Strawberries | Storage and Preparation
Brief History of Strawberries
In the early 18th century, French explorers discovered a plump, red berry cultivated by the Indians of Chile in South America. They took several plants home with them. In 1714, the Chilean berry was crossed with a wild meadow strawberry discovered in colonial Virginia. The result was a luscious strawberry similar to what we now eat.
- Arkansas strawberries are available from late April through the month of May.
- Select fully ripe strawberries with a natural shine, rich red color and bright green caps.
- White or pale pink berries do not become sweeter after they are picked and should not be purchased.
- Strawberries with bruises or without caps do not store well and should not be purchased.
- Twelve very large berries or 36 small berries equals a pint. One pint yields about 3¼ cups whole, 2¼ cups sliced or 1²/ ³ cups pureed berries.
- Medium-size berries are more flavorful than large berries.
- Always remove bruised, rotted or molded berries before storing.
- Refrigerate strawberries immediately after purchase.
- Never rinse the berries or remove the caps before storing. Removing the cap early can reduce flavor, texture and nutrient quality.
- Strawberries can only be stored for a couple of days in the refrigerator. If held longer, a grey mold may develop.
- For optimal refrigeration, place berries no more than two berries deep in a shallow container or tray covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap.
Ideas for Strawberries
- Dip whole, rinsed strawberries into melted semisweet chocolate, then place on waxed paper and chill until chocolate hardens.
- Add crushed strawberries to fresh lemonade or limeade.
- Make a refreshing strawberry cooler by combining equal amounts of sliced strawberries, low-fat or fat-free yogurt and milk in a blender. Sweeten with honey to taste.
- For a quick breakfast, top toasted frozen pancakes or waffles with sliced strawberries and your favorite syrup.
- Stir finely chopped strawberries into softened low-fat or fat-free cream cheese and spread on bagels or toast.
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, wash and remove caps
- ¹/³ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a food processor, combine strawberries, sugar, lemon or lime juice and vanilla.
- Puree, then chill.
- Serve over custard, ice cream or pound cake.
- Serving Size = 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 31
- Fiber: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrate: 8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Protein: 0 g
- Sodium: 0.5 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- 4 cups of Orange juice
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 2 large bananas
- 6 ice cubes
- Whole strawberries
- Combine half of first four ingredients in a container or electric blender; process until frothy.
- Pour into stemmed glasses, and garnish each with a whole strawberry.
- Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients.
Yield: about 8 cups.
- Serving Size = 1 cup
- Calories: 95 Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrate: 23 g
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 2 mg
- 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese or low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 4 English muffins, split and toasted
- 2 cups (about 10 ounces) sliced stemmed strawberries
- In food processor, process cheese, honey and zest until well mixed, or mix in bowl with a wooden spoon.
- Spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on cut side of 1 muffin half; top with ¼ cup strawberries.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 8 openfaced sandwiches.
Makes 4 servings.
Tip: Make cheese mixture ahead and store in refrigerator.
- Calories: 215
- Carbohydrate: 37 g
- Cholesterol: 11 mg
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Fat: 5 g
- Sodium: 277 mg
Preserve your strawberries with our freezer jam recipe!