By Florence-Léa Siry from Chic Frigo Sans Fric
Strawberry season is beginning and will end around the month of September. Québec strawberries are the tastiest, so start stocking up! It’s also cheaper to buy and then freeze berries in season than to buy them in the winter when they come from more southern climes. You can also make them into sauces, or dehydrate them to take advantage of Québec products year round.
Because strawberries ripen almost as soon as they’re picked, it’s better to choose fruits that are a brilliant red with open, unwilted stems that are ideally bright green when you buy them.
If they are conserved with care, freshly picked strawberries will keep up to seven days in the fridge.
It’s best to put your strawberries in the fridge as soon as you get home, without rinsing or coring them. You should sort them according to ripeness and eat the ripest ones first. By separating the ripest strawberries from those that are less ripe, you avoid having them spoil the others.
Don’t keep berries too close to your freezer, because the icy temperature emits too much humidity and/or condensation that will affect how long they will last. It’s best is to put a sheet of tissue or paper towel at the bottom of the container to absorb the excess humidity, which leads to mould. Don’t forget to change the paper every two or three days.
Strawberries are very sensitive to ethylene, a volatile and very reactive colourless gas that accelerates the ripening process in fruits and some vegetables. This gas is released by apples, melons, avocados, tomatoes, and fruits with pits, so keep your strawberries away from them.
You can freeze strawberries for up to one year. Freeze them in two steps so they don’t all stick together and become waterlogged when they are frozen. First, place them individually on a flat surface and put them in the freezer for about an hour. Once they are frozen, transfer them into a container to continue the freezing process.
It’s better to cook berries when they are still frozen, because they will be less saturated with water and more flavourful.
Don’t Throw Away the Stems!
Do you like kale? If you do, you’ll love strawberry stems. Add them to your smoothies, your salads, chop them up into your desserts… you’ll love them!