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Strawberries | Storage and Preparation

History

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.

Purchasing Tips

A close up of fresh strawberries
  • 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.

Storage Tips

  • 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. 

Strawberry Recipes:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, wash and remove caps
  • ¹/³ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a food processor, combine strawberries, sugar, lemon or lime juice and vanilla.
  2. Puree, then chill.
  3. 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
  1. Combine half of first four ingredients in a container or electric blender; process until frothy.
  2. Pour into stemmed glasses, and garnish each with a whole strawberry.
  3. 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
  1. In food processor, process cheese, honey and zest until well mixed, or mix in bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on cut side of 1 muffin half; top with ¼ cup strawberries.
  3. 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

 

Related Links

Strawberry Gardening

 

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