Cherries are a versatile ingredient that can elevate any dish in the kitchen. Regardless of their flavor profile, whether they lean towards the tangy or sweet side, cherries never fail to deliver a burst of deliciousness in desserts, refreshing beverages, and even as a delightful snack. These ruby-red gems also boast various health benefits that make them even more desirable. Packed with powerful antioxidants and melatonin, cherries are a true powerhouse for promoting overall well-being.
However, it is essential to note that cherry season is a fleeting delight, mainly thriving during the sunny months of summer. To fully savor the delectable taste and bask in the health advantages cherries offer, it is crucial to learn the art of proper cherry storage. By mastering the best techniques to store cherries, you can ensure their freshness remains intact for longer, allowing you to relish all the advantages this delicious fruit offers.
When Are Cherries in Season?
First and foremost, it is essential to determine the precise time of cherry season. The delightful cherry season is characterized by a short-lived period spanning only a few months during the splendid summer. The pinnacle of this cherry extravaganza occurs in the glorious month of July. When cherries begin to grace the markets, the exact timing can vary depending on your geographical location. Generally, you can anticipate the arrival of cherries in late May or early June, and they may continue to be available until the middle of August. However, it is widely agreed that the most opportune moment to procure an abundant supply of these delectable summer treats is during the splendid mid-July period.
How Do You Keep Cherries Fresh for Longer?
Before you get to the store, there are a few things you can do to help your cherries stay fresh for longer. Here are some helpful tips for keeping cherries:
- Wait to wash your cherries: Moisture is their biggest enemy when storing cherries, so it’s best to clean them before you’re ready to eat them. Any excess water may cause the cherries to spoil at a faster rate.
- Leave the stems on. If your cherries have branches, leave them on. Removing the stems exposes the cherries to additional moisture, which can lead to potential spoilage. Plus, the stems can also help you keep track of the freshness of your cherries. If a branch is missing, it’s a sign that the cherry has been handled or damaged.
- Remove any rotten cherries: When one cherry is spoiled, it can ruin the whole batch. Take the time to sort through your cherries and discard any that are bruised, damaged, or have signs of mold. Removing these rotten cherries prevents them from contaminating the rest and ensures that your remaining cherries stay fresh and delicious.
How to Store Cherries
When storing cherries, the colder the environment, the better. That’s why the refrigerator is the best place to store cherries. While you could leave cherries on the counter, we only recommend that if you plan to eat them within a few hours.
But what is the best way to store cherries in the fridge? There are a few options you can consider.
- One option is to use a bowl. When using a bowl, it’s essential to ensure the cherries are evenly packed. Proper airflow is needed to keep the cherries fresh and prevent them from spoiling.
- Another option is to use a storage container. However, it’s essential not to seal the cherries in an airtight container. This can trap moisture and lead to the cherries becoming mushy or moldy. To prevent this, we recommend leaving the lid off and lining the container with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
- If you prefer a more convenient method, use a perforated plastic bag. The holes in the bag allow for proper airflow while releasing any potential moisture that may build up. This can help maintain the quality of the cherries for a more extended time.
Regardless of your chosen method, cherries can typically be stored in the fridge for about two to three days. If you’re looking for a long-term storage solution, freezing cherries is an option. Freezing can help preserve their freshness and extend their shelf life for several months.
How to Freeze Cherries
Freezing cherries is an exceptional way to extend their shelf life and preserve their deliciousness. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your cherries stay fresh and ready to use whenever you desire:
- First, start by giving the cherries a gentle rinse and then carefully pat them dry, ensuring no excess moisture remains. Next, remove any stems from the cherries and proceed to pit them. It is advisable to pit the cherries while they are fresh, as it is much easier and less cumbersome than doing so after they have been frozen. Taking this step beforehand saves you the hassle and inconvenience of dealing with cherry pits when ready to use the fruit. If desired, you can also choose to cut the cherries into smaller pieces, but rest assured that they can also be frozen whole.
- Once the cherries are prepped, it is time to freeze them. Arrange the cherries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This ensures that the cherries freeze individually and do not stick together in a clump. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow the cherries to solidify completely, which typically takes around two hours.
- After the cherries have frozen solid, it is time to transfer them to a suitable storage container. Opt for an airtight container or a reusable silicone bag to preserve the quality of the cherries. Carefully place the frozen cherries into the container or bag, ensuring that it is sealed tightly to prevent any air from entering. To stay organized, it is recommended to label and date the container or purse so that you can easily keep track of when the cherries are frozen.
Following these straightforward steps, you can enjoy the delightful flavors of summer cherries throughout the year. When stored properly, frozen cherries can maintain their quality in the freezer for up to one year, allowing you to savor their taste even when they are out of season. Whether you use them in smoothies, pies, or other culinary creations, frozen cherries are a versatile and convenient way to add vibrant flavor to your meals.
How do you keep cherries fresh longer in the fridge?
To ensure that your cherries remain fresh for an extended time in the refrigerator, it is essential to follow a few simple steps. Firstly, carefully inspect the cherries and discard any that show signs of decay or cracks.
Doing so will ensure that only the freshest cherries are stored. Next, find a suitable bowl that is spacious enough to accommodate the cherries in a single layer, allowing them to be laid out evenly.
Doing this will ensure that each cherry has enough space to breathe and maintain its freshness. It is crucial to leave the bowl uncovered, as this will allow for proper air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.
Finally, place the bowl in the refrigerator promptly and close the door without delay, creating an optimal environment for your cherries to retain their freshness for longer.
Do fresh cherries need to be refrigerated?
Yes, fresh cherries should definitely be refrigerated! It’s essential to keep them nice and cool to prevent spoilage. When you bring those juicy cherries home from the grocery store, please give them a cozy spot in the refrigerator. Doing so allows you to extend their shelf life for approximately one week. So, remember to chill those cherries and enjoy their freshness for longer!
Should cherries be stored in an airtight container?
Yes, cherries should be stored in an airtight container to maintain their freshness and prevent them from absorbing any unwanted odors from the refrigerator. When holding cherries, it is essential to first check for any bruised or moldy ones and discard them.
After that, place the cherries in a sealed container or plastic bag, ensuring not to wash them beforehand. If you have enough space for optimal storage, consider layering the cherries between paper or cloth towels to help absorb any excess moisture.
By following these storage guidelines, cherries can usually be kept in the refrigerator for around 4 to 10 days, allowing you to enjoy their delicious flavor for an extended time.
Can you freeze fresh raw cherries?
Yes, you can definitely freeze fresh raw cherries. To freeze them, wash them well and gently pat them dry using a paper towel. Once dry, arrange the cherries on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
Pop the cookie sheet into the freezer and let them chill for a few hours. Once they are nice and firm, transfer the cherries into zip-loc bags, sealing them tightly. Finally, place the sealed bags back in the freezer for storage. You can conveniently take out frozen cherries whenever you enjoy them.
Do cherries last longer with stems?
Before transferring the cherries to the refrigerator, take a moment to carefully examine them and discard any fruit that shows signs of damage or spoilage. If your cherries still have stems, leaving them intact until you are ready to enjoy the delicious fruit is best.
When the time comes to indulge in these sweet treats, remember to give them a gentle rinse. It is worth noting that cherries are often treated with sprays, so a thorough washing right before consumption is advisable. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your cherries are fresh, clean, and ready to be savored.
How long do cherries last in the freezer?
Cherries, those delightful little fruits, can be preserved for quite a while in the freezer. On average, they will remain in their frozen state for around 6 months. However, if you take the time to properly freeze them, these crimson gems can retain their quality and flavor for up to a year!
Isn’t that marvelous? With this knowledge, you can savor the delectable taste of cherries throughout the year, even when their season has ended. So go ahead and stock up on cherries when they’re at their peak, and enjoy their lusciousness whenever your heart desires!
Can you store cherries in a Ziploc bag?
To ensure the long-lasting freshness of your cherries, it is highly recommended to refrigerate them. The simple process involves gently placing the cherries in a convenient resealable plastic bag and then carefully storing the pack in the excellent environment of your refrigerator.
By following this method, you can expect your cherries to maintain their delightful freshness for an impressive span of 3 to 5 days, and in some cases, they may even last up to two weeks.
However, it is essential to note that if you decide to keep your cherries at room temperature, you must be prepared to consume them promptly to fully enjoy their delectable flavor and avoid any potential spoilage.
Are fresh cherries better than frozen ones?
When cherries are frozen, the antioxidant levels may decrease, potentially resulting in a lower intake of these beneficial compounds. Similarly, consuming canned cherries may lead to even fewer antioxidants being obtained.
However, it is essential to note that regardless of the form in which cherries are finished, their antioxidant content remains noteworthy and can contribute positively to one’s overall health.
Do cherries last longer in the fridge or on the counter?
Place the fresh, succulent cherries gently and lovingly into a clean, pristine bowl with a sense of purity and freshness. Choose a location that exudes an aura of mystery and secrecy by ensuring it is enveloped in darkness, shrouded from the prying eyes of the outside world.
Alternatively, if you prefer to bask in the exquisite taste and aroma of these delectable fruits sooner rather than later, you can opt to keep them comfortably nestled outside the confines of a refrigerator for a limited period of time. However, for those who possess unwavering patience and desire to extend these cherries’ lifespan, storing them in a space that exudes coolness and tranquility, such as the majestic embrace of a refrigerator, is highly recommended.
Should you embark on the journey of cherishing these cherries on your kitchen counter, ensuring that they are shielded from direct sunlight is of utmost importance. The sun’s radiant heat possesses the power to transform these delightful orbs of sweetness into a mushy and less desirable state.
Can you freeze cherries with stones in them?
Yes, you can freeze cherries with pits. However, pitting the cherries before freezing them is highly recommended for convenience.
By pitting the cherries in advance, you will save yourself time and effort when using the frozen cherries later on. Additionally, removing the pits beforehand ensures safety and prevents potential accidents while consuming the cherries.
Do you have to refrigerate cherries in a jar?
The mason jar filled with delicious, plump cherries should be carefully placed in the chilly confines of the refrigerator to ensure their longevity, allowing them to grace your taste buds for a delightful three weeks.
Similarly, the bowl brimming with these succulent fruits should also find its cozy spot in the fridge, but mind you, be sure to savor those before indulging in other cherry-related treats!
If you dream of freezing these luscious gems for later enjoyment, the initial step involves diligently removing their pits, allowing for a seamless freezing process.
What is the best container to store cherries?
A perforated plastic bag: Whether it’s resealable or not, plastic bags can be a convenient option for storing cherries. To ensure optimal freshness and longevity, choosing a bag with tiny holes punctured in it is essential. These holes serve a dual purpose by allowing proper airflow to circulate around the cherries, preventing them from getting overly moist and promoting ideal ripening conditions.
Furthermore, any excess moisture that may accumulate in the bag can escape through these perforations, minimizing the risk of mold or spoilage. So, grab a perforated plastic bag next time you’re looking for a simple and practical storage solution for your cherries!
The Bottom Line
The most optimal method when preserving cherries is to store them in the refrigerator. By doing so, you can extend their shelf life for a maximum of three days, allowing you to enjoy their delectable taste for an extended period. If you choose to freeze your cherries, rest assured that they can last up to one year in the freezer. However, before placing them in storage, it is crucial to take the necessary measures to eliminate any excess moisture from the cherries. By doing this, you are ensuring that they maintain their freshness and quality even longer.