Smart Tip: Keep Berries Fresh Longer With This Washing Method

Fresh berries are one of summer's great pleasures, but they don't come cheap — which makes it even more disappointing when a basket of strawberries or raspberries turns to moldy mush within days of purchase. Washing them before storage usually accelerates the deterioration, but Cook's Illustrated has a washing method that actually keeps the berries fresh longer in storage. Here's what they recommend:

Wash the berries in a diluted vinegar bath (1 cup vinegar plus 3 cups water) and spin them dry in a salad spinner lined with paper towels until they are completely dry. Store the cleaned berries in a sealable container lined with paper towels, leaving the lid open a little to allow moisture to escape.

The vinegar destroys bacteria and mold spores on the berries, helping them stay fresh longer. According to Lifehacker, this method extends the shelf life of berries by days, sometimes even weeks.

Read more: Caring for Berries at Cook's Illustrated

Have you ever tried this technique? Do you have any tips for helping fragile berries last longer?

Related: Bigger and Blander: What's Up With Strawberries?

(Image: Tim UR/Shutterstock)