Food Storage: The Strawberry

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Now that the warmer weather has come around, nice fresh fruits are becoming plentiful and much less expensive. This is a particularity good time for strawberries, from May to June is the US strawberry season. I am using this time to stock up, after all they freeze and preserve so well. I am looking particularly froward to enjoying my cool strawberry snacks on my terrace this summer.

In order to best enjoy the fruit I save, I took time this week to do my homework. After all I am trying to budget money, and one of the best way is to manage my food budget wisely. The less waist the better, and that means picking good fruit and storing it right.

So here are the notes and instructions I have complied from my personal knowledge and the information I have found across the web. There will be a bundled link source at the end of this post for any one who want's to delve any deeper in to the strawberry world of knowledge.

Signs of a good strawberry:

  • Firm
  • Deep and shiny red skin
  • Green tops
  • Plump
  • Dry

Signs of a bad berry:
  • Green, yellow, or dark dull spots
  • A lot of white at the top
  • Moist
  • Moldy
  • Dull in color or very dark red
  • Sunburn
  • Holes or breaks in skin

Keep berries in shallow containers no more then 5 inches deep. If your pack them in tightly or stack them to high they will crush and bruise. Strawberries must stay dry until they are ready yo use or they will spoil quickly. I place mine on a tray lined with paper towels, and cover lightly in plastic. Store them in the refrigerator and use or freeze them with in a few days, prune them often. Once one berry goes bad it will quickly travel to the rest.

Washing Fresh berries for use:
This was a topic that varied, but the overall out come was organic berries rinse briskly under cool water. Where as for non organic some sights suggested soaking in slightly warm water then rinsing. The reason is that strawberries are one of the fruit more known for pesticides. the problem is if you soak strawberries they can loose some of their value and flavor. Personally, may family never have soaked them and no one ever grew and extra arm.

When you rinse strawberries, regardless of how you choose, leave the green on the top. Never use soaps or brushes on strawberries, the skins are much to fragile. Remove the green tops just before slicing, and remember not to wash berried until you are ready to use them.

Freezing Strawberries is extremely easy, all you need to do is wash them and remove the tops. Then freeze them in a single layer, do not let them touch or they will stick together. After they are fully frozen (about 14 hours) transfer them to a baggy or container for longer storage.

Of course there are other ways to freeze strawberries Some people prefer Dry-Sugar Pack, Syrup Pack, or to freeze sliced or crushed. You can find more information in the links package provided below.

Reference Pack- The Strawberry: