How to Store Cherries?
Everybody likes cherries.
Cherry is a tasty berry that many people adore. It can be eaten fresh, as a jam, you can make juice of it and add to different desserts.
Moreover, they are extremely useful. Besides a high concentration of vitamins C, A, PP, berries contain antioxidants and natural antibiotics. They are rich in mineral salts, the concentration of which is perfectly balanced and ideally absorbed by our body. Cherry tree fruits contain various trace elements, which are very important for children and teenagers.
Unfortunately, the fresh cherry season is very short. So how to keep this source of nutrients until next year? It is quite possible if you know how to store this wonderful berry properly.
How to store cherries to make them last longer? It’s very easy!
When and How to Pick Cherries?
The berries must be properly selected if you want to store them. Here are a few useful tips to help you choose the fruits:
- Select slightly ripened, elastic, and shiny berries without any damage;
- Berries of darker color are much sweeter and more useful than their lighter friends;
- Be sure to try berries and sniff them before purchasing. Their sour-sweet taste and aroma should not contain the notes characteristic of the fermentation process.
- Very sticky or soft berries have spent a lot of time in the sun and are no longer suitable for long-term storage.
- Choose cherries with green stems. If they are dark or absent at all, then this crop may be not very fresh.
- It is very important to pick berries without worms if you want to store them. To do this, you need to break down one ripe berry and check it inside. If you find a worm there, it is likely that the whole party will be like that.
Best Way to Store Fresh Cherries
There are several options to store cherries. Everything depends on how you want to use them.
- storage of fresh berries in a cool place;
- refrigerate cherries in the freezer;
- drying cherries;
- storage of cherries in recycled form.
How to Store Fresh Cherries?
It is not realistic to keep the fresh cherries for a long time. But with a correct approach, you can extend their life for a week or two. And since cherry is very useful for our health, it is worth trying.
If there is a dry, well-ventilated basement, then, under certain conditions, it is quite possible to save the cherry 10-12 days. For this purpose, it is necessary to provide humidity of 85-90%, and fluctuations of temperature in the range of 8-12 ° C. In these conditions cherries will remain fresh and keep all vitamins during the specified term.
For keeping in the fridge, it is best to put the berries in the package. So they will last about 20 days. But avoid washing cherries in this case.
Should Fresh Cherries Be Refrigerated?
Berries can be frozen with stones or without them. Note, that cherries with stones retain more juice. In order for the freezing to go well, you need to follow some simple but important rules:
- The time between picking berries and passing them to the fridge must be minimal, in this case, all the vitamins and nutrients are preserved.
- For freezing, take ripe berries, but overripe. Choose fruits without damage. Cherries must be properly washed. But dry them before freezing.
- Arrange the berries in small bags and put them in the freezer. The optimum temperature for storing cherries is in the range from minus 18 to minus 23 degrees. At this thermal condition, the shelf life can be from 8 to 12 months, almost until the new season.
- It is sensible to freeze cherries in small portions, not exceeding 500 grams. It is convenient to use plastic containers with lids for freezing.
- If you use ordinary bags, it is better to freeze the berries on a tray first, spreading them out in a thin layer, and then fold them in portions. This way each cherry will retain its shape.
- The cherry can easily absorb other odors, so make sure to seal well the bag or container.
Hints for Housewives
Do you refrigerate cherries? If so, you must know the following.
- If you have frozen cherry with stones, then you need to use it for food for one year. The cherry stones contain amygdalin. This substance is destroyed during long-term storage and releases a very strong poison, hydrocyanic acid.
- You need to defrost the berries gradually by removing the container from the freezer and placing it in the refrigerator.
- All frozen berries are designed for only one defrosting, so you cannot re-freeze them. That is why it is advisable to refrigerate cherries or any other berries, in small portions, to use at a time.
Another option for storing cherries is drying. You can use a special dryer or oven to do this. It should be borne in mind that if the temperature in the automatic dryer rises above 60 degrees, vitamin C will begin to collapse. So it is important to choose the right mode for this drying. If the berries are dried in the oven, leave the door slightly open and keep the temperature low.
The average time for such a process is from 5 to 9 hours. The benefits of dried cherries are no different than those of fresh fruits. It is better to store dried berries in glass containers or in paper bags. The storage term is 12 months.
Cherry is one of the fruits of which are valuable both when consumed fresh and in various types of preservation. With the help of simple actions, it is not difficult to preserve the indispensable medicinal qualities of cherries and enjoy their taste and benefits all year round.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that in our time a great number of housewives prepare the cherry for the winter. They use popular recipes of jam, liquor, syrup, etc.
Hints for Preserving Cherries
- When sterilizing whole cherries, heat the water on a low fire. Only with a slow increase in temperature, the skin of cherries does not crack.
- Cherry in its own juice is the easiest way to preserve its vitamins. Just lay the berries tightly in jars and sterilize them for 20 minutes. To protect the jars from bursting during sterilization, put a towel or cloth on the bottom of the pan.
- To make cherry wine from, you need to remove the stones. They can give a bitter taste.
- When making liquor or syrup, it is not necessary to remove the stones. To make the drinks spicy and aromatic, add some nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla.
- When preparing cherries for jam, whole berries should be pricked with a needle and blanched for 15-20 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to preserving cherries, many questions occur. To give you a hand, we have collected the most frequent questions.
When are cherries in season?
Everything depends on the sort of cherries. If it is sweet cherry, its season lasts from May till August whilst sour cherry season has a very short harvesting period. Usually, you can pick them for a week or two in the middle of June in the warm areas and in late July and August in the colder areas.
Should cherries be refrigerated?
For keeping the cherries fresh, refrigerating is the best variant. At room temperature, they lose their juiciness and quality after one hour already whilst in the fridge they can last without damage for a day and more.
What is the best way of storing fresh cherries?
Fresh cherries feel better in the fridge where they can remain tasty from three days to a couple of weeks.
How do you store cherries properly?
When storing cherries, take into account several essential tips.
First of all, always put them in the dark and cool place. Sunshine is killing them and makes cherries dry. That is why using your fridge is the best way to store fresh cherries.
Also, cherries collect other odors easily, so, when putting them to the fridge, cover the container with a plastic cover or a lid. Also, you can use any plastic bag for the fridge.
Another option is to freeze them.
When does the black cherry season begin?
Dark-sweet cherries have the longest period of harvesting. You can pick them starting from May and till early September.
When is Bing cherries season?
Bing cherry is a sort of sweet cherries and its season lasts from May till August.
How to store Bing cherries?
Bing cherries shall be stored the same way as all the other sorts of cherries. Find a cool and dark place and leave it there (the fridge will be perfect). Ensure that there are no strong odors nearby as cherries pick them easily.
When are sour cherries in season?
Sour cherries can be picked during a very short period of time. Their harvesting season lasts for a couple of weeks only and takes place in mid-June in the warm areas and in late July or August in the colder regions.
How to tell if cherries are bad?
If you noticed that your cherries have a mushy and too soft surface, if they changed their color or there is any discoloration and of course, if you find mold, these are all signs of the cherries being bad.
How to store freshly picked cherries?
If you have just brought some cherries from the garden, the best way to store them is to put them to the fridge in a plastic bag. Otherwise, if you leave them in the room, they won’t last longer than one or two days.
This is what you have to know if you ever wondered how to store cherries after picking.
When do cherries come into season?
The harvesting time for cherries depends on the particular sort. However, the average cherry season lasts from May until the beginning of September.