Everything You Need to Know about Strawberries

Jan Scott November 17, 2016
Strawberry_Collage

The email I’€™ve been waiting for all spring finally landed in my inbox yesterday: my favourite farm has strawberries, and they’€™re ripe and reading for picking!
My nieces and I have an outing planned for next week. My teenage boys have decided they’€™re okay to skip it this year (no surprise there!) and my baby is far too little to be of any help, so the little girls and I will make a day of it and collect enough to yield a few jars of jam and other naturally sweet treats. Interested in your own berry-picking excursion? Click here to find a location near you.

Before you bring your berries home’€”either fresh picked or from the store, market, or farm stand’€”there are a few things you need to know when picking and storing this favourite spring fruit.

  • Timing really matters and for most of us that means strawberries will be available for a short time beginning in June. They like hot days and cool nights best, so as soon as the weather is consistently hot they give up for the season.
  • They pair well with both sweet and savoury ingredients.
  • Berries will spoil if you rinse them before storing. Instead, store them unwashed and clean just before eating or cooking with them. The same goes for removing their caps.
  • The vibrant red berries are the sweetest and most flavourful.
  • Fresh berries begin going downhill quickly, but will keep in the fridge for a few days, so begin using them up as soon as you bring them home.
  • Strawberries freeze well. Slice off the tops, gently rinse and blot dry, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once hard, store in freezer-safe storage bags for up to six months.

As luck would have it, a few of our favourite spring recipes are made with strawberries. Here are some we recommend trying:

Things in Jars:

Salads and Snacks:

Sweet Treats:

Tell us, what are you making with strawberries this season?

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