Four glass jars with wooden lids full of berries. They all have a kitchen towel in the bottom.

How to keep berries FRESH for weeks!

How I keep my berries fresh, and mold free, for over a week for my family of 6!

Four glass jars with wooden lids full of berries. They all have a kitchen towel in the bottom.

These berries are 1 week old!

As a family of 6 with hungry kids, I need to buy things in larger quantities. With the price of food skyrocketing these days, the last thing I want to see is any of that food going bad! Over the years, I have tested and researched the best ways to store and stretch our food.

The Dirty Dozen

We all know that buying organic is the best option whenever possible. Especially when It comes to certain fresh foods known as “The Dirty Dozen”.

If you have not heard this term before, “the dirty dozen” is a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue.

So, what are the dirty dozen? This is the most updated list from the EWC (Environmental Working Group) from 2023.

  • Strawberries
  • Spinash
  • Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bell and hot peppers
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Green beans

I bet after looking at that list you have spotted at least one item that your family buys and eats.

Buying bulk berries fresh In photo 2 the same berries 1 week later!

Buying your Produce

So, what can we do to ensure we are giving the best food to our family? Buy organic of course! But is this actually a reality for most families, especially when the price of the same non-organic pack of berries is a fraction of the price?

So, what can we do? Wash our produce. Even if you are able to afford all organic food, you should wash it before consuming it.

Blackberries and strawberries on a kitchen towl.

Washing in baking soda to keep berries fresh

Before I put away any of my berries I wash them. That way they are ready to go and hungry hands can grab a quick snack out of the fridge without any worry.

How to wash your berries to keep them fresh

  • Fill the sink with enough lukewarm water to fully submerge the berries.
  • Sprinkle in baking soda and stir it around with your hand to dissolve it into the water. (About 3-4 Tablespoons per sinkful)
  • Gently dump the berries into the sink. For more tender berries like raspberries, keep them in a small colander submerged in the water so none of them get squished.
  • Let the berries soak in the water for 10 minutes.
  • Drain out the used water and rinse the berries with fresh cool water.
  • Gently, remove the berries to a dry kitchen towel, in a single layer.
  • Allow the berries to air dry for at least 1 hour. I usually leave mine to dry for 2-3 hours.
  • Depending on the amount of berries you have, choose a container (or multiple containers) that will hold the fruit.
  • Line the bottom of the container, with a kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towel.
  • Gently, place the berries into the container. Make sure to separate them by variety. (Blueberries will stay fresh the longest, followed by strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries will have the shortest shelf life.) This way all of the berries in the container will start to decline at the same rate. Also, heavy strawberries will not be crushing any tender raspberries.
  • As you are doing this, remove any berries with soft spots or blemishes. If you pierce or squish any of the berries while handling them, set these one as side to eat first.
  • Cover the berries loosely. No need to seal it, it’s just to prevent the berries from drying out. They still need some air.

This is how I keep my berries fresh for 1-2 weeks! I have done this for years and have always had great results!

Why clean your berries with baking soda?

Soaking and rinsing your fruit remove dirt and debris. Pesticides are also reduced when cleaned with baking soda! Studies have shown that washing produce in a baking soda solution reduces pesticides by 66.7-98.9%. Washing produce in just tap water alone reduced pesticides by only 26.7-62.9%.

The most important thing to keep your berries FRESH longer!

Fully DRYING before storage! This is the most important factor in prolonging the shelf life of your fresh fruit.

Too much moisture will quickly encourage mold growth and start to turn your fruit mushy.

The most important factors to make sure your berries stays fresh are

  • Allow the cleaned fruit to full air dry before packing it away for storage.
  • Provide a good layer of absorbent paper towel or a lint-free kitchen towel on the bottom of the container. This will soak up any excess moisture present with the fruit. It also provides a soft cushion so berries are less likely to be crushed.
  • Remove any mushy fruit before storage.

Storing Fresh berries for more than a week

To store berries for more than a week..

  1. Wash the berries in water and baking soda bath.
  2. Drain and rinse.
  3. Let them air dry completely on a towel.
  4. Line a container with kitchen towel.
  5. Gently, place the berries into the container.
  6. Sort them by type of berry.
  7. Remove any berries with softs spots or blemishes.
  8. Cover loosely, you want to berries to be able to breath.
  9. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and beyond!

The proof is in the pudding

How did my berries hold up?

In photo 1 Fresh berries after 2 days! In photo 2 Fresh berries after 3 days!

By the end of day 4 the first casserole dish with strawberries is gone. None of them had spoiled and all were just as fresh as day 1! The raspberries held up just as well and are just about gone!

End of day 5 a dish of perfectly fresh strawberries! End of day 7 no strawberries have spoiled!

Photo 1 A close up of my berries by the end of day 8. Photo 2 End of day 9 these perfect berries are left!

By the end of day 10 the berries were all still perfect and were all gobbled up!

Let me know how long your berries last! Mine consistently make it to the two week mark and beyond, if they didn’t disappear first!

A pinterest pin with 4 jars of berries.

Looking to make something delicious with your berries? Check this out! The Best Old-Fashioned Raspberry Mini Tarts Lemon Bursting with Blueberry Muffins

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