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Buying, Storing & Preparing Berries

Guest Author - Sandy Moyer

Fully ripe blueberries are a deep blue to a deep purple color. They should be smooth, firm, and dry. Only fully ripe berries are sweet enough to eat fresh. Boxes with only a small number of reddish or reddish-purple berries are okay to use in baking pies, muffins, cakes, etc. Avoid boxes with berry stains which could be from overripe fruit or from improper storage and handling.

Transfer the blueberries to a covered container for storage. Refrigerate and use within one week. Wash the berries just before using. To wash - Place the berries in a bowl of cool water, then sort through them to remove any green unripe berries, bruised berries, stems and leaves. Rinse in a colander.

For more information, see

Raspberries are available in red, black, and purple varieties. Fully ripe berries should be the correct color of their variety... Red raspberries should be deep red. Black and purple varieties should not have red, unripe areas. All varieties should be plump, firm and hold their shape well. Avoid soft, juicy berries and berries in stained boxes.

Raspberries are highly perishable. They must be used soon after picking or purchase. Store raspberries in the refrigerator, in a covered container, for up to 3 days. Wash the berries in cool water just before using.

See and

When buying fresh blackberries, select plump, unblemished berries, free of surface moisture. Avoid berries in stained containers. Blackberries should be shiny and black - avoid those that are dull or reddish.

Store fresh blackberries, uncovered, in the refrigerator and wash just prior to use. They should be consumed within 2 or 3 days of purchase.

See Southern Grace Farms for recipes and information.

Ripe strawberries are plump and firm with a bright red to dark red color. Leaves should be green and fresh looking. Size of the fruit depends on the variety of strawberry and on the growing conditions. It is not an indicator of quality, ripeness, or sweetness. Avoid over ripe, soft, juicy, and bruised berries and dull, shriveled berries. Strawberries with white or green areas are unripe. Strawberries do not ripen after picking.

Before storing, sort and remove any soft, bruised and over-ripe berries. A spoiled strawberry will cause spoilage in berries that touch it. Store strawberries in a covered container in the refrigerator use within two or three days. Wash berries just before using.

For more information about strawberries plus strawberry recipes, see It's Fresh Strawberry Season

Berry Recipes

Chocolate Raspberry Parfaits

Raspberry Breakfast Bars

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Raspberry Sauce
for ice cream, pancakes, waffles, etc.)

Berry Watermelon Lemonade

Berry Cobbler

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Blackberry Peach Crisp

Strawberry Recipes

OXO 5-qt. Good Grips Convertible Colander, Stainless SteelOXO 5-qt. Good Grips Convertible Stainless Steel Colander
Rinse fruit and vegetables, drain pasta and more. Non-slip legs spring out and rest securely over the sink for easy rinsing and draining. The legs can also be folded down for use as a traditional colander and for convenient storage. This 5 quart Colander is large enough to rinse large batches. Soft, comfortable, non-slip handles make shaking and pouring easier and the non-slip surfaces protect sinks and countertops during use. Measuring 23” when fully extended, it fits both single and double sinks either horizontally or vertically.

The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries
Over 200 easy to follow recipes + a chapter on berry preserves, jams, pickles, syrups, and toppings. It includes chapters on how to wash and freeze berries, how to accurately measure berries, how to substitute them in recipes, how to remove berry stains and more. The A to Z berry encyclopedia covers the history habitat of over 40 kinds of berries plus picking, buying, storing, cooking advice and pages of color photos.

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Content copyright © 2018 by Sandy Moyer. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sandy Moyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Allyson Elizabeth DŽAngelo for details.


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