Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wash & Freeze your Grapes & Berries

Fuzzy Grapes? No thank you!

There is nothing more disappointing than paying $4.00 for a bag of grapes, only to look in the fridge the next day and find that fuzzy mold growing on them!  By properly washing them when you get home from the grocery store, you will extend their shelf-life.

Fortunately, cleaning your fruit is very easy and very inexpensive to do. Veggie & fruit washes found at the store are expensive and not necessary. Taking just a few minutes to wash your produce will keep you and your family healthy.  In case you're wondering just how important it really is to wash your produce, the main reason is because of pesticides used on all produce you see in grocery stores. Even organic vegetables are susceptible to contamination; usually as a result of improper practices by people handling it after it leaves the farm.

I used plain old Apple Cider Vinegar!  Yes, I know, I use this stuff like crazy! Here is yet another reason why: The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit. Here is how to do it:

What you will need

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), I use BRAGG
Large Bowl
Ziplock Bags

Start by removing the grapes from the stems, this can be done quickly by grabbing a bunch at a time and gently pulling, they should release easily. Discard any mushy grapes.  
Fill a large bowl with the grapes.

Add cold water, just enough to cover them completely.  Add to the bowl Apple Cider Vinegar (3 tablespoons per gallon of water). Swoosh the grapes around and then let soak for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour grapes into a strainer over your sink (no brainer tip, huh? You’re welcome).  Run cold water over the grapes to rinse.  Don’t worry, although you can smell the ACV you will not be able to taste it. 

Let grapes rest a few moments in the strainer, allowing any excess water to drip off.

Place grapes in a ziplock bag and refrigerate!  OR …

OPTIONAL but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED … Freeze your grapes:

After allowing the grapes to drip dry, lay a few pieces of paper towel on your counter, place ½ the batch of grapes on the paper towel (easier to do in smaller batches), move them around which will help dry them completely (important so you don’t get ice crystals on the grapes once they freeze).

Place grapes in a ziplock bag and put in your FREEZER!!  This cleaning & freezing method also works for: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries.

Here are a few fantastic reasons why I LOVE freezing grapes:

Use them as ice cubes in your tea, water or my personal favorite … wine!

Quick snack to enjoy outdoors and they stay cold during those hot summer days.

Great for bagged lunches, they remain cold and double as mini icepacks.

Teething children love them (make sure to crush them or break in two so they don’t choke)

Put in your fruit salad at a picnic/event and they will help keep the fruit salad cold.

Yummy healthy snack when you are craving a sweet treat (kind of feels like you are eating a popsicle but minus the guilt afterwards)

Soothes sore throats

Did I mention they are fantastic in a glass of wine ;)

Please add a comment with the ways you use your frozen grapes! 

Listening to:Lucero - What Else Would You Have Me Be?

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