Apparently I wrote this really awesome post about strawberries back when they were in season but never actually published it. Whoops! I think I tried to schedule it to publish sometime after I wrote it, but it clearly didn’t work. Sorry about that. I realize they are no longer in season, but figured I’d go ahead and share this anyways. You can bookmark it for next spring, right?
Growing up, strawberries were my favorite berries. Mostly because they were the easiest to pick. I dreaded days when dad would send my sister and I out to pick blackberries or raspberries with all their prickers and thorns. Strawberries were so much friendlier.
We would eat strawberries all day long while they were in season. For breakfast, we’d enjoy sliced strawberries with brown sugar and milk. Sometimes on top of cereal, but I preferred just the berries, sugar and cream. Strawberry spinach salad would accompany lunch or dinner. And no spring day would be complete without strawberry shortcake for dessert. I realize a good argument could be made for hotdogs and burgers, but for me it doesn’t get any more American than strawberry shortcake.
If you are lucky enough to live in certain areas of California or Florida, you can enjoy strawberries all year round. The rest of us must wait patiently for the proper season. Of course, you could buy California strawberries in Pennsylvania in December, but brace yourself for disappointment. The local ones are worth the wait.
Here in the mid-Atlantic region strawberry season lasts for roughly one month from mid-May to mid-June so enjoy them while you can! Look for firm, red berries. Avoid any that are white/green/pink and that have bruises or soft spots. Also, berries are one of the “Dirty Dozen” so buy organic if it is in the budget.
Berries tend to get moldy quickly so try this method to keep them fresh longer: wash them in diluted vinegar and allow them to dry completely before storing them in the fridge. This works for all berries. They also freeze well. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and spread the berries out in a single layer. Be sure to remove the stems first. Once they are fully frozen, transfer them to freezer bags. They’ll be a bit mushy when they thaw so it’s best to use them in smoothies or baked goods. You can also puree the berries (don’t add water!) and freeze them in ice cubes for future smoothies, sauces, & baked goods. If you have access to dry ice, you can try flash freezing them. Supposedly this method keeps them from getting mushy when you thaw them out.
- Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips (The Naked Kitchen)
- Strawberry, Basil & Balsamic Pizza (Cookie & Kate)
- Strawberry Cheesecake Oats (Kath Eats)
- Spinach & Strawberry Salad (The Healthy Foodie)
- 100% Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies (Texanerin)
- Roasted Strawberry, Brie & Chocolate Grilled Cheese (How Sweet Eats)
- Roasted Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream (Sprouted Kitchen)
- Strawberries and Dumplings (Smitten Kitchen)