Gooseberry (lat. Ríbes úva-críspa) belongs to the genus Currant. Despite the predominant acidity in the taste, the gooseberry harvest is eagerly awaited in order to enjoy it and replenish vitamin reserves in the body. Its fruits are rich in vitamins A, B, C and P, free acids and easily digestible monosaccharides. In fresh and processed form, this berry is recommended for disorders of kidney function, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, as well as for anemia and excess weight. Therefore, it makes sense to learn how to store gooseberries in order to use its beneficial properties at any time of the year.
In this article, we will tell you where it is better to store berries and how to do it correctly.
How long you can store gooseberries:
- Without a refrigerator, berries can be kept for 5-6 hours.
- In the refrigerator, gooseberries will not spoil for 5-10 days, depending on the degree of maturity.
- You can keep berries in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to store fresh gooseberries
The main period of berry collection falls on July-August. How long you can keep berries fresh depends on their condition after harvesting and degree of maturity. When collecting gooseberries, you need to remember the following nuances:
- gooseberry ripens very poorly, so unripe berries are usually collected for preparations for the winter;
- berries will suffocate in bags, it is better to collect them in baskets or boxes, glasses, etc.;
- the container for the crop should hold no more than 5 kg;
- it is necessary to collect berries in dry weather;
- mature gooseberries are collected together with the stalk;
- you can’t overfill gooseberries, especially if the collected variety has a thin skin.
At room temperature, fruits are not stored well. It is undesirable to leave them on the table for more than 5-6 hours.
You can keep gooseberries fresh without a refrigerator if the house has a cellar where the air temperature is quite low. It is clear that in the summer, even in the cellar, the optimum temperature for storage cannot be set. However, unripe berries may stay there for 7-10 days.
In the fridge
At an optimal temperature of 5 °С, the shelf life of ripe berries is 5 days, unripe berries – 10-14 days.
Before keeping gooseberries fresh in the refrigerator, you must:
- sort through berries, removing spoiled and damaged ones;
- it is not recommended to wash them;
- it is correct to store gooseberries in a paper bag in small portions, but you can also place it in a plastic container, covering it with paper or a lid with an opening for air access;
- place a bag or container with gooseberries on the shelf of the refrigerator, where the air temperature is closest to the optimum;
- regardless of how much gooseberry is stored, it must be periodically sorted, removing berries that have begun to spoil.
If it is possible to place gooseberries in a vacuum before storing in the refrigerator, then this can increase its shelf life by a week.
In the freezer
Thanks to the freezer, you can preserve vitamins in gooseberries and enjoy them even in winter. Red and yellow gooseberries are best suited for freezing. Before storing gooseberries in the freezer for the winter, you need:
- cut off the berries from the stalks, remove the damaged ones;
- wash thoroughly;
- dry by spreading in one layer on paper or a towel;
- cover a cutting board or other flat surface with parchment, sprinkle gooseberries in one layer and send to the freezer;
- when the berries are completely frozen, pour them into an airtight food bag and put them back in the freezer.
If the temperature in the freezer is -10 °C, and the humidity is no more than 90%, then the gooseberry storage period will be at least 2 months. During this time, the berries will not lose more than 30% of their useful properties. At a temperature of -15 °C and below, gooseberries can be kept in the freezer for up to six months.
Gooseberries need to be thawed on the top shelf of the refrigerator for 5-6 hours, then the berries will retain not only useful properties, but also their original shape.
The berry harvest is often too large, so homemade recipes come to the rescue. Gooseberries make excellent jams, compotes, jams. This berry goes well with any fruits and berries. Banks with such blanks are stored for a long time in the cellar, in the pantry or under the bed at room temperature.
There are several ways to preserve gooseberries for the winter without cooking and without sugar. The best of them is drying.
Dried gooseberries taste like raisins, they are used in the preparation of compotes, liqueurs, liqueurs, etc. To dry gooseberries, they must be blanched and dried using a special fruit dryer. At a temperature of 40 °C, dried gooseberries will be ready in 6-7 hours.
You can dry it on a hot day under a canopy or in the oven, but you will have to strictly control the temperature, raising it gradually from 35 °C to 60 °C.
Dried gooseberries are stored in plastic containers, glass jars, paper bags in a dark, cool place. Like other dried fruits, it will remain usable for quite a long time – up to 2 years.