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Food & Drink

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

Make Berries Last Longer With One Simple Ingredient

make berries last longer

make berries last longer

While we’re still in blackberry season, I thought I’d share with you a great tip to help extend make berries last longer in the fridge before going off.  Not just blackberries, but raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and any other berry you can care to think of.  This is especially great if you’ve picked more blackberries than you can eat or have some left over from making delicious jam!

The secret to make berries last longer is quite surprising – vinegar!  I love using vinegar as a great chemical free cleaner, but who would have guessed that using vinegar can help your berries to last longer in the fridge?

how-to-make-berries-last-longer

How to Make Berries Last Longer

According to Cooks Illustrated all you have to do is rinse your berries in a solution of one part vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar works best) to three parts water.  Then dry the berries in a salad spinner lined with kitchen roll until completely dry, and store in a kitchen roll lined airtight container to help make berries last longer.

I don’t own a salad spinner and I’m not about to go out and buy one to add more plastic to my kitchen, so instead I filled a bowl with one part vinegar to three parts water and gave my berries a short soak for a minute.  Then I drained and rinsed my berries, and gently patted them dry with a clean (dark coloured!) tea towel, before placing them in the fridge in a tub on top of a folded piece of kitchen roll to help absorb any water.

wash berries with vinegar

 

Ready to go in the fridge!

Cooks Illustrated say that the vinegar wash acts as an antiseptic agent – helping to remove any spores or bacteria on the surface of the fruit that can cause mould.  I think the act of completely drying the fruit may also play a factor in extending their life as well, as I’ve found that washing berries without then drying them before storing them always speeds up the rotting process.

My verdict is yes, it indeed helps to make berries last longer.  The berries that I have picked in the past started to go off after 24 hours, but using the vinegar and drying technique I stretched this batch into lasting two days.  It could have been more but I didn’t want to risk them rotting and wasting perfectly good berries so we ate them!  And to dispel any worries: no your fruit doesn’t taste of vinegar!

Will you be trying this?  Let me know how you get on!

update: my berries lasted a whole week!

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

How to Tell if Milk is Bad

how to tell if milk is bad

how to tell if milk is bad

I’ve talked before about expiration dates on eggs, and how to check to see if you can eat them past their date.  But what about milk?  If your milk has reached it’s expiry date and you’ve still got some left then how do you tell if  milk is bad, or if it is still safe to drink?  Do you sniff the carton to see how it smells?  If you do then what if I tell you then that you’ve been doing it all wrong?

It’s true, if you’ve been sniffing the carton/bottle then chances are, unless the milk is definitely off, then you will have been getting a false picture of how the milk actually smells.  Instead of the milk, you’ll actually have been getting a whiff of the horrible dried up bits of milk around the rim of the carton, perhaps causing you to bin the milk unnecessarily early.

My 91 year old grandad has scant regard for expiration dates on food (true story – a little while ago he found a tin of tomatoes 10 years out of date in the back of his cupboard.  A lesser person might have put the can in the bin, but no, my grandad used the tomatoes to make them into tomato soup and ate it regardless.  And you know what?  He was perfectly fine).  His rule for milk is if he puts it in his tea or coffee and it curdles then it’s off, otherwise it’s fine for consumption, regardless of the date on the carton.

I think my grandad’s method is a bit extreme (who wants to potentially waste a perfectly good cup of tea?!).  In actual fact the best way to tell if milk is off or not is to pour a little bit of milk into a clean glass, and then sniff that, giving you a better idea of if the milk is off or not.

It’s fail safe – you’ll never throw out perfectly good milk again!

Do you have any tips to reduce food waste?  Do share in the comments below!

Image from here.