Tasty as a snack or baked into a pie or cobbler, cherries are a versatile tree fruit.
In addition to being tasty, cherries have a variety of health benefits. They are full of antioxidants and prevent inflammation. They also contain a variety of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and protein. Cherries have been shown to improve heart health and immune systems while also being a tasty treat.
Perhaps you bought a package or a few while they were on sale, but now you find yourself wondering how they should be stored and how long they will last.
Bottom Line: Like all other fruits, cherries will go bad, whether fresh, canned, or preserved. You can expect your fresh cherries to last around 5 to 10 days in the fridge before they start to go bad. However, there are ways you can extend the shelf life of fresh cherries.
How Long Will Cherries Stay Good?
Cherries are delicious but do not naturally have a very long shelf life. When properly stored, fresh cherries will typically last for 5 to 10 days. This can depend largely on where you purchase them from and how fresh the produce is.
After a few days, the cherries may begin to degrade in quality, getting mushier or changing in flavor or consistency.
There are ways you can extend the life of your cherries. When frozen, cherries will last for far longer, even up to a year.
Proper Storage Of Cherries
Ensuring proper storage will keep your cherries good for longer. If you plan on using your cherries within a few days, they can be kept in the refrigerator.
When refrigerating cherries, they should be allowed to breathe.
Placing them in an airtight container will cause condensation to form and can make them mold faster. They can be left in the packaging they were purchased in, as long as there are holes or punctures for them to breathe.
You will also want to ensure they are dried off prior to refrigerating them. Any excess moisture will cause them to spoil quicker.
They should be kept in an area of the refrigerator with consistent temperature and away from odor-producing foods. A produce drawer is ideal.
Extend The Shelf Life Of Cherries
If it has been a few days, and you can tell your cherries are about to go bad, you may want to try to preserve them. A quick option is to freeze them. Instructions are detailed in the next section.
In addition to freezing, cherries can be preserved in a variety of ways, keeping them good for longer. Even if the cherries are a little overripe, you can make some jams or jellies out of them. You can also bake a pie or cobbler to use them up.
If you are freezing your cherries, there are a few steps you will need to take to prepare them properly.
- First, make sure they are washed and dried thoroughly.
- After this, you will want to remove the pits, as they will be far harder to remove when frozen.
- Cut them in half so they will thaw faster when you are ready to use them.
- Lay them out on a baking sheet. Avoid having them touch each other.
- Freeze them for a few hours minimum.
- After the cherries are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Label the container with the date of freezing. They should be good for around a year after this.
Kitchen Tip: Freezing cherries will change their consistency and texture. While they might not be as good to eat on their own, they can still be used in a variety of ways. Frozen cherries can be used for jams, pies, jellies, and cobblers. You can also throw a handful of frozen cherries in with a smoothie.
Have These Cherries Gone Bad?
Cherries start to go bad rapidly, like other fresh fruits. But how can you tell if they are just a little overripe or if they may have gone bad?
First, you will want to ensure there are no black spots or any development of mold. If you see either of these signs of rotting, they should be thrown out.
If the cherries are too soft or, conversely, too dry, they might not be suitable anymore.
Trust your gut. If anything looks or smells off, you will want to throw them out.
In Summary On Cherries
- Fresh cherries will last 5 to 10 days when refrigerated.
- Fresh cherries should be refrigerated and left in breathable packaging. They should remain at a consistent temperature.
- You can extend the shelf life of cherries by freezing them.
- Use up overripe cherries by making jams or jellies or baking a pie or cobbler.
Cherries are a delicious snack and great for baked goods. Though they have a limited shelf life, you can find many tasty ways to use them.