Make Strawberry Season Last All Year

Strawberry season is upon us. Our local farm will soon post signs around town advertising times to come and self-pick.

My children love to run through the fields with traces of berry juice on the fingers (and ultimately, on their clothes, too).

Make Strawberry Season Last All Year | Foodal.com

When I was largely pregnant with my soon to be ten-year-old, we headed to the berry farm on our last outing as a family of four.

I hoped all of that bending and plucking was sure to kickstart something, but no, it would be two weeks before she would make her appearance. That gave me plenty of time to make and freeze a summer’s worth of pies, jams, and jellies.

It is best to harvest berries in the cool of early morning, or in the evening hours. Heat will cause them to become soft and highly perishable once picked.

Look for berries that are plump and red. They should feel slightly soft as you gently pull them off of the vine.

How to Choose, Use, and Store Strawberries | Foodal.com
Look for a bright red coloring and green tops.

At the market, look for strawberries that are perfectly formed with bright red flesh and vibrant green caps. You do not want to purchase fruit that shows any signs of bruising or soft spots.

Be on the lookout for out of season berries. If picked before their prime, they will stay firm and tart.

Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days. They will need to be rinsed and hulled before serving.

If you have harvested a large quantity and wish to freeze some to be used at a later date, you must first rinse, hull, and then drain the fruit thoroughly before and patting dry.

Transfer to a large cookie sheet covered with wax paper or paper towels, and place in freezer until frozen. Once frozen, pour into freezer bags and freeze for up to a year.

Alternatively you can slice and dry them with a food dehydrator, or puree them and make fruit leathers (also with a dehydrator).

When strawberries are in season, enjoy them in fruit salads, shortcakes, or straight from the pint. A yogurt smoothie for breakfast is the perfect start to a warm summer’s day.

Jams and jellies can be made as well, to be enjoyed year round on toast, waffles, crepes, or warmed and drizzled over a bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream.

In the mood for something a little different? Try making a fresh strawberry shrub. You’ll find the recipe here.

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade | Foodal.com

My girls love to have tea parties with cups of homemade pink lemonade. The addition of fresh berries is the perfect way to achieve that perfect shade of pink.

This lemonade can be enjoyed from the backyard tea party to the annual summer barbecue.

Strawberry Lemonade | Foodal
Strawberry Lemonade
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
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Strawberry Lemonade | Foodal
Strawberry Lemonade
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup of sugar*
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups of fresh strawberries**
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, mix water, sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Puree berries, strain, and add to pitcher.
  3. Chill and serve.
Recipe Notes

Strawberry Lemonade | Foodal

I like to add a few sliced strawberries to the pitcher as well. Garnish each glass of lemonade with a fresh berry or a sprig of mint.

Enjoy.

*You can tailor the sweetness to your own personal preferences.

**You can substitute/add raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.

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About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

19 thoughts on “Make Strawberry Season Last All Year

  1. Great tips. I’m alright with items being seasonal though. I have had a craving for things that weren’t in season but it tends to make getting them later all the better. Absence makes the heart grow fonder…& a tad more appreciative.

    • True 🙂 But sometimes, you just want more of them 😛 Especially when you haven’t had enough of them on their season 😛

  2. I grow my own strawberries during the spring/summer months. There is always a surplus and this tends to be made into jam, which lasts us for the full year. I’ve never had much success with freezing them – they’ve always turned mushy in the past so I’ll be giving your freezing tips a try.

  3. Nice tips on how to choose strawberries. I’ve always wonders if there were any techniques to maximize their time of ripeness. I’ve tried food dehydrators before and they work very well and are very convenient. It will work better if you keep your dehydrated fruits in vacuum sealed packaging. There’s a machine for that too.

  4. I have never added strawberries to lemonade. This seem like it will be tasty, and your recipe shows me how to do it right. I also appreciate the process you share for freezing them. I was doing it all wrong. I do like to have strawberries year round, for shakes, salads and jelly. I have never picked my own strawberries; you make it sound fun. Still, I will keep your tips in mind if I ever get the opportunity to.

  5. When i was young…i’d long for the school holidays so that i could visit my maternal grandma…strawberries galore was all i thought about…she had a small kitchen garden where she grew them and i loved picking them with her as she narrated stories of long ago…i sure miss those days…now the only place i can access strawberries is at a local grocer and at times am a bit leery about their expiry date…truth be told…another negative aspect is the pricing…less a handful of strawberries sold higher than the price of a gold bar 🙁 ….but i have bookmarked the page…that strawberry lemonade recipe is too good to be ignored 😉

  6. I had no idea you could freeze strawberries for that long. In that case it makes it easier to make jam in batches rather than in one go. Nice idea with the strawberry lemonade to add color and make it sweeter, I will have to wait for summer though.

  7. Another idea, like the other commenters have said is to make jam and marmalade. There’s nothing lie homemade jam on buttered toast for a quick breakfast. Also, why not make strawberry shakes, smoothies or lassi (a type of Indian yogurt smoothie).

    The frozen berries are a great idea, and you can actually use them in place of normal ice cube so your drink doesn’t become diluted

  8. I live within driving-distance to some of the greatest farms in the state of California, and I absolutely can’t WAIT to go strawberry picking with my husband this year 🙂 I usually try to get my strawberries from farmer’s markets because I have found those to be the freshest and the sweetest tasting, but I can’t always make it to the farmer’s markets due to work.

    To be honest I’m surprised that strawberries can’t last for more than 3 days in the fridge, which is a bummer because I want to keep them around for as long as possible! Maybe with the pre-frozen ones I have in the freezer I can make some yummy crumbles or jam out of them 🙂

  9. I am excited for straw-berrying season to come back on in Maine, only a few more months to go! It is a tradition in my family that my mother, aunts and I get together and go berrying every year and we have since I was a little girl. Generally I make jam and then freeze some berries to use in smoothies later, but this sounds like a great early summer refresher that I will have to try. Rinsing your berries before hulling is a great hint also. I made the mistake of hulling first and then rinsing before and it seemed like my berries lost their good flavor.

  10. Autumn is my favorite season, but strawberries are my favorite food! LOL i’m so happy that they can be easily preserved, so we can enjoy them all year round. My go-to method of preservation has always been freezing. For some reason, I had never thought about drying them . This article gives me some good ideas for using my strawberries this year. I can’t wait to try the lemonade, and the fruit leather!

  11. I never thought of dehydrating strawberries, but am considering buying a dehydrator, so that may be a possibility in the future. I absolutely love homemade strawberry ice cream, and haven’t had it in quite a while, so it might be time to dust off the ice cream maker and whip up a batch. Your strawberry lemonade recipe sounds yummy, also!

  12. Unless they’re not available in the store for whatever reason, strawberry season lasts all year ’round to me! These tasty fruits are good for so many things. I love the idea of freezing them for later, and who knew they could last for so long afterwards!? The recipe looks scrumptious, certainly one I will try out when I get around to picking groceries up.

    My favorite way to consume these is to chop them up into thin slices and sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top, and add a splash of whipped cream. Very tasty for a treat.

    I have a question about the dehydration method for persevering, however. If what I’ve heard about the process is correct, this can remove some of the goodness of the fresh fruit by taking away from the nutrients and also makes it higher in calories. Is this true? If so, is there a benefit of any sort to using this technique rather than keeping them frozen?

  13. I have my eyes on that strawberry drink, it looks pretty good! I mostly just do cakes or chocolate strawberries whenever I go to my father’s house to pick some up, but there are some cool ideas in this article that I shouldn’t overlook! 😀

  14. I love strawberries, but the season is so short, thanks for these tips. I had never thought of freezing them because I really think of them as a summer treat. I will try freezing, but I don’t have a dehydrator. I love them in a smoothie, but I prefer to eat them just the way they are.

  15. I grow strawberries in my garden and I always have so many at the end of summer, I never know what to do with them! Unfortunately most end up in the trash because they end up spoiling before I can use them. I’m very excited to try your freezing and drying techniques this year. Hopefully this will help me cut down on how much produce that goes to waste in my home. Also, the lemonade recipe sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try that as well!

  16. It’s the first time that I hear about strawberry lemonade, and let me tell you that it sounds amazing and really refreshing, especially when it’s almost summertime. I have tried the regular frozen method before, but I end up eating the frozen fruits two weeks later and I’m constantly living with the fear that they get bad, lol. But I think that with the method that you just mentioned, I can finally lose that fear and of course, enjoy them much longer.

  17. I’m not sure if it’s just here, but there’s strawberries on the supermarket all year long. The only downside is that the strawberries sold outside of its season is either not tasty (either it’s sour or it tastes like water) or that it’s already/easily bruised. But when it’s on season, the local market sells the best strawberries <3 I would certainly love to try these so that the strawberries are tasty all year round~

  18. I love the taste of strawberries, but I’ve never had much luck with freezing them, as they tend to go mushy. I”ll have to try your method and see if it works better.

    If you don’t mind slightly smaller strawberries, you can have fresh strawberries all year round. Alpine strawberries produce crops throughout the year, and they are easy to grow indoors. I have one on the kitchen windowsill, and when it isn’t producing dessert, the white flowers are decorative and make a lovely scent.

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