The Vinegar Solution For Perfectly Clean Raspberries

Elegant and delicious, fresh raspberries are one of life's simple pleasures, but they come with a caveat. While they are beautiful in the store, in the blink of an eye they can go bad once you get home. The fruit's beauty is in its delicate nature, but that is what also makes raspberries a challenge.

Their thin and porous skin makes them prone to mold and spoilage. That's why raspberries can't be washed and stored like other fruits, they need special care. In fact, there is an ideal solution that can be made with vinegar and water that will clean fresh raspberries, making them ready for snacking, using in a recipe, or for freezing. All you need is 3 parts water and 1 part distilled white vinegar and a simple three-step process for fully washing and cleaning the fruit.

While raspberries are the most fragile berries to clean, this same system can be used for strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries as well.

The ideal way to clean raspberries

Cleaning raspberries properly can be broken down into a three-step process, and it all begins with the ideal ratio for a water and vinegar solution. Start by combining 3 cups water with 1 cup distilled white vinegar in a deep bowl. This 3:1 ratio can be increased if you plan on cleaning a large amount of berries.

Next, place the raspberries to be cleaned in a colander and dip them into the bowl with the solution. Gently agitate the berries and then lift them out of the bowl. The key is to dip, rather than soak the fruit. Follow with a gentle rise of cold water to remove any traces of a vinegar still on the surface. Finally, place the clean berries on a paper towel or cloth and gently pat them dry. Throughout the process it is important to be gentle as the raspberry skin can easily tear.

For the best outcome, be sure to inspect the fruit carefully in the store even before you buy them to select the freshest option possible. In fact, there's a good reason to shake fruit containers in the grocery store when picking out raspberries. They should move around a bit and make a light rattling sound to indicate they are fresh and not too soft or mushy.

Storing raspberries properly

Raspberries are so delicate that they should be cleaned just before eating or using them in a recipe. Once you come home from the grocery store, keep the berries in the clamshell container because it allows air to circulate around the fruit to ward off spoilage for as long as possible. Also, it is a good idea to keep them close to the front of the refrigerator at eye level so you don't forget about them. Raspberries might only last three to five days in the refrigerator, so enjoy them quickly.

Once your berries have been washed, they can be used as you please. Of course, they are an incredible snack, but fresh raspberries can also be used in a variety of recipes. This raspberry lemon macaron cake is a showstopper made with gorgeous fresh fruit.

Washed and dried raspberries can also be frozen for use in baking or smoothies later on. Simply spread out the clean berries on a rimmed sheet, making sure they are not touching. Then place the sheet in the freezer and allow them to firm up. This will make sure each berry freezes individually rather than smooshing together in one large clump. Once they are frozen, they can be transferred to a bag or airtight container for storage.