Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Berries

Summer is the season for blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries.  I have to admit, I didn't eat any of these until I was a few years into college, but now I can't get enough of them, and I take full advantage of the few weeks of summer that they are available local and fresh.  They are even better when you can pick them yourself:

But if you can't pick them yourself, buying packs from the grocery store or farmer's market will do as well.  No matter where I get my berries, though, I run into the same problem every time-- they go MOLDY within a few days of being in the fridge.  Now, don't get freaked out, but mold spores are everywhere, and most of the time they are harmless, but for some reason they grow a lot easier on those berries in the fridge.  There's nothing worse than planning to add some berries to your oatmeal, cereal, or smoothie only to find that there is white fuzzy stuff growing in the middle of all the strawberries!

So here is my helpful summer berry tip: use vingear.  Plain old white vinegar.  Here's what you do:
1. Make a mixture of vingear and cold water, 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water.
2. Submerge your berries in the mixture.  It's okay if they end up floating to the top, just make sure they all have contact with the mix.
3. Let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Drain in a colander, but do not rinse.  Let berries air dry completely.
5. Once berries are dry, transfer to the fridge.

Will your berries taste like vinegar?  No!  Just make sure you let them dry before eating.  They will last for at least a week, maybe longer, with no mold!  I've done this with all of my berries since learning this tip and have been pleasantly surprised with how long my berries last.  This won't keep the berries from their normal "aging" but if they start to get shriveled, you can still bake with them-- mold free!

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