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Q: What is the best way to store strawberries? I left my berries out on the counter overnight and they got moldy.

A: Strawberries are highly perishable and proper storage is important to maintain optimal freshness. If your kitchen in not too hot, strawberries are fine on the counter for a day. However, your best bet is to put the strawberries in the refrigerator if not being consumed or used in the near future.

Do not wash the strawberries until ready to eat or use. Strawberries act like sponges and will soak up all the water they come in contact with. Even if you pat them dry, strawberries tend to turn quickly. If you want to have strawberries for a quick snack for you and your family, just clean what you need. The rest of the strawberries will taste better and last longer by not washing them.

If you have a lot of strawberries, your best bet is to line a shallow bowl or plate with several layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place the strawberries in a single layer on the towels, cover, and chill until ready to use them. Strawberries will stay fresher longer with this simple technique.

The perfect storage temperature for strawberries is 32 to 36 degrees. Store the berries in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Strawberries packaged in closed plastic clamshell containers may be stored in their containers or in a partially opened plastic bag to maintain high humidity. Strawberries can only be stored for up to seven days under optimum conditions.

Keep in mind that shelf-life depends on how ripe the fruit was when purchased or picked. Strawberries will not ripen after they are picked. If you're not planning on using the strawberries within a few days, freeze them  in plastic baggies. Frozen strawberries are perfect for whirling in smoothies, turning into sauces, or baking up in pies, tarts, cakes, and other treats.

For fun ways to enjoy strawberries, click here.

Have another Nutrition question? Ask our Dietitian.
Jill Kwasny

Registered Dietitian