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:
- Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
- Baby Greens, Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Mango Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
- Chicken and Strawberry Kebabs
- Rustic Strawberry Pie
- Strawberry Milkshakes
- Strawberry Semifreddo
- Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick
- Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Vanilla Strawberry Pudding Pops
Tell us, what are you making with strawberries this season?