Buying, Storing, and Preparing Strawberries

Happy Valentines Day!

As I’m sure you can tell from the title, I’m going to talk a little more about my favorite heart-shaped fruit today.

Although I have a strange cousin that doesn’t like strawberries and have met a few kids that have never tried them, for most people, strawberries aren’t a new thing.

But figuring out the best way to buy and store them can actually be a challenge because they are quite perishable.

Strawberries

What are the best strawberries to buy?

Fresh strawberries are available year round in most grocery stores but the quality can vary. Choose berries that are firm, plump, and free of mold. They should have a shiny, deep red color with green stems. Strawberries don’t continue to ripen after they’ve been picked so avoid buying berries that are dull in color or have yellow or green patches. Choose small to medium-sized berries for more flavor.

Make sure the container is not packed too tightly so the berries don’t become squished and check for stains or moisture on the container which could indicate spoilage.

Frozen strawberries are another great option when they will be cooked, blended, dried, or added to cereal. Avoid bags of frozen berries that have obvious stains or frost on the outside of the bag or that are frozen into one big lump as this may indicate the berries have been thawed and then refrozen.

How should I store my strawberries?

Strawberries should be stored in the refrigerator. Interestingly, they stay fresh longer if stored at higher humidity so keep them in the produce drawer or a sealed container that traps humidity. Even when properly stored, strawberries should be used within 2-3 days or they will start to spoil.

If you are unable to use your strawberries within a few days, try freezing them.

To do this, you must first gently wash them in cold water, pat them dry, and remove the stems. Adding  a little lemon juice to the rinse water with help them keep their color. Arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a plastic freezer bag or container. Store them in the freezer for up to a year.

How do I prepare strawberries?

Do not wash strawberries until you are ready to use them and do not remove the stems until you have washed and dried them. Following these rules helps to prevent spoilage and prevent the strawberries from absorbing too much water and losing flavor. To remove the stems, simply pinch them with your fingers or use a paring knife to dig them out.

Strawberries are great to eat raw and can be eaten on their own or sliced and added to salads, hot or cold cereal, or eaten on top of yogurt, pancakes, mouse, or any other number of things. They can also be blended and added to smoothies, baked into muffins or crisps, or cooked into jams.

What can I make with my strawberries?

When I asked friends to share their favorite strawberry recipes on twitter, here’s some of what I heard:

Sounds like fresh out of the field or straight from the hand is a favorite. I guess if you’re starting with something as perfect as a strawberry, why risk ruining it?

I didn’t ask Sandi what recipe she used but I’d like to try these Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins from Simply Recipes.

I also started a Pinterest board for all things strawberries.

Pinterest Strawberries

I’d love to hear any great strawberries ideas you have too!
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10 Comments

  1. I love eating strawberries plain, mixed into my oatmeal, dipped in chocolate or in a greek yogurt parfait. So delicious!

    Reply
  2. leckerfoodie

     /  December 11, 2014

    I can’t imagine a life without strawberries… Thank you for your post. By the way, did you know that nowadays some pretty funky new varieties of straweberries entered the market:
    http://leckerbiss.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/agricultural-innovation/ ?
    Best
    LeckerBiss

    Reply
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