Showing posts with label how to store strawberries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to store strawberries. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Battling My Senior Moments with Berries by Cleo Coyle

My Senior Moment

(A Play in One Act)

Cleo Coyle author of...(?)
Cleo walks into room. Stops. Stares.

Cleo: "Why did I come in here?"

Husband: (Glances up from computer screen.) "You're asking me?"

Cleo: "I can't remember."

Husband: "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?"

Cleo: "I think I wanted to tell you something?"

Husband: "Are you asking me or telling me?"

Cleo: "I wanted to tell you something. I can't remember."

Husband: "Time to eat some berries."

Cleo: "That's what it was! My idea for today's post!" 

And here it is: Late last week, the Annals of Neurology published the results of a major medical study that suggested blueberries and strawberries might protect brain function in woman, including memory. 

The story was very big health news. Investigators found that women who had the highest intake of blueberries (more than 1/2 cup a week) and strawberries (more than 1 cup a week), delayed mental aging by as much as 2.5 years.

To quote Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York: "I would advise all my patients, at any age, to eat more berries. Berries are an easy, nutritious and delicious way preserve brain function."

To read more about
this study, click here.

Of course, fresh berries can be expensive out of season, but frozen berries can be eaten year round, and they carry the same benefits. You can also freeze fresh berries yourself. The process is very easy...

HOW TO FREEZE BERRIES: Wash them, dry them, place them on a baking sheet and slide the pan in the freezer for three hours or so. Once the berries are frozen, take the pan out and pour the berries into a freezer-safe plastic bag. (I like to double bag for extra insurance against freezer burn.) Then return them to the freezer.

Cleo: "Marc, what was this post about again?"

Husband: "You're kidding, right? Look at the photo!"

Cleo: "Woops. Time to eat another bowl of..."

A few more tips...

HOW TO SHOP FOR STRAWBERRIES: When shopping for strawberries, choose berries that are bright red in color. Look for firm berries with fresh, green tops. Pass by any containers that have berries that are molding or mottled with dark patches. If the berries are staining the container, they are past their prime.

HOW TO STORE STRAWBERRIES: Strawberries will not keep long, so try to purchase them a day or two before you intend to eat or cook with them. Because strawberries retain water, do not wash them until you are ready to use them. To keep the berries fresh for as long as possible, I store them in the refrigerator in a single layer on a paper towel within a moisture-proof container. They keep well for several days this way.

And so...

My post this week is not so much a recipe as a simple reminder that a breakfast, dessert, or snack can be as easy and delicious as a bowl of berries...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Strawberries Are Here!

I was thrilled to see fresh organic strawberries in my grocery store again. Company was coming, and I immediately had visions of waffles with fresh strawberries for breakfast. Is there anyone who doesn't like strawberries?

I'll digress for a moment to say that I once read a review of one of my books in which the reviewer said she liked the book but got tired of reading the word "organic"! I won't badger anyone, but note that strawberries are on the USDA's dirty dozen list. You can't peel them and you can't do much more than rinse them. Google USDA dirty dozen and you'll find the top twelve fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides.

In any event, they're delicious. But the morning after you buy them, they look a little dimpled. You've tried leaving them on the counter, right? You've tried refrigerating them. Nothing seems to help them last longer.

There's a simple trick. It works best with a large flat food container. My favorite is a glass lasagna dish with a lid. Any airtight food container will work, but the broader the bottom, the easier this is to do.

These simple tricks will keep strawberries fresh for days.

1. Don't wash them.

2. Line the bottom of the container with a paper towel. Place the strawberries inside in little rows, but be sure they don't touch each other.

3. Place another paper towel over top of the strawberries and add another layer of strawberries. You can fit them into the little nooks created by the lower layer, but be sure there's paper towel between them so they don't touch.

4. Continue adding layers of paper towels and strawberries. If you're using a smallish container, you can roll the paper towel over a row and add more as I have below.

5. Add an airtight lid.

Just remember, don't wash them and don't let them touch each other. That's it! Now you can shop one day and make those Strawberry Shortcakes, or in my case, Strawberry Waffles, a couple days later.

And don't forget to leave a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of. The contest to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop will end fairly soon. Our own Jenn McKinlay’s Sprinkle with Murder is now out in bookstores near you!