12 Edible Berries and Their Shelf Life

12 edible berries and their shelf life

How many edible berries are you aware of? Probably quite a number. Well! Here are 12 edible berries and their shelf life.

Cranberries

These little tart berries are natives to a few states in North America. These include Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon.

Cranberries exist in numerous varieties. Cranberry consumption has been in existence as early as the 16th century.

Native Americans combined cranberries into cornmeal or game meat. They also used cranberries as fabric dye.

Shelf life

Fresh cranberries last up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Frozen ones last for 1 year under 0°F freezing temperatures.

Gooseberries

Gooseberries grow wildly in temperate climates. These include northern America, Siberia, India, Britain, Europe and the Arctic zone.

Common gooseberry colors are red, green, white and yellow. Keep in mind that they have hairy, smooth or prickly outer texture.

Gooseberries contain many seeds and have a translucent skin. There are smaller varieties than others.

Shelf life

Depending on storage conditions, gooseberries last between 10 days to 3 weeks. Wash them when ready to eat to prevent rot. If you have them in bulk, freeze extra portions for long-term use. Well frozen gooseberries last up to 1 year.

Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most popular berries worldwide. Global cultivation of numerous hybrid varieties exists. The largest variety has its origin in Europe with cultivation being done as early as the 18th century.

Besides being consumed fresh, cultivate and process strawberries into various by-products like jams, purees, juice and canned products.

Shelf life

Fresh strawberries are best eaten within 1 week when refrigerated. Freeze extra batches since they will stretch up to 1 year.

Raspberries

These berries belong to the rose plant family. Raspberries come in various types, black, golden, purple or red.

Red raspberries are the most common. These are indigenous to north Asia and Europe, but you will find them cultivated in many temperate parts across the world. Raspberries exude a sweet with a dash of tinge to them.

Shelf life

Fresh raspberries are highly perishable. Refrigerate and consume them within 4 days. Freeze raspberries that you don’t intend to use immediately. Well frozen raspberries go for 1 year. Alternatively, process them into homemade jam or juice.

Elderberries

Revered for their medicinal properties, elderberry bushes grow in woodlands.

They belong to flowering plants belong to the genus Sambucus. Elderberry cultivation is widespread across North Africa, Europe, west Asia and North America.

Each region is synonymous with different varieties of elder bushes. There are ornamental, black, red or blue varieties.

Shelf life

Dried elderberries have a long shelf life of 1 year or more. Consume fresh ones within 3 days. Elderberry syrup can go up to 3 months when well refrigerated.

Goji berries

You know them as goji berries or wolf berries. Scientifically, they are referred to as Lycium barbarum.

Goji berries originate in Asia. The inhabitants have been consuming them for centuries – for medicinal and nutritional purposes.

Medicinally, make use of goji berries to alleviate health complications such as eye problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. They enhance wellness like inducing sleep and calmness.

Nutritionally, use fresh goji berries by adding to dishes, process them into juice, wine or herbal tea.

Shelf life

Dried goji berries last for more than 1 year. Store dried goji berries in a cool, dry area. Consume fresh ones within 3 days. Refrigerate or freeze for long-term use.

Loganberries

Loganberries are named after the horticulturalist who curiously tried to create a new hybrid of blackberries. James Harvey Logan mixed his blackberry and raspberry variety, ending up with what is now known as loganberries.

They have a purple, deep red hue with a taste cutting across black and raspberries. Enjoy loganberries fresh, convert into jam or syrup.

Use them interchangeably in recipes calling for either blackberries or raspberries.

Shelf life

Highly perishable, refrigerate and consume loganberries within one week. Otherwise, process them into jams or make puree to add to sorbets, shakes, pies and sauces.

Mulberries

What do silkworms and mulberries have in common? Could you take a wild guess? Well, silkworms feed on mulberry leaves.

Silkworm producing regions like Asia contain plenty of mulberry bushes. Mulberries grow wildly or cultivated. They thrive in temperate as well as sub-tropical climate.

Mulberries exhibit different colors based on variety – white, black, purple or red, which are found in a single plant.

Shelf life

Mulberries are commonly sold in farmers’ markets as opposed to grocery store. Their short shelf life make them a liability.

As such, consume fresh ones as soon as possible. Do not keep them for more than 1 week. For long-term storage, freeze them whole or in puree form. Use frozen ones within 3 months.

Blueberries

Blueberries appear on the list of the most popular berries. North America leads in blueberry production, with largescale cultivation being done in over 10 states.

Did you know that there are two types of blueberry bushes – high and low bush. Low bush blueberries are smaller and majorly used in jams and juice. On the other hand, high bush berries are commonly sold in stores, fresh, whole or frozen.

Blueberries are choke full of antioxidants and nutritional value. Moreover, they are used in cosmetics as an additional ingredient in facial creams, cleansers, body lotions and make-up products.

Their distinctive indigo-dark blue hue stems from a component known as anthocyanin, an antioxidant.

Shelf life

Blueberries last reasonably long. Refrigerate fresh ones for 2 weeks. Discard any bruised ones before storage. Freeze unused ones for up to 1 year.

Acai berries

Acari berries come from acai palm trees. South and Central America have the most ace palm trees. They bear a red-purple hue and reach up to 1 inch in length.

Acai berries contain high antioxidant levels as well as medicinal properties. Eat the berries whole or blend into juice form. incorporate Acai berries in your beauty products.

Shelf life

Consume fresh acai berries within 2 days at most since they lose nutrients quickly. Alternatively, make juice or other by products that have a longer shelf life.

Lingonberries

You can easily mistake lingonberries for cranberries. These two bear a striking resemblance in color, shape and size. Lingonberries have minimal tartness compared to cranberries.

The Scandinavian region has the most lingonberries globally. In Sweden, they grow wildly.

Other common names for this berry include cowberry, fox berry, red bilberry and whortle berry.

Did you know that lingonberries contain high levels of benzoic acid? Not only that, this chemical compound is used as a preservative agent in food processing companies.

A popular Scandinavian practice involves soaking lingonberries in a little sugar to tone down their bitter taste.

They are a perfect combination to game meat and fish, aside from being used in desserts.

Shelf life

High benzoic acid levels give lingonberries a long shelf life. Out of the 12 edible berries and their shelf life, fresh lingonberries last the longest in the fridge. Refrigerate them for up to 3 months. For long-term use, freeze lingonberries and they will serve you for several years.

Huckleberries

Bearing a spitting resemblance to blueberries, huckleberries resemble cranberries and blueberries.

Huckleberry enthusiasts place them on the top of the list in terms of flavor. Huckleberries grow wildly or can be cultivated.

The state of Montana, U.S.A., produces the most huckleberries. Humans as well as animals such as grizzly bear, rodents, deer and birds incorporate them into their diets.

Shelf life

Freshly harvested berries have a longer shelf life. As such, fresh huckleberries last for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Frozen ones last 1 year.

I bet you have learnt a thing or two about the 12 edible berries and their shelf life.

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