This is the time of year that berries are most available to us, but these little jewels can be pretty perishable since they are susceptible to mold. If you are prepared with old-fashioned knowledge you can save money and avoid frustration. As soon as you come home with your berries, resist putting them in your fridge and just do a simple vinegar bath first.
Vinegar contains 5 percent acetic acid which has antimicrobial properties. Various studies have found that vinegar can inhibit the growth of some strains of E. coli. It’s also an effective mold killer.
1,) Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (either white or apple cider works) with five parts water.
Those of us who use vinegar in our household cleaning arsenal know that vinegar is one of the best all-natural and frugal cleaners around. It kills any kind of bacteria or spores on contact, so we can apply the same principle to our berries. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit.
2.) I just plop the berries into the mixture and swirl them around for 1 minute. Leaving them too long can make them soggy.
3.) Drain and rinse them with water. I have both rinsed and not rinsed, and they don’t taste like vinegar either way.
4.) I feel the secret is making sure they are completely dry before storing them in the fridge. You might use a salad spinner for your firmer berries (blueberries and strawberries), but raspberries will break up. I have some paper towels down on the counter before I start and after draining, roll them out to dry.
You can likely find some great stock up prices right now and know they’ll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them fresh, freeze them, bake with them, or make jams for over the winter.
Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries will last a week without getting moldy and soft. This will also extend the keeping time of peaches.
Health Benefits Of Berries:
~Berries help with weight loss: Berries are loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which has been shown to alter the activity of genes found in human fat cells, making it more difficult to put on weight. Blueberries, specifically, have been shown to diminish stubborn belly fat.
~Berries are good for your brain: Investigators with the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston found that the polyphenols in berries help the part of the brain that takes care of regular maintenance and “housekeeping.” Blueberries and strawberries were said to contain the most polyphenols.
~Berries are good for your eyes: Berries, especially blueberries and raspberries, contain lutein, which is important for healthy eyes and sharp vision.
~Berries help protect against disease: Berries are brimming with carotenoids, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Other phytonutrients in berries have been shown to protect against heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Those deep hues pay off tenfold when it comes to maintaining the health of your body.
~Berries help slow down the aging process: The powerful antioxidants in berries prevent free radical damage in your body, and less free radical damage means slowing down the aging process to help you live longer!
Enjoy God’s natural summer bounty!
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