13 Best Strawberry Recipes with Cooking and Freezing Tips — The Mom 100
What are strawberries?
Strawberries are native to North America, but strawberry plants were shipped to Europe as early as 1600 during the early colonial era. Most of the strawberries grown in the world come from China, then California is the largest producer, followed by Mexico.
As we approach strawberry season each year, here are some tips on how to use them:
Strawberries are a unique addition to a dish, and in some cases changing the ingredient will redefine the dish (think strawberry shortcake!). However, in many cases, you can substitute strawberries with another berry, such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. In salads, dried strawberries can usually do the trick or you can add other fresh berries.
How to Choose the Best Strawberries
Strawberries are somewhat unique fruits in that they do not continue to ripen after being picked. So, when choosing strawberries, go for ones that have a bright red color and a fresh-looking green stem. The redder the strawberry, in general, the sweeter it will be.
However, you can find white strawberries on the market, especially at farmers’ markets during seasonal months. These are rarer, and despite their pallor (they can be white or pale pink), they have a sweeter flavor than most red strawberries.
When are strawberries in season?
Fresh local strawberries are one of the most welcome and delicious signs of spring, although thanks to global shipping they are available in markets all year round.
Peak season in most parts of the country is May and June, but in places with more temperate climates, such as California, strawberries are grown for much longer times of the year. And you can find strawberries in the supermarket 12 months a year, mostly from California, which produces about 80% of the strawberries grown in the United States.
How to Store Strawberries
In a perfect world, you’d buy strawberries fresh the day you planned to eat or cook with them, and they’d never need refrigeration – this allows their fruity, fragrant taste to peak. However, most of us will bring berries home and eat them over the next few days, and if so, they should be stored in the fridge. When the strawberries are whole, they should keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Cut strawberries will last approximately 3 days.
How to Clean Strawberries
Surprisingly, one of the best ways to wash strawberries is in a vinegar bath! And don’t worry, all the vinegar washes off and your berries won’t taste like they were soaked in vinegar. The vinegar kills mold and spores on the berries, allowing them to stay fresh longer.
To clean strawberries, combine three cups of very cold water and 1 cup of vinegar in a bowl. Add strawberries and soak for 5 minutes. Drain the berries and rinse them in a colander with cold water for a few minutes to rinse off the vinegar solution. Dry the berries with a clean towel. Store them as indicated above in the refrigerator.
How to freeze strawberries
Strawberries last the longest when frozen or refrigerated. If you have a lot of strawberries, you might want to freeze them.
The best way to freeze strawberries is to rinse them and then cut the stem. Next, place all of the cleaned and cut strawberries, cut side down, on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Leave the cookie sheet in the freezer for 24 hours until the berries are solid. Then you can transfer the strawberries to a freezer-safe container or bag, squeeze the air out if possible, and seal the bag or container. They should last several months stored this way and be easy to pull apart once out of the freezer.
Use frozen strawberries
If a recipe calls for fresh strawberries and you only have frozen strawberries (whether you froze them yourself or bought frozen berries), the type of dish you’re making will determine whether you can use strawberries. frozen rather than fresh. Thawed strawberries will lose flavor and texture, and even color. But you can use frozen berries in baked goods like cobblers, crumbles, and pies. They also work well in compotes or jams. Smoothies and shakes are another great use for frozen berries, which will also add thickness to the drink. In recipes like these, strawberries can be used straight from the freezer; do not thaw them!
Everything you need to know to buy, store, freeze and cook with strawberries. And delicious strawberry recipes!
Best Ways to Use Strawberries
Strawberries can show up in everything from salads to baked goods — and in fact, these are two of the most popular ways to include them on your menus. Strawberry shortcake is probably the most well-known strawberry-centric dessert, and strawberry jam is one of the most popular flavors (and so easy to make at home!). Strawberry filling for cheesecake is also extremely popular. Other classic uses for strawberries are strawberry milkshakes and smoothies. Desserts like chips and cobblers are also a great way to use up a bargain of fresh strawberries.
If you have strawberries that are starting to spoil, cutting off the soft or bruised parts and using them in a bake is the best way to go. I usually make strawberry jam with strawberries that are past their prime, cutting off and discarding any yucky parts.
Strawberries go great with other fruits in a fruit salad. They also have an affinity for herbs and spices like mint, cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom. You can add them to a pasta or cheese platter, mix them in a vinaigrette or create a surprising combo by serving them with fish and chicken! Strawberries are often added to savory dishes with a balsamic glaze or marinade.
Strawberries are very good for you! They are known to be high in fiber, sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories. They are also a good source of vitamins like manganese and potassium. Strawberries also have many antioxidant properties.
13 strawberry recipes
Try these recipes with strawberries!
Bursting with fresh flavor, you won’t believe how quick and easy homemade strawberry jam is to make!
The most popular cheesecake filling of all, and SO easy to make!
This berry cobbler recipe is the ultimate in summertime indulgence and a beautiful finish to any dinner party.
A pastry cream cake sprinkled with berries and topped with puffs of whipped cream.
The bad days are over. If you’re making a frozen smoothie this summer, this should be the one, refreshing and colorful.
Sangria is one of the most deliciously fun ways to make the most of summer fruit.
This sangria is so pretty and so fruity and so summery.
Strawberry shortbread is THE dessert to make in the spring. If you can find wild strawberries, or at the very least some really tasty strawberries at a farmers market, that’s nothing short of heavenly.
The perfect dessert for Memorial Day, 4th of July or any summer gathering.
A moist and tender strawberry muffin is the perfect treat any time of the day; breakfast, snack, tea time, even dessert.
Sprinkle with your choice of berry and top with a delicious layer of soft, crumbly streusel.
Served warm with ice cream and whipped cream, it’s one of the best summer desserts ever.
The old-fashioned appeal of a strawberry milkshake is hard to overstate.