Summertime is Berrytime Article -
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Summertime is Berrytime

When the hot days of summer hit, these small bites of juicy sweetness are a perfect pick-me-up.

Not only are berries bursting with flavor, they are also full of fiber, vitamin C and phytochemicals, which may deactivate potential carcinogens. And be glad for what berries are not full of: they are fat-free, low in sodium and nearly calorie-free.

Handle With Care

Tips on how to choose, handle and store these delicate beauties:

  1. Most berries should be eaten right away. Store in a single layer in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  2. Do not wash berries until you're ready to use them. Wash strawberries with the hull on, then hull and slice them.
  3. Freeze berries by arranging in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag or container to enjoy throughout the year.
  4. Berries don't ripen further once they're picked. Choose berries that are fragrant and deeply colored. Avoid bruised, wrinkled or moldy fruit.
  5. If you wish to make smooth, seed-free sauces, purées and jams, consider investing in a food mill. These hand-cranked sieves give you perfect pulp, leaving the skins and seeds behind.


Cultivated blueberries comprise the majority of blueberries on the market. Blueberry season is from May to early October. Choose berries that are firm, uniform in size and colored an indigo blue with a bit of a silver frost. Blueberries can be stored for up to five days.


These berries offer the most fiber of all the berries--one serving of blackberries contains more fiber than a serving of bran cereal. When selecting blackberries, remember, "The blacker the berry, the sweeter the fruit."


Raspberries come in a variety of colors. Whether black, golden or red, raspberries are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. These are fragile berries, however, so handle them with great care.


Strawberries are a member of the rose family. The hardiest berry, strawberries can withstand shipping and storage. For the best flavor, avoid strawberries with white tops or uneven coloring.

Jun. 22, 2009 9:40 am
Perfect timing! My boys and I just picked 40 lbs of strawberries. I've been wanting to try stawberry pancakes. I'm especially looking for recipes I can cook with my friends and fill my freezer with.
Jun. 26, 2009 4:15 am
great article for summer!! and i love berries and i'm always trying to find things to make with fresh ones! thanks all recipes!
Betsy Landgraf 
Apr. 27, 2011 7:12 pm
When making blackberry jelly,I use the Jack LaLane juicer to get the juice for seedless jelly. I can never tell when I have boiled the jelly enough so I use a thermometer, cook to about 190 degrees then put in HOT jars. I sell it at craft shows.
Jun. 13, 2012 10:19 am
where we live there are wild blackberries every year and they can get huge,I have made freezer jams with them,excellent and always a jar when I need it.Love the berries of summer!!
Jun. 13, 2012 10:38 am
secret to storing berries. Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar with 10 parts water and add berries. Stir around a moment or two, then drain. Refrigerate uncovered in a container with holes all around like a colander. Strawberries last two weeks in fridge, blueberries, raspberries, up to a week. Believe it or not. I live in Florida and have access to strawberries year round and eat a bunch every day in my big salad, and grandkids just grab and munch. b4 putting in salad, I slice, sprinkle with splenda and mix then dump in salad. So good. Has never failed me. And NO, don't rinse after vinegar/water bath. PLEASE try it!
Jun. 13, 2012 10:41 am
I should have noted that vinegar KILLS bacteria, which causes berries to go bad quickly, that's why it works.
Jun. 13, 2012 10:55 am
Darn your recipes sure look and sound great. I'm saving this e-mail and will be back as soon as possible (I hope that means tomorrow). Thank you very much for the good sounding and good lookin' recipes.
Jun. 16, 2012 12:15 pm
I absolutely love fresh summer berries and have used them for all sorts of dishes. Try drizzing a little Strawberry balsamic vinegar over strawberries! Dee-lish
Maggie M. 
Jun. 16, 2012 5:05 pm
Mary, thanks for sharing your strawberry storing tips! Haven't tried it yet but I definitely will!
Jun. 22, 2012 1:59 am
Contrary to the statement that fruit will not ripen once picked iws not necessarily true. My strawberries continue to ripen even though they have been picked and were purchased from a refridgerated box. I leave them in warm air and strawberries that had white tops and orangyy bottoms will ripen over a couple of days to a deep red throughout and be very tasty. Melons will also ripen I have found.
Jul. 5, 2012 5:13 pm
what about Elderberries? I know most the tree is poisonous but the berries are a super food,fights 7 of the influenza viruses ,does anyone know how to make wines jellies and jams from elderberries
Jul. 29, 2015 8:02 am
I am going to try Mary's vinegar fruit wash
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