Strawberries, with their vibrant red color and juicy sweetness, are a beloved fruit enjoyed by people of all ages. They are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in countless ways, from eating them fresh to incorporating them into a variety of dishes. Their juicy texture and natural sweetness make them a perfect addition to fruit salads and desserts like pies, tarts, and even savory dishes like salads or salsas. Strawberries also make a refreshing addition to smoothies, juices, and cocktails, adding a burst of flavor and a pop of color.
Strawberries are not only a delicious fruit but also offer numerous health benefits. Packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants, they contribute to overall well-being. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports immune function. Their high fiber content promotes healthy digestion.
Tips for using strawberries
Make some strawberry fruit leather for a portable snack.
Just like raspberry vinaigrette, strawberries can be used to make a salad dressing.
Add it to your smoothies
Use it in mocktails or cocktails—a perfect drink for the spring weather.
Try freezing them, and use them as a substitute for ice in drinks, your drinks won't be watered down.
Cooking With Strawberries
Did you know mushy strawberries can be revived? All you need to do is leave your mushy strawberries in ice water for no longer than 20 minutes, and they should be plump again. This happens because strawberries are porous fruits and will absorb the water. The key here is to make sure not to use any moldy or blackened strawberries; those should be tossed out.
This same science is the reason you shouldn't store strawberries in water; they can lose their flavour and colour when they absorb too much water. The best way to prep strawberries is to wash them right before using them. Any excess moisture can also cause them to mold.
The best way to wash strawberries is to soak them in a mixture of water and vinegar for a few minutes. Given what we just learned, this may seem counterintuitive, but it actually helps rid the fruit of mold that causes the fruit to rot quicker. Like any other washing process, it helps get bugs, bug poop (ew!), and dirt off the fruit. It's best to eat them right after washing, but if you plan to store them, make sure you completely dry the berries using tea towels or paper towels.
Here are some easy ways to store strawberries long-term and some good ways to refrigerate them as well. Don't be afraid to get your kids involved in making strawberry jam. They get to learn how jams are made.
Creative ways to store strawberries:
Freeze for smoothies: Wash and dry the strawberries, then remove the stems. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the strawberries to a freezer-safe bag or container. They'll be ready to add to smoothies for a burst of flavour and a refreshing chill.
Make Strawberry Jam: Preserve the sweetness of strawberries by making homemade jam. Cook the strawberries with sugar and lemon juice until thickened, then store in sterilized jars. It's a delightful way to enjoy strawberries long after the season has passed.
Traditional ways to store strawberries:
Refrigerate: Place unwashed strawberries in a container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Seal the container and store it in the refrigerator. This method can keep strawberries fresh for a few days.
Store with a Paper Towel: Place a layer of paper towels at the bottom of a container, add a single layer of strawberries, and cover them with another layer of paper towels. Repeat the process until all the strawberries are arranged. Seal the container and store it in the refrigerator.
Store them in a glass mason jar: Wash your berries well, let them dry completely and then store them in an air-tight container like a mason jar. This can help them last up to twice as long!
By using these creative and traditional methods, you can extend the shelf life of strawberries and enjoy their deliciousness for longer periods of time.