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Your Guide to Picking the Best Berries


It seems like the Internet is loaded with options for selecting, cleaning, and storing your fresh berries, but how do you know what works best? 

The next time you grab California Giant strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries at your favorite retailer, keep these tips in mind for selecting, cleaning, and storing your berries.

How to Select Berries

While at the store, select berries that are free of blemishes and bruising. Berries don’t ripen after harvest, so pass over those that aren’t quite ripe. Look for these characteristics to ensure you select the berry best:

a bowl of mixed berries


  • Plump
  • Vibrant red color
  • Fresh green leaves (called calyx)
  • Natural sheen

Strawberry Nutrition Fact: One serving of strawberries (about 8 berries) packs a nutritious punch, offering more Vitamin C than an orange! 


  • Firm
  • Dark blue color 
  • Powdery finish

Blueberry Nutrition Fact: One cup of blueberries offers more antioxidants per serving than an apple!


  • Deep, even color
  • Firm
  • Glossy sheen

Blackberry Nutrition Fact: One 1 cup of blackberries provides more vitamin K than a peach and is thought to boost brain health. 


  • Bright and even in color
  • Firm and dry 
  • Free of bruising and excess moisture

Raspberry Nutrition Fact: One serving of raspberries offers 8 grams of fiber- more than most fruits. 

Tip: When purchasing blackberries and raspberries, check the absorbent pad on the bottom. Choose a container with a dry and clean pad. 

How to Wash Berries

someone grabbing blueberries out of a bowlStore the berries in their original packaging in the refrigerator until ready to eat, ensuring they are cool and dry. Then right before you’re ready to enjoy them, follow these easy steps: 

  1. Run the berries under a gentle stream of cool tap water.
  2. Blot the berries dry with a paper towel.

A Few Reminders:

  • We do not recommend washing berries with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash since these products can be harmful to the fruit and harmful to you. 
  • As much as we love having food prepped and ready to go, it’s always best to wait and rinse berries right before eating them. 
  • Keep berries refrigerated. Consistent refrigeration of dry berries is the key to keeping them fresh for as long as possible.


What to Make With Your Berries

Now that you know how to properly wash your berries, here are a couple recommendations for enjoying them (besides straight from the plate, that is):

 Blackberry & Pecan Belgian Waffles 

Waffles topped with blackberries and pecans

Blueberry & Cashew Granolayogurt topped with granola and blueberries

Strawberry Superfood Breakfast Smoothie 

strawberry smoothie topped with whipped cream

Healthy Oat Raspberry Bar 

raspberry oat bars

Find California Giant berries near you! 

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