If you have ever found yourself with an abundance of strawberries beyond what you and your family can eat before they go bad you know how important it is to have a plan for preserving and using these delicious fruits to prevent food waste.
While you can extend their lifespan by washing them in vinegar and putting them in a proper storage container these berries will still go bad quickly. These ways to preserve and use strawberries will help you make sure nothing goes to waste.
Preserving strawberries is a great way to make the most of them when you get a great yield from your garden or find a great sale at the store.
Strawberries do not tend to stay fresh for more than a few days to a week so preserving them as easily as possible is important to prevent food waste.
To preserve your strawberries you want to pick out the best in the batch. The fresher the berry the longer they will last in any form of storage.
Wash all of your berries in vinegar then sort out any overripe ones to be trimmed and used right away before reserving the rest for later use. This will help to prevent food waste.
Strawberries are great for freezing. You can use frozen strawberries for cooking, snacking, and making your own smoothies.
Freezing your strawberries is very easy to do. To freeze your strawberries, wash and hull them. You can then cut or freeze your berries whole.
Place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze for 1 to 4 hours until they are hard on the outside. then move your frozen berries to an airtight container.
Dehydrating is a great way to store your strawberries for the long term. These berries make a great satisfying snack that you can enjoy all year round.
To dehydrate your strawberries, wash, hull, and cut them in half or into slices. Place in a single layer on your dehydrator trays and run at 135 degrees for 8 to 10 hours.
Canning strawberries can be canned whole or as preserves and jams. This is great because you can make them ready for easy use or to be added to another recipe.
Canning strawberries is easy and usually, only requires a water bath canner for most recipes allowing even beginners to can strawberries.
Creative ways to make use of extra strawberries
If you find yourself with a large stock of strawberries you may be wondering just how you make use of them. The good news is that strawberries like other berries are very versatile and can be made into nearly anything sweet.
When berries go on sale or your berry patch has been thriving for a few years and produces a large haul you can use these ways to use strawberries to make sure no berry goes to waste.
Strawberry syrup is easy to make using overripe berries. Because these tend to be super sweet yet fall apart very easily you can cut off any bits that are discolored and then use the remaining bits and pieces to add to simple syrup.
This is perfect for mixing with milk, adding flavor to homemade treats you make with the kids, and even using in place of regular syrup with your breakfast.
Super easy to make and the light pink color is perfect for spring, summer, or a little girl’s birthday cake. Take the bits and pieces leftover from trimming overripe berries and mash them to add to any simple white cake recipe to add strawberry flavoring.
You could even add some whole or sliced strawberries to the frosting in between cake layers to add even more fresh summertime flavor.
Salads are a great way to use up fresh strawberries. Many people do not think about using these in their summer salads but they can make a great sweet addition that pairs amazingly well with baby spinach and tender baby greens.
While you may have thought to use strawberries in smoothies and milkshakes you are missing out on many other great frozen options for making use of all of those sweet fresh summertime berries.
Freeze your strawberries then blend with club soda or a lemon-lime soda for a flavorful slushy drink. (For adults, you can add a dash of your favorite alcohol for a great slushy for your next summer party.)
Flavoring Water or Tea
A great way to make use of strawberries. The sweet fruity flavor complements other fruits and even herbs like mint for fun and unique water and tea flavorings.
Strawberry pie is a great option for using up a large number of strawberries. While most people will think of blueberry or cherry when they think of fruit pies, strawberries make a great summer pie that is perfect for serving as a dessert. Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to really bring out the flavor.
Snack boards are growing in popularity for parties and gatherings. Strawberries make a great addition to fruit and cheese boards or full-blown charcuterie boards.
If you make these for summer gatherings use your abundance of strawberries to add a pop of color and sweetness. You can even opt to dip these in chocolate for a more desert-like version.
Muffins and Quick Bread
Muffins and quick bread are a great way to make use of a large number of strawberries when you need to quickly.
You can make these quickly and store them for use in breakfasts and snacks all week long or freeze them for use at a later time as these baked goods freeze and thaw very well.
Strawberry salsa is a unique and creative way to use strawberries for tons of flavor. You can use strawberries in place of tomatoes for a sweet and spicy salsa.
Or mix strawberries with sugar and cinnamon to make a dessert-like strawberry salsa that can be served with cinnamon tortilla chips or even sugar cookies as a fun dip.
If you are looking to grow lots of delicious strawberries in your garden so you can enjoy these creative ways to use all your delicious harvest, these posts may help: