The season of cheap and tasty garden strawberries is coming, the first berries are already ripe! How to keep them fresh for a long time and stretch the pleasure, read in this article.
Freshly removed strawberries, if stored properly, will last a week in the refrigerator. But no one knows how many berries were waiting for you on the counter. Below are a few life hacks with which strawberries will last a couple of days longer.
1. Choose fresh berries
Food storage begins with a purchase. When you pick strawberries, carefully examine the berries themselves and the container in which they are stored. If the strawberries darkened, became soft, and pieces of pulp remained on the box walls, then the berries had already begun to deteriorate. Even a few blueberries are a sign of a stale product.
When you pick strawberries from your own beds, remove the completely reddened, but still hard berries, without waiting for them to soften.
2. Sort strawberries immediately after purchase
Even if you really want to put the box in the refrigerator and get it, just to fill the berries with cream, you need to make an effort and sort through all the berries after the purchase. In the cleanest, freshest batch of berries from the store, there may be a pair of moldy. You need to get rid of them immediately, otherwise this fly in the ointment will spoil the entire barrel of honey.
The same applies to products stored nearby: mold spoils strawberries quickly, so keep only fresh fruit in the refrigerator.
3. Choose the right container for storage
In a good package, strawberries will stay fresh longer, and a good package for berries is a box made of durable cardboard or wood with ventilation holes. Plastic may be suitable, but holes must also be made in it. The thinner the layer of berries, the longer they lie in the refrigerator. Transfer layers of strawberries with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
4. Do not wash all berries at once
Strawberries need to be washed only before going to eat it. If you leave the berries moist, they will deteriorate faster, so put off the water treatment before deciding to use strawberries. When it is required to store pure berries, lay them on a paper towel after washing and dry them.
5. Use vinegar
A mixture of water and vinegar helps remove bacteria from the surface of berries better than just water. But this method should be applied only if there were a lot of spoiled berries in one batch: then the benefits of processing will be higher than the damage from excess moisture.
Make a solution by mixing vinegar with water in a ratio of 1: 3. Spray berries or rinse by gently wiping each berry. In any case, do not forget to dry the strawberries on a paper towel.
7. Freeze strawberries
Many are unhappy with this method, because after defrosting the berries sprawl and turn into porridge. To prevent this from happening, send only strong berries to the freezer and only after you remove the leaves, stems and dry the strawberries after washing.
If you freeze whole strawberries, be creative. For example, dip the berries in melted chocolate or yogurt before freezing.
Follow certain rules: to keep the berries in a beautiful shape, first lay them out one at a time (for example, on chopping boards), and then pour them into bags or boxes. There should be room in the bags so that the strawberries do not turn into an ice ball.
10. Store strawberries in sugar syrup
This is a reliable way to preserve berries, but, in fact, you will get almost jam. 800 g of berries will require 400 g of sugar and three glasses of water. Rinse the strawberries and dip them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Then transfer to sterilized jars. Pour boiling syrup from water and sugar, cover with sterilized lids.
11. Pour the strawberries with pectin syrup
This is not the most common way, because pectin powder is rarely on the shelves of ordinary stores. But you can buy it. Pectin is a natural stabilizer, most often it is obtained from apples. Put clean berries in sterile jars and pour them with boiled and cooled pectin syrup (the proportions of the preparation vary depending on the manufacturer, so follow the instructions on the package). Strawberries will not become too sugary and preserve the natural taste, but not for long - such conservation is not too reliable. In pectin, berries can also be frozen for better preservation.
What kind of strawberry is stored longer
In the world there are more than three and a half thousand different varieties of strawberries. They differ in taste, weight, size and shape. More than 10,000 varieties are grown in Russia. At the same time, there are types of berries that can safely maintain their property for a long time. These include:
All of them remain as long as possible, as if they had just been torn from the garden. In this case, they are distinguished by the size and fruiting time (early and late). Therefore, for each type of season, you can choose the perfect berry.
How to choose and prepare the berry for storage
Many factors affect the shelf life of strawberries. First of all, this is its variety and time of collection. For example, late harvest should be used for storage in the freezer, and early varieties are also suitable for short periods. In any case, there are general rules under which strawberries should be the same size, without signs of damage. An important moment is the state of ripeness, the terms in this case should be the same. And, of course, the temperature and storage method.
It is important to remember the rule. Never store strawberries in a closed container, especially a plastic bag.
To save the berry you need:
- Sort strawberries immediately after purchase. It should be the correct form, not have spots and blackness. Be sure to check for insects and see if it rots. Otherwise, if among all there is at least one damaged fetus, then there can be no talk of a long storage period.
- Choose a container for storage. Of no small importance is the capacity where the strawberries will be stored. The ideal solution would be plastic containers. Putting the berries in them, you do not need to close them with a tight lid, otherwise it will leak. Dishes should be ventilated, so you can use a regular basket. In addition, it is very convenient to extract it from such a container.
- Do not wash all berries at once. In general, strawberries should not be washed before eating. It is best to simply wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel. There is a risk that you simply damage the berry. Of course, in the presence of large contaminants (land residues), it is advisable to immediately eat.
- Should I use vinegar? Yes, you can use such a solution, because thanks to it, the berry will be rid of bacteria and parasites.
Where better to store strawberries
Depending on the shelf life, you need to choose the right place. So, if you want to eat berries all winter, then the ideal place would be a freezer. If from several days to a week, then an ordinary refrigerator will also cope with this task. The main thing is to follow the rules mentioned above.
Can strawberries be stored in the freezer?
Various fruits of ripeness and shape are sent to the freezer. Strawberries can be pre-cut into slices and frozen. If you use it for mashed potatoes, it is best to immediately prepare it for the volume you need at one time. In this case, the berry must be washed thoroughly and rid of damage. After that, dry with a dry towel and carefully place in the freezer compartment.
How to store fresh strawberries without a refrigerator
This storage method can be used when you need strawberries for several hours. For example, to make a cake or a drink. It will not last longer than 4 hours at room temperature. Put it in a container and preferably do not wash before use. So, it will retain the freshest taste.
How to store strawberries in the refrigerator
For storage in a refrigerator, pick up a plastic container and take fruits of the same size. Do not wash the berries, they can give juice. Just wipe them and you can use vinegar to disinfect. The container should be well ventilated. It is worth noting that you will need several food containers, since it will be necessary to lay the berry in 1-2 layers. Therefore, stock up on them in the right amount. Place a paper towel at the bottom of the container and refrigerate.
How to store strawberries in the freezer
For the freezer, you can use different types of berries, if desired, they can be cut in advance. A prerequisite for thorough washing and disposal of rotten fruits. To prevent the berries from sticking together, freeze them in portions, having previously laid them on a baking sheet. Then transfer to a container convenient for you. This may be a regular food package, the main thing is that it takes up little space. Under such conditions, strawberries can be stored from 6 months to 1 year. Before use, it must first be thawed.
How to store dried strawberries
The berry is stored for a long time when it is completely dried. This can be done in many ways. Namely:
- using the microwave
- special kitchen appliances (electric dryer),
- in ordinary air.
All of these methods work well. Store dried strawberries in a tight, closed jar in a dry place. It can be pre-fray, grind with a coffee grinder. Thus, storing it in powder form will take up little space in the kitchen. It retains its beneficial properties for up to 2 years.
How to store dried strawberries
Dried strawberries can be made at home. It is obtained by drying in the open air. From 1 kg of berries, about 300 grams of such a treat is obtained. Store in a dry container with a tight lid. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight. An ideal place would be a regular, closed kitchen cabinet.
Storage Preparation: General Tips
When buying berries, you need to pay attention to their freshness. On the surface of the strawberries should not be dark spots or mold, and the berries themselves should not be too soft. If there is juice or pieces of pulp on the walls of the container with strawberries, then it has been collected for a long time and will not be stored for a long time.
Even one damaged specimen can spoil the entire volume of berries when it molds or decays. Therefore, future stocks must be sorted out as soon as you bring them home. All crushed or even partially damaged berries are taken from the total mass. If they did not have time to rot or mold, then they are perfect for making compote, a summer drink or jam.
You need to harvest in the garden without waiting for the berries to ripen. Strawberries should be ripe and red, but not too soft.
When buying, select beautiful, dense berries without damage, with a "tail". Good fresh strawberries should smell sweet and have a bright (burgundy or red) color.
If you find a lot of damaged berries, then vinegar will help remove bacteria and prevent rot. Heavily damaged specimens are removed, and the remaining ones are washed or sprayed with a solution of water and vinegar in a ratio of 1: 3. After the procedure, strawberries should be laid out on a paper towel and dried.
Strawberry storage in the refrigerator
Many housewives are interested in the question - is it possible to store strawberries in the refrigerator? It is possible, but the berries will not stay fresh for long. In a special compartment of the refrigerator for vegetables and at minimum temperature, the shelf life is approximately 2-4 days. Therefore, a refrigerator is a good option if you do not have time to quickly process or eat the entire crop.
It should be remembered that berries are not recommended to be washed before being placed on the shelf of the refrigerator - moisture provokes rot and mold on products. It is better to process the berries with water immediately before eating. If the strawberry itself is wet, there is no point in avoiding washing, but after processing it with water, it is necessary to dry it by laying it on a paper towel.
Packaging also affects shelf life; the ideal choice is a plastic or cardboard box with ventilation holes. If you can’t put the reserves in one layer on the bottom of the tank, separate layers are transferred with paper, which will absorb excess moisture.
Strawberry storage in the freezer
It is possible to store strawberries for a long time at home if you use a freezer. There, strawberries will retain their beneficial properties and taste for 1 year. There are two ways to freeze berries:
When freezing strawberries as a whole, it is especially important that it is dry. Berries frozen wet will stick to each other, and their structure will be damaged by ice crystals. After defrosting, strawberries will not retain their shape.
The correct technology is as follows: the berries are washed and dried, laid out on a baking sheet or chopping board so that they do not touch each other, and then put in the freezer. After complete freezing, stocks are quickly poured into a bag with a clasp or in a plastic container and returned back.
Thaw the stocks carefully. It is best to put the bag in the refrigerator and wait until the strawberries have melted gradually. If you place tender berries under a stream of water or just in the sun, they will soften to a state of porridge.
An excellent solution for storing mashed berries or those that have already been laid in the refrigerator is to make mashed potatoes and freeze them. In a softened mass, sugar can be added to taste. Strawberry puree is usually stored in plastic containers.
Since it is impossible to store fresh strawberries for a long time, and after freezing, not everyone likes it, various methods of conservation are popular. Jam and jam recipes are passed down from generation to generation, and each of them has its own proportions of water, sugar and berries. In this form, you can store strawberries for up to 3 years.
Each hostess herself decides where to store strawberries and how to do it. The main thing is to follow simple rules, and then the summer taste of berries will delight you even in winter.
In this state, the fruits can be stored for 2 to 4 days. It all depends on the state of strawberries and their varieties. The refrigerator maintains optimal temperature, so place it in a separate compartment and can be used up to 5 days.
It is best to eat immediately, otherwise it will begin to deteriorate and give juice. Water softens the berry and the liquid that remains on it contributes to its decay. Therefore, the period is calculated from 2 to 4 hours maximum.
Since it was exposed to heat, all the liquid disappeared. Subject to all storage rules, it can be stored up to 2 years. At the same time, without losing its appearance and retaining all the useful properties.
Sun-dried has identical properties with the dried appearance of strawberries. Therefore, their shelf life is almost the same. The only thing you need to check for tightness is the closure of containers. Otherwise, in the open air it will wrap up and midges and worms can settle in it.
Bouquet of strawberries
Fruit and berry bouquets are stored less than a day. Since real strawberries are used, consider them freshly picked. So, its shelf life is about 3 hours.
These were all the ways and methods of storing this delicacy. Be sure to consider all factors that have a direct impact on the content and preservation of this product. Each variety has its own characteristics, so choose a more "tenacious". So, you can enjoy their aroma and taste for a long time.
How to choose or pick berries
From the initial quality of the berries depends on how much they will remain fresh.. They should be completely red, but dense, without dark spots. This applies to both purchased and strawberries harvested from their site.
One of the first strawberry varieties brought into Russia from England was named after Queen Victoria (in its pure form it does not exist now, because it has been superseded by much more successful modern varieties).
When buying, pay attention to the walls of the tray: if there are pieces of crushed pulp there, the whole product may turn out to be stale. There should be no mold on the berries: even if only one or two things are spoiled, the rest can already be infected with spores.
Of course, it is impossible to inspect the entire purchase in the market or in the store, so at home immediately sort through the berries and remove the darkened or soft ones. If there is no mold on such specimens, they are best used immediately, for example, for baking or eating.
Possible storage you need to choose varieties that tolerate transportation. (But there is one significant objection. Stability and transportability - the qualities are really interrelated, but transportability and taste are directly opposite. The reason is the peculiarities of ripening strawberries. As natural sugars accumulate in the berries, the walls of their cells become thinner and collapse. In fact, the berries begin to deteriorate already в процессе поспевания. Многие современные сорта, выведенные для выращивания в товарных количествах, характеризуются очень низкой скоростью процесса образования сахаров в тканях (то есть, ягоды оспевают, но сахаров в них мало). Это качество генетически обусловлено. Оно позволяет ягодам хорошо храниться и транспортироваться, но именно из-за него вкус и аромат продукта, мягко говоря, оставляет желать лучшего. Это особенно заметно у импортной клубники, которая продается у нас зимой.In closed containers, it lies on the shelves at room temperature, for weeks remaining very beautiful and completely tasteless. So, following the advice about choosing a variety, you need to prepare for the fact that the berries are well preserved, but will not bring you that pleasurewith which you eat perishable, but such a fragrant and sweet seasonal strawberry of less than "advanced" variety.)
On your own site, collect strawberries in the morning when the dew dries. It is advisable to do this in dry weather, but even after rains the crop should not be left in the garden for a long time, otherwise it will deteriorate.
If you rarely visit the country, you can pick pink berries, they will ripen at home. Greens do not make sense.
Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator, depending on its initial state, from a few days to 1 week.
You need to wash the berries immediately before eating - if done in advance, they will quickly lose freshness and become sour. The exception is when most of the crop is darkened or moldy.
Damaged specimens are selected, and the remaining ones are sprayed from a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water (in a 1: 3 ratio). Processing will inhibit the development of spores, but storing berries in this case still will not work.
If the berries are wet, dry them gently with paper towels.
It is best to store strawberries at temperatures from 0 to + 2 ℃, so it is recommended to place it in the vegetable compartment (there it can lie for a week). At temperatures above +6 ℃, the shelf life is reduced to 3 days. If you keep the berries at room temperature in the apartment, they will remain edible for a maximum of 2 days, we summarize this information in the table:
|A place||Temperature||Shelf life|
|Compartment for storing vegetables in the refrigerator||0…+2 ℃||Up to 1 week|
|Shelf in the fridge||+6 ℃ and above||Up to 3 days|
|Table in the room / kitchen||+15…25 ℃||Up to 2 days|
Store strawberries preferably in a wooden container, birch bark basket or in a plastic or silicone colander - access to oxygen will help maintain an optimal level of humidity and the berries will not mold.
Can also be used open plastic container or loose plastic bag. The smaller the berries will be in the container, the longer they will remain edible. There should be no moldy foods nearby, so if you already have other fruits in the refrigerator, sort them out.
Strawberries can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year, but since this berry is 90% water, there is a risk that it will lose its shape after complete thawing.
Before freezing, remove the sepals, wash and dry the berries. Strawberries can be frozen like this:
- Whole. In this case, you can simply serve it on the table or use it for chocolate fondue. Since thawed berries are softer than usual, they are more difficult to cut into neat slices, but it is easy to mash in mashed potatoes. To protect the workpieces from deoxidation, you can dip them in yogurt or melted chocolate in advance - you get a finished candy.
- Sliced. Neat pieces are good for decorating pastries and other desserts. In addition, in this case, the strawberries more evenly and freeze faster.
- In the form of mashed potatoes. It is used for smoothies or cocktails, as a filling for baking, etc. Even soft berries are suitable for such a workpiece.
Whole berries or slices can be laid out in plastic or glass containers suitable for freezing, or in bags on a clasp. Ice cream or ice cream tins are used for storing mashed potatoes, as well as portioned cups.
Prepared strawberries before freezing can be filled with sugar syrup. It helps to better preserve the taste, aroma and shape of the fruit, but in this case they turn out to be very sweet, which not everyone likes. In addition, it will be more difficult to use part of the workpiece.
To make syrup, dilute sugar with water in a 1: 1 ratio. Condemn the workpiece in the refrigerator, then pour the berries so that they are completely covered. Such syrup can also be added in mashed potatoes, in which case about 4 parts of sugar are used for 5 parts of berries.
Strawberries can also be stored in pectin syrup - it holds the shape of the berries worse, but it does not make them too sweet. The proportions for its preparation should be indicated on the packaging.
Tip: To preserve the color of strawberry puree, sprinkle it with lemon juice.
If you plan to store strawberries without syrup, first lay the berries in one layer on a pallet and freeze for several hours. Only after that transfer them to the container, otherwise they will stick together. Leave about 1.5-2 cm of free space - when the berries freeze, they expand.
Defrost the berries gradually in the refrigerator. Quick defrosting, for example in a microwave, will make them too soft. It is desirable to eat them still cold.
You can save strawberries for the winter without cooking and freezing using sugaring.
You can prepare the workpiece as follows:
- Sprinkle pure berries with sugar in a ratio of 1: 0.8 to 1: 1.5. The longer you plan to store the product, the more sugar you need. Large fruits are preferably pre-cut.
- Put the strawberries in a cool place overnight. From time to time, the workpiece needs to be mixed.
- Mash the strawberries with a blender or pestle until mashed.
- Sterilize and cool the glass jars (in warmer preform may ferment).
- Fill the jars with strawberry puree, about 1 cm before reaching the top. Fill the remaining space with sugar.
In this case, you need to store strawberries in the refrigerator or cellar, and in the winter - on the balcony. At a temperature not exceeding +6 ℃, the workpiece will remain edible for 6 months.
In banks, you can pour 1 tbsp. l vodka. It will allow you to save the berries longer, but the child will not be able to give such a product.
Strawberries contain a large amount of pectin and folic acid, helps to strengthen the immune system, improves mood thanks to the “hormone of joy” contained in it. However, note that it can cause allergies, therefore, children and pregnant women should use this product with caution.
The following video is about strawberry freezing rules:
Journalist by training, author of short stories. He loves mountains, grows garden and indoor flowers, collects hyacinths. A special pride is a small "plantation" of coffee trees. He is fond of landscape and interior design, trying to implement especially liked ideas.
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