When strawberry season hits, it hits. There is an abundance of the juicy, red fruit. We are not lucky enough to have a large enough space to grow berries, but there is a great farm not far from here where we can partake in the “U-Pick” season all year round. We got strawberries today…too many, probably. But they are just SO GOOD. So, I was left to the task of figuring out how to make this flavor last as long as possible. So, I started thinking about all the ways we enjoy strawberries. Here are my tips & ideas on enjoying your bounty.
Clean Them Correctly
There is a very specific way to clean your berries to make them last longer. Strawberries absorb moisture, so rinsing them all in water & storing them will cause them to rot faster. Instead, try a vinegar bath: 1 cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of water.
This Water bath will kill any spores on the fruit & prevent them from spoiling too quickly. Move your berries around in this water bath for about 10 minutes to get all the nasty off of them, and then rinse them in water to remove any vinegary taste. Allow the fruit to dry on towels before storing them in any way. Wet fruit=Rotten fruit. Be patient, and let them dry.
Make Your List
Decide what you want to do with your fruit. Are you up to freezing them? Want to make jam? You will have to decide if you have enough to make all the ideas you have come to life. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries.
- fresh: My favorite, by far. Once rinsed & dry, you can store the clean berries in a storage container for a few days.
- strawberry goop: Just crush your berries with equal parts sugar, and add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Let it sit for an hour in the fridge, and then enjoy the slurry over pound cake, ice cream, or waffles. YUM!
- frozen: It is super easy to freeze berries, but there are steps that must be taken to make them freeze well. Once the berries are dry, hull them & sit them individually on a cookie sheet. Put the sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours, and then put the already frozen berries into your baggies/containers. This way, they will not all stick together in the containers.
- frozen in ice cubes: Can you say, Strawberry Margarita? Or smoothie? Puree fresh berries with a little water, and then put the mixture into ice cube trays. Freeze, and then plop them into baggies for easy flavored & nutritious ice cubes.
- freezer jam: Puree fresh berries with some sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. Dissolve pectin in water and heat to a boil for one minute. Pour the pectin mix over the berries, mix and let set for about 5 minutes. Then pour into glass jars & cover with their lids. Allow it to set-up for a day, then you can put it into the freezer. It will last months, if you can stop your family from eating it.
Fresh strawberries are amazingly delicious, and it can be easy to stretch that flavor well into the winter with these tips.