The Best Time To Wash Your Blueberries For Long-Lasting Freshness

Berries picked from the ground and eaten right away used to be the best way to enjoy a fresh taste. We now know too much about possible pollutants, whether they come from nature or from industrial production methods.

This makes us take smart steps, like washing fruit well and keeping it correctly so it stays fresh for a long time. An easy touch and the right amount of time are very important when it comes to little blueberries.

It is important to wash fruit to get rid of dirt from the fields, herbicides, bacteria, germs from harvesters’ hands, and other contaminants that come from shipping and storing the fruit.

Leafy greens often have labels that say “pre-washed” or “triple-washed,” but berries don’t do that as often. You can make those healthy and tasty blueberries work magic in your recipes or as a snack. The first step is to wash them right.

“When” you wash is really just as important as “why” you do it. Not surprisingly, washing blueberries right away so they’re ready to go in the fridge is not the best idea.

When you wash blueberry skins, they lose their natural layer of protection, which makes them more likely to get damaged, break down, and get wet. If you don’t dry the berries completely before putting them away, any wetness that stays on the skins can make the fruits go bad faster.

It’s best to wash berries right before eating them to keep them fresh. But you should check the blueberries right away and throw away any that look like they might be going bad before the disease spreads to the others in the box.

Washing and storing blueberries for ultimate freshness

Before they can be eaten, blueberries that haven’t been washed need to be kept in the fridge, usually in the coldest area, and in packaging that lets air pass through.

This can be your own container with holes in it, or it can be a clamshell box made of plastic or cardboard, like the ones that come in grocery stores. Those will keep water from building up and let air flow.

It’s hard to say for sure when blueberries were picked in the fields, but if they’re stored properly, they can last for a couple of weeks after they were picked.

Set aside a few minutes to clean your blueberries well before you eat them. You only need clear, cool water, and it works just as well as vinegar, lemon juice, or store-bought vegetable washes most of the time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that you should never use bleach or disinfectants on fruits and vegetables and should never use any kind of cleansers or soaps. As a germ-free way to wash your hands, use running water instead of a tub full of water.

If you wash and don’t eat all of your extra berries right away, you can put them back in the fridge and enjoy them later. Use paper towels to gently pat them dry, and then put them back in a jar with air holes, best with a paper towel at the bottom and between each layer of berries.

If the paper towels get wet over time, you should get new ones. It’s easy to tell when blueberries are going bad because they’ll start to mush, leak, change color, shrink, or grow mold. You might also smell or taste something sour.

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