Strawberries can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, dried or in preserves. Depending on when you're going to use them, they can be kept at room temperature, refrigerated or frozen. They are most flavorful when served at room temperature, so plan accordingly before serving.
How To Keep Strawberries Fresh Longer?
Strawberries are very susceptible to rough handling. When you get them home, check them for bruising, soft spots, and mold.
- Toss moldy strawberries and separate out any that are bruised or soft. Bruised areas on strawberries are a little juicy and soft to the touch.
- Soft or bruised areas should be cut away, but the rest of the berry can be eaten if consumed quickly.
- Whole, undamaged strawberries can be gently placed back in the container they came in for refrigeration.
- Keep strawberries dry and leave the stems on until you're ready to eat.
In fact, if the berries are firm and in good shape, they can be kept at room temperature if they'll be used within a few hours.
Food freshness expert Kelli Foster with The Kitchen recommends keeping an eye on the container so you can discard any soft or moldy strawberries.
Should Strawberries Be Refrigerated?
Remove the berries from the store container and store them, stems and all, in a flat container on paper towels.
Strawberries should keep five to seven days if protected from moisture and bruising.
Because they're susceptible to damage from crushing and excess moisture, the best way to store strawberries per produce authorities at Chow Hound is flat and dry.
How To Freeze Fresh Strawberries
Produce experts at Simple Bites offer several options for freezing fresh strawberries. The most important factors to consider are moisture and pressure.
Wet strawberries are ideal breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, and crushed strawberries will produce their own moisture, hastening their demise.
Treat them gently, dry them thoroughly, and store them flat whether fresh or frozen. Once frozen, strawberries can be kept for up to six months.
How To Wash Strawberries
Per strawberry experts at Driscoll's keep strawberries dry until you're ready to use them.
Wash them gently in cool water, let them air dry on paper towels, and bring them to room temperature before consuming for maximum flavor.
Are Strawberries Good For You?
Strawberries are packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. Per experts at the California Strawberry Commission, one cup of strawberries is only 45 calories, but will give you 140% of your daily vitamin C needs.
How To Preserve Strawberries
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, set your oven temperature to warm (150 degrees Fahrenheit / 66 degrees Celsius)and check the strawberries once an hour or so.
They need to dry long enough that the moisture content drops until the strawberries no longer stick to the aluminum foil. The total process should take about four hours.
SEE ALSO: How To Dehydrate Fruits
Hulling to Reduce Waste
When preparing to cook with strawberries, many cooks simply slice off the top of the strawberry to remove any stem material. While the stem generally has no flavor, it can be a tough, fibrous piece of the fruit.
Another option is to hull your strawberries by leaving the "shoulder" of the fruit and scooping the stem out with a tiny knife or a hulling tool. While hulling with a knife can be a sticky and time consuming job, hulling tools look like tiny, sharp tongs.
Lauren Salkeld with Epicurious.com offers hulling instructions.
Push the tips into the strawberry on either side of the stem. Once you've pierced the fruit, clamp down on the stem and twist to pull it out.
You'll have more berry at the end of hulling your strawberries, and you're less likely to find a fibrous, wood piece of stem in your jam or shortcake.
In a world of mechanized farming, strawberries must be picked by hand. Each and every one is a labor of love.
These delicate treats were introduced to American Colonists by Native Americans who crushed the berries and baked them in bread, thus developing the original strawberry shortcake.