Strawberries are available year-round, but are best during peak season, April through July. The best berries are fresh-picked. Find a pick your own place or get them from a local farmers' market.
Berries should be bright red, shiny and fully ripe, not bruised or wrinkled. Green leaf-like caps, or hulls, should be attached to the berries. The size of the berries does not influence the taste or sweetness.
Fresh strawberries taste great in Strawberry Shortcakes and Mascarpone-filled Strawberries or other strawberry desserts.
Fresh strawberries are best used within 2 or 3 days of purchase or picking. To preserve the nutrients, do not wash until ready to use. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Remove the hull, or "cap," from the top of the strawberry with a paring knife or strawberry stem remover/huller. A strawberry huller is a small utensil with rounded ends. To use, insert the tool into the green, leafy hull, then pull to remove the green hull and the white core without removing any of the fruit.
Look for hullers at kitchen shops, department stores or online retailers that carry kitchen supplies.
Gently wash strawberries and pat dry. Remove hulls from strawberries. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once the berries are frozen, transfer to a resealable freezer plastic bag or freezer container and freeze up to a year.
Use them frozen in smoothies, or thaw before using, if desired. Thawed berries will be soft.
Process berries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Use berry puree in lemonade or other refreshing drinks. Our Strawberry Spritzer Punch is a delicious option.
1 pint strawberries = about 2 cups sliced
1 quart strawberries = about 4 cups sliced