thinking about where to store your fruit:
Image Courtesy of Door to Door Organics