Berries are now in season; strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and all the other types of berries out there are finally ready to be picked and taken home. Berries have great nutritional content and contain beneficial vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Berries are great to snack on alone, or you can use them as an ingredient in recipes, salads, desserts or breakfast rolls.
So now that you know why berries are so great for you–not to mention they taste delicious–here are some tips on how to buy berries, how to store berries or freeze them for later use and of course, how to prep them to use in recipes.
- Visit a berry farm to pick them during the peak of the season.
- In the store, look for berries that are plump, firm and colorful, turning berry cartons over to check for moldy or mushy berries before you buy.
- Berries perish quickly; purchase them when you plan to use them.
- Wait until you use the berries to wash them. Unwashed berries stay fresh longer.
- Store berries loosely covered in the refrigerator for no more than two days.
- If you can’t use the berries right away, freeze them or make a puree or sauce that will keep longer.
Freezing Berries to Use Later:
- Wash and dry berries, removing stems and leaves.
- Arrange berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze overnight.
- Transfer frozen berries to an airtight freezer bag or container; freeze for up to a year.
Preparing Berries to Use in Recipes:
- Wash berries with cold water in a colander; drain well.
- Allow to air dry, or pat dry with a paper towel.
- Remove stems and leaves with a hulling tool or paring knife.