EVERYONE loves fresh summer berries, including mould. Follow these tips to keep firm berries like strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries fresher longer.

1. Pick through & eliminate

Pour the berries out onto a flat surface or rimmed cookie sheet and pick out any mouldy or squashed ones. If you’re not planning to eat them all in one go, wash the ventilated container they came in with soap and water and put aside. No plastic container? No problem. We’ll get to that in a bit.

2. Vinegar rinse

Once all the dubious berries have been voted off the proverbial island, mix 3 cups of cold water to 1 cup of white vinegar in a large bowl and add the berries, making sure there’s enough liquid to cover them all. Allow them to sit for a minute or two. Drain berries, then rinse with clean, cold water until you can no longer detect any vinegar odour. Spread berries on clean cloth or paper towels, and pat lightly until dry.

3. Dry storage

If your berries came in a ventilated plastic container (you know, the one you just washed and dried), line the container with dry paper towel and put the clean dry berries back in the container, leaving any air holes uncovered. Alternatively, you can store berries in any clean container lined with paper towels as long as you don’t seal them up with a lid—condensation is not your friend. Depending on how long you plan to keep them, you can always just drape a loose paper towel over the fruit. Store the fruit in the fridge and enjoy the summer bounty just a little bit longer!

*photo credit: Rivkah Photography