Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strawberries-Tuesday Tip

Before, or directly after, going to the grocery store I always clean out my fridge and pantry to make way for new food. The one thing that we inevitably throw away the most often are fruits and vegetables. Every single week, mushy strawberries, wilted lettuce, moldy mushrooms. And I can't help but wonder how much money I'm just tossing in the trash. Finally, I've put my butt in gear and  started doing some research on how to best store them in order to try and make these natural wonder foods last a little longer.
This week:

Normally I would just toss the basket or plastic container in the fridge, and then try to remember to feed the strawberries to my boys the very next day because two or three days later the strawberries would be all wilted.

Now here's what I've learned.

1. Before using or storing, sort through the strawberries and separate the soft ones from the firm, fully ripe berries. Discard any mushy or spoiled berries. Leave the caps (green parts) on the strawberries until ready to eat or use in your recipes.

2. Store fresh strawberries in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to circulate around them. Do not cover them. (Is anyone picturing those single size colanders from Pottery Barn like me?  I think Target has them too. How pretty when you opened up your fridge door. I'm inspired. )

3.For best flavor, do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat or use them.

4. As strawberries tastes best at room temperature, remove from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before they are to be used. (Well, this may not work out so well.)

5.Remove caps from strawberries only after washing (the caps keep the water from breaking down the texture and flavor inside the strawberries). I thought that last part was pretty interesting.

Hope this helps somebody. Now, go get some strawberries.

~mrs. dunbar
P.S. Happy Birthday Joseph!


Martha said...

You have me sooo hungry for strawberries...and what a great excuse to buy some single colanders, right? Thanks for the tips!

Nancy said...

Thank you. I am so sick of 1/2 of the box getting all "science project" in my fridge.

jen@odbt said...

Thanks for the tips and the reason to go buy a cute colander! We buy the huge pallets at Costco and inevitably they turn bad before we get to finish them.

Stephanie said...

Very interesting! All of our local strawberry stands are starting to open up so I can't wait to try them and use some of your tips :)

Amber said...

Something my Grandma taught me was to keep strawberries separate from other produce in the fridge. Strawberries produce a gas that makes the produce around them spoil.

Great post... I am always looking for a better way to stretch the life of our strawberries.

Ali said...

I LOVE strawberries, thanks for the tip! I do the same each week when going grocery shopping, toss out so many fruits and veggies. It's a bummer, but I love to have them on hand!

Katie said...

Thanks for the great tips!!

Nic B. said...

Start composting! It will make you feel better about the ones that get away. :)

feather said...

this is so helpful. we either gobble them up before even getting them in the fridge, or they go bad before we get to them. thanks for these ideas

Janna said...

I had no idea. Oh well, I guess all those berries I washed and cut up tonight will have to be promptly eaten in the morning. But I'll redeem myself by pulling them out of the fridge at least 30 min. before they're consumed.

Genn said...

Thanks for this post Irene. Perfect timing too, as we went strawberry picking on Sunday. I knew that if you cut the tops off they go bad faster. Didn't know about taking them out of the fridge for an hour prior to eating, but let me tell you, eating them straight off the vine in the warm sun on the farm... THE BEST!

Have you guys been to Tanaka Farms before? Great fun.

Lori said...

I'm totally into strawberries right now, so this was helpful. My tip - buy some Tillamok (sp?) vanilla bean yogurt. Cut up strawberries and eat them together - bliss! :)

Seizing My Day said...

Great tips! Air... makes sense!! ;) I have seen a strawberry shaped colander before... I figured it was for washing... guess it was maybe for storing! ha ha! who knew!?!

The Flying Bee said...

Thanks for the tips! I have the worst luck with strawberries...they always go bad so fast!


patty said...

as i read this, i'm thinking of the 2 new containers of strawberries that i just bought to replace the 2 moldy ones in the fridge! thanks for the useful info!