The Best of Summer Berries
From strawberries to blueberries to raspberries and blackberries, here are some tips on how to pick, store and enjoy these summer fruits.
Here are some things to keep in mind when buying strawberries:
- Look for berries that are firm, glossy and uniformly red. Avoid berries that have a lot of white on them; they won’t be as sweet.
- Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. One serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange.
- Wash berries before eating. To freeze, wash berries and let them dry. Then place on a cookie sheet (don’t let the strawberries touch or they’ll freeze together) and place in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container. Frozen strawberries work well in smoothies and sauces.
- Using strawberry slices as a garnish? Look for ones that are flat and long. These produce the most even slices.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your blueberries:
- Look for blueberries that are firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom and no leaves or stems.
- Blueberries should be a deep purple-blue to blue-black. Reddish berries aren’t ripe but can be used in cooking.
- Check the ends of the berries before buying. If they’re white, they’ve started to mold.
- Frozen blueberries are the best to incorporate into quick breads and other baked goods. Toss frozen blueberries in flour before adding to the batter and they’ll be less likely to sink during baking.
Raspberries are known for their delicious, tart flavor. Here are some tips for buying and storing them:
- Look for berries that are slightly soft, plump and deep in color.
- Avoid overripe raspberries that are very soft, mushy or moldy.
- Raspberries will not ripen after they are picked, so don’t buy any that are pale or hard.
- Wash raspberries by gently spraying with water. Once raspberries are washed, they won’t keep as long so don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them.
Blackberries are larger than raspberries with a deeper, more purple color and tart flavor. Here are some tips for getting the most out of them:
- Ripe blackberries are deep black with a plump, full and slightly tender feel. If the berry is red or purple, it's not ripe yet.
- The skin of a ripe blackberry is dull, not shiny. Those are the sweetest berries.
- A serving of blackberries has 50% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.
- Wash blackberries by gently spraying with water. Once blackberries are washed, they won’t keep as long so don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them.