Berry Buying and Storing

berries 2Spring signals gardening, baseball, bike rides, sandals, and BERRIES.

Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries not only are delicious, but they are also top in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. (Antioxidants may help increase our immune function and protect against cancer and heart disease.)

Purchasing Berries

Berries (except for cranberries)  are “in season” in late spring and summer which means they will be less expensive now than other times of the year.

When buying, look for firm, plump, full-colored berries. Avoid buying bruised or oozing berries. Turn the container over to check berries at the bottom. Berries don’t continue to ripen after harvest, so when choosing strawberries stay away from green or yellow ones.

When I see a good deal on berries, I buy extra and freeze them. To freeze, put a single layer on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. When frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This way they don’t freeze together and you can take out just what you need.

Storing Berries

When you get berries home, cover and refrigerate them but wait to wash them until you are ready to use them. This way they will hold for several days. To wash, put the berries in a colander and spray with clean running water and then spread on a paper towel to dry.

How to Serve Berriesstrawberry cut

Try to serve berries au natural so you don’t add a bunch of calories to them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Put some in a plastic container to eat as a snack or lunch on the go
  • Add to a bowl of whole grain cereal
  • Make a yogurt parfait
  • Sprinkle on salads
  • Make fruit kabobs along  with other fruits such as pineapple chunks, bananas, and grapes.
  • Add to frozen ice cream or yogurt
  • Make smoothies

 

For more information about berries, here is another resource:

Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries

 

Peggy Signature


Luscious, Juicy, Sweet Strawberries!

Strawberries are a great buy right now in grocery stores. The best prices I have seen are $1/pound, but most places are under $1.50/pound. According to the news, this is because Florida and California strawberries are hitting the stores at the same time this year. In a few weeks the local berries will be in season also. Get ready for some good eating!

Strawberries are naturally high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants, and they’re low in calories and practically fat- and sodium-free. Ounce for ounce, strawberries have more vitamin C than citrus fruit.

Strawberries are perishable so you have to choose carefully and protect your investment once you get them home.

For more information and recipes, check out the tip sheet.

-pointers from Peggy

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