How to Make Your Strawberries Last Longer

I love strawberries. Strawberries with whipped cream, over an angel food cake, cheese cake, a strawberry shake, strawberry ice cream… okay those are all desserts–busted.

But I really do love anything with strawberries! I use strawberries in cereal, smoothies, breakfast parfaits (if you need a stellar recipe for that, click here!), kombucha, and of course just all by itself. I think I potentially could turn into a strawberry.

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But here’s been my only problem: My strawberries go bad pretty quickly most of the time. Does this happen to you too?! I feel like I can never keep a pack for more than a week, which is really hard if I want to grocery shop for 2-3 weeks at a time. (Post coming later about how I do that!)

So I was trolling on Instagram the other day, and I came across a post by Brooke from Nesting With Grace. Brooke shared the most ridiculously simple hack for keeping your strawberries fresh and preserving them.

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(Sidebar: If you don’t follow her, you so should! She lives with her family of 5 in a 1,200 square foot home in Connecticut and is super sweet, decorative, and organized!)

All I could think was HOLY COW! I have to try this!! So, enter my experiment:

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UPDATE! I have edited this post that furthers my experiment! Scroll down, and you will see a comparison in the strawberries: 6 days after purchase + 12 days after purchase.

I had just purchased 3 packs of strawberries on sale at Publix the day before I saw this hack, so I knew it was the perfect time to try!

I had one pack for each experimental group:

  • Group 1: the control group
    • This group I just stored the way I typically would store my strawberries: In the fridge on the middle shelf in the same container I bought them.
  • Group 2: “the sidebar experiment”
    • I don’t know why I thought of this, but since I had three packs I thought, “why not try one more experiment.” This group I stored in the crisper in the same container I bought them.
  • Group 3: “the preservation group”
    • Now, this is the one that got me excited–the meat of my experiment. Here is how I “preserved” my strawberries:

What you need (per 1 pack of strawberries):

The How To:

  • Put your strawberries into the bowl
  • Add your vinegar to the bowl
  • Fill the bowl up the rest of the way with water
  • Let it sit for at least 10 minutes
  • After, you can rinse them and put them into a glass or metal bowl (I haven’t tried plastic yet, so that’s why I am not recommending it.)
  • Put into the fridge

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Here are my results from my experiment after 6 days of having my strawberries and preserving one pack. This is what I shared in my Instagram Stories:

6 days after purchase:

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12 days after purchase:

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 Here’s the breakdown:

Group 1: Regular Fridge Shelf Storage

As you can see, 6 days in and these strawberries are looking a little gloomy. They are becoming discolored, have brown spots, and are more mushy looking. They are definitely usable, I would just have to cut some parts off (food waste).

After 12 days, they just look bad. The color is very dark, and they are definitely ‘trash worthy. ‘

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Group 2: Stored in the Crisper

I was actually surprised at how much better these looked while just being in the crisper when I compared them to group 1. Some of the strawberries looked pretty red still, but you can see a few signs of aging on them. I would definitely have to trim that one on the right. However, it seems that I would have more salvageable parts and less food waste than group 1. I thought this was pretty interesting–a crisper actually does its job!

After 12 days, you can see they are starting to get mold, which spreads very quickly. Some of them are holding their color well, while others are beginning to darken (right). I w am very impressed how the crisper has held it’s own. I could definitely use some parts of these strawberries, but there would be a lot of waste at day 12.

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Group 3: Preserved with Water and Vinegar

I think the picture speaks for itself. I was super impressed with how well these strawberries have held up! They kept their color and have no signs of age! The only thing I noticed was slight bruising, but that was simply from them being on top of each other so that’s pretty normal.

12 days update: would you look at that! I would absolutely choose the preserved strawberries over the other two options! After 12 days they are beginning to lose color and are getting bruised from sitting on each other. There would be some food waste here, but lots of usable fruit!

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Yall, how easy was that!?

Here are some takeaways that I have so far:

  1. The vinegar gets them super clean–you will see the dirt and junk in the water!
  2. Trimming the tops off of the top before you put them into your storage container will help lessen food waste (especially kids tend to leave a lot of the good stuff on the strawberry when they eat it with the leaves on there).
  3. You can do this with most of your fruits and vegetables!
  4. It does not leave your strawberries tasting like vinegar…

I had a lot of people ask me this question via Instagram:

I REPEAT: This does NOT leave your strawberries tasting like vinegar!

*Cue happy dance*

Let me know what you think and notice in the comments below! Also, let me know if you have or do try this method on other fruits and veggies!

I am so excited to continue this experiment for as long as I can. I cannot wait to see how they look! I will edit this post and keep yall informed of how well these strawberries are holding up 12+ days out! Stay tuned!

*Update: I have been so impressed with this simple preservation method! I am definitely a believer now! Keep me updated how your other fruits and veggies turn out!

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