We’re deep into berry season, so it’s a great time to talk about how to prevent fresh berries from going to waste. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries all have a slightly different shelf life. Do you know how long they keep? Continue reading to learn how to avoid wasting these seasonal gems as well as some other money-saving grocery tips.
Are you enjoying your summer? If you are like my family, you’ve already visited your local farm several times this season to pick and purchase some fresh berries. The berries are perfectly ripe at this time of year, but they tend to spoil faster than the other produce in the fridge. Today’s article will help you to ensure that you don’t end up throwing out these delicious (and often expensive) treats. We’ll cover:
- How long do the different berries last in the fridge?
- What are some mistakes that may be costing you money at the grocery store?
- What are the advantages of cassava flour, and how is it best used?
How long do the different berries last in the fridge?
I often share my meal preps over on the HowUdish app. After showing one of my lunch salad preps, someone asked me how long the berries keep. It’s a great question and one that I’ve been asked often. What’s more frustrating than to purchase expensive berries, only to have them wind up in the trash?
The different berries each have a different shelf life in the fridge. Berries that are fresh, unblemished, uncut, dry, and unwashed will last the longest. Below is a list of the most common berries and their shelf life (when stored in the refrigerator) from the FoodKeeper App:
- Blackberries: 3-6 days
- Blueberries: 1-2 weeks
- Raspberries: 2-3 days
- Strawberries: 2-3 days
I often have raspberries that only last 1-2 days, so I rarely
In general, I encourage my family members to eat raspberries first, strawberries second, and blueberries and blackberries last when I bring berries home. Even though it’s a bit regimented, this small rule of thumb goes a long way in minimizing food waste. Any berries that are not going to be eaten within the time frames listed above get washed, bagged, and stored in the freezer.
By the way, if you purchase berries frozen, it may be a very good idea to cook them before eating. According to the FDA, frozen berries have been implicated in multiple outbreaks of norovirus and hepatitis A virus over the past few decades. Restaurants and cafes do not always take this cooking kill step, but this is a simple food safety precaution that you can use at home to help prevent illness.
What are some mistakes that may be costing you money at the grocery store?
I had a little extra time this morning, and feeling bored with my typical eggs, yogurt, or oatmeal, I started sifting through the fridge and freezer searching for something different to enjoy for breakfast. Below is a list of some of the items that I found. How would you use these?
- Part of a large eggplant
- Assorted whole grain bread ends (saved in the freezer)
- Half of a jar of pasta sauce
- Various cheeses (parmesan, Italian blend, etc.)
I added some random things to this list to throw you off because that is how this game works in real life. I ended up using the food processor to break the bread ends into crumbs, mixed them with dried herbs and parmesan, and made a wonderful sheet pan eggplant parmesan for breakfast (topped with the sauce and cheese, of course). A bit odd for breakfast, but utterly delicious, and an excellent use for random bits of foods that were at high risk of ending up as food waste.
If I did not want this savory dish for breakfast, making these foods into a ready to eat meal for later in the day makes it much more likely that they will end up being eaten (if not by me, then by someone else in my household). However, I’d encourage you to branch out and try some non-traditional meals in the morning. Many people do not get much produce in at breakfast and changing up your notions of what this meal “should” look like can help you to think outside of the (cereal) box.
Scanning your fridge every few days and making use of the produce that is just hanging around is one of the best ways to help you prevent food waste and to save money. I’ve become quite proficient at this game over the years, and have found many ways to create a delicious meal out of what appears to be “nothing” at first glance.
If you’d like some tips on other ways to save money, be sure to check out this SparkPeople article that I contributed to on 9 Mistakes Costing You Money at the Grocery Store. We all have different living situations, so the tips on this list that you find to be most helpful may be different than what helps someone else.
I have a big spare freezer, so I find that buying large packages of meat at bulk discount prices (such as from Costco) can actually save me money. If you don’t have this space, buying smaller amounts of meat per shopping trip (as suggested in the first tip in the article) may be the best strategy for you.
What are the advantages of cassava flour, and how is it best used?
If my local mainstream grocery stores are an indicator, the U.S. has fallen in love with alternative flours. I was looking for a simple white cornmeal last week to make seswaa and pap (the national dish of Botswana), and strangely found things like banana flour to be more widely available. With so many of the popular dietary patterns eliminating or limiting grains, I suppose the stores are just trying to meet demand.
If you are a foodie who likes to experiment with novel ingredients that come out on the market, I recommend being especially careful with the alternative flours. These often do not behave in the same way as wheat flours in recipes, and you can easily end up making extremely expensive baking mistakes.
An excellent way to start with flours like cassava (if you choose to splurge) is to use a recipe specifically designed for this ingredient. If you need some ideas, head over to this article that I contributed to at Chowhound titled What is Cassava Flour and How Can You Use It? There is a recipe in the article for cassava flour pancakes that look absolutely divine. Happy eating!