Strawberries

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fibre.

Availability

  • While fresh strawberries are available year-round, nothing beats the in-season berries that appear from June through July.

Purchasing

  • Strawberries are picked ripe, so unripened fruit will not ripen further after picking. Select plump, brightly coloured berries with fresh green caps.
  • If packaged in a container, check the bottom for bruised, mouldy or shriveled berries.
  • Avoid berries with green or white patches and any sign of mould or moisture.
  • 1 pint of strawberries is equivalent to the following:
    - 12 very large berries
    - Up to 30 smaller ones
    - 3 cups whole berries
    - 2 1/4 cups sliced
    - 1 2/3 cups pureed

Storage

  • Sort the berries before storing them, discarding any that are mouldy or bruised. Without washing or hulling them, refrigerate in a covered container for 2 to 3 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze strawberries. Wash and hull them as directed below. Pat them dry and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer to airtight freezer containers or bags. Freeze for up to 8 months.

Preparation/Cooking

  • Always wash strawberries with their green caps intact so they don't absorb excess water.
  • To wash simply give them a quick, gentle rinse in cold water. Never soak berries in water or they will become waterlogged. Gently pat dry with paper towels.
  • Hulling strawberries: is to remove their green caps and inner white cores. Use your fingertips to pull off the leafy caps and then cut out the soft white cores with the tip of a paring knife.
  • Use an egg slicer to quickly and evenly slice washed and hulled strawberries. One pint yields about 2 cups sliced strawberries.

Tips

  • Toss sliced strawberries in salads.
  • Stir chopped strawberries into pancake or muffin batter.
  • Add strawberries to your favourite blender drinks or milk shakes.
  • Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over a pint of chopped berries and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve the syrupy strawberry sauce over scoops of ice cream.
  • Dip whole, unhulled strawberries in melted Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet until chocolate sets.
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