A Better Way to Store Berries for an Extended Shelf Life
My kids LOVE strawberries. We eat them year round, which means paying grocery store prices for them through the winter. In order to ease our wallets and be good stewards of what we’ve been blessed with, I take advantage of every sale that comes our way. We’re located pretty far north, which unfortunately means berries have a long way to travel to get to us from the warm climates they were grown in. That means their extended travel time impacts how quickly we have to eat them before they go bad. To prevent spoilage and wasted money, here’s a great way to store berries for an extended shelf life in the refrigerator.
To take advantage of a killer sale going on I bought 6 lbs of strawberries for my family to enjoy over the course of a few weeks. This method is the best way that I’ve found to extend shelf life without freezing. I do this with strawberries, but you could do this with ANY berry!
Start by rinsing your berries and removing any that might be very ripe and should be eaten right away. You should also remove any berry that’s already rotting.
Next, pat them dry! It’s important to remove any of the moisture from your berries. You don’t want them locked away with water, it will create humidity in the jar and they will rot.
Next, place them into some clean, dry mason jars. I find that if you gently shake the jars as you’re filling them the berries will settle and you’ll be able to pack them more tightly. After I removed the berries that needed to be eaten right away and the few that were already rotten it ended up being about a lb per jar. So if you want to store 5 lbs of strawberries like me, you might need 5 jars. (I kept one lb in the fridge to enjoy right away!)
Once the strawberries are in the jars place the lids and bands on top. Secure the lid tightly and place them in the back of the refrigerator. Open them one at a time as you’re ready to use them! I’ll caution that this extends their shelf life as a unit, but once you open the jar they tend to go quickly, so be ready to use them within a day or two after opening the jar.