How to Purchase and Store Strawberries
What do you think of, when you think or see strawberries? I think summer is here, juicy red fruit desserts, or just strawberries and cream. Strawberries are full of nutrition. Over the years, I learned how to pick the right fruit or vegetables, but not for all of them. I still question my choices or ask my husband’s advice. This is why I’m going to help you and me on How to Purchase and Store Strawberries today.
I think that strawberries should be the fruit of Heaven. They are my favorite fruit. When you go to the market, you can find the strawberries even with your eyes closed and just by using your nose, if they are fresh. At What’s Cooking America, she has a lot of good recipes and info.
How to Select and Purchase the Right Strawberries
- Pick or buy from your local produce market or stand. If you buy from the grocery store, be sure to choose the locally, grown and not the ones that are bred for shipping.
- Be sure to choose with your nose, the most fragrant berries.
- Choose the plumpest and brightest red, with no bruises on them.
- The caps should be attached and bright green.
- Strawberries shouldn’t be wet or moldy.
- Strawberries do not ripen after they’ve been picked so they should be bright red with a natural shine.
- If a strawberry molds, don’t let it sit next to another. Throw it out.
- Usually, small to medium strawberries are more sweet and tasty.
How to Store Strawberries
- Leave caps on until you’re going to use them.
- Pick through and remove and discard any moldy or mushy ones.
- Do not, don’t even think about washing them until you’re ready to use them. They’re like little spongettes and absorb water easily and then become mushy.
- Do not cover strawberries in the refrigerator. Best stored in a colander so the air can get to them. You could even line a bowl with paper towels if you don’t want to use a colander. Keep cool and dry.
- Remove the caps only after you have gently, washed the strawberries. Don’t soak in water long, just a gentle spray of water and then pat dry.
- Remove caps with the point of a paring knife or a kitchen gadget called a destemmer or huller which you can buy at Amazon.RSVP Strawberry Huller
- If you have too many strawberries to use at once, it is easy to freeze them
General Directions for Storing Strawberries
- Use only firm, ripe berries.
- Drain on absorbent paper or in a colander or sieve.
- Remove the hulls with the tip or a paring knife or official strawberry huller.
- Chill the fruit in ice water to lower its temperature for fast freezing.
Packaging for Freezing
- Do not fill containers completely full; allow a head space of 1/2 inch for pints, 1/4 inch for 1/2 pints, and 1 inch for quarts.
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) may be purchased in crystalline or tablet form or as a commercial ascorbic acid mixture to help prevent darkening of foods. If using the crystalline form, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid in each pint of water. For a dry-sugar pack, mix the ascorbic acid with the sugar. If using tablets, use 1,500 milligrams per pint; crush the tablets so that they will dissolve more readily. When using a commercial mixture, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Seal containers and label with the name of the product and the date frozen.
- Freeze promptly, then store at 0 degree F or below.
- Halve, quarter, or slice clean berries into a bowl or shallow pan. If desired, berries may be crushed rather than sliced.
- Sprinkle sugar over berries, using 1/3 to 3/4 cup sugar for each quart of fruit.
- Gently turn berries over and over until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
- Package and freeze.
- Make a syrup using 1 1/4 cups water to each 1 cup sugar. Dissolve the sugar in either cold or hot water; if hot water is used, be sure to chill the syrup before using.
- Use about 1/2 to 1/3 cup of syrup for each pint container. Place whole or sliced berries in containers and cover with cold syrup. Package and freeze.
- Pack whole, sliced, or crushed berries in containers.
- Cover whole or sliced berries with water or berry juice. For better color retention, add ascorbic acid to the water, berry juice, or crushed berries. Cover crushed berries with their own juice. Package and freeze as discussed earlier.
1 small basket = 1 pint strawberries = 12 large strawberries = 24 medium strawberries = 36 small strawberries.
1 pint = 2 to 2.5 cups sliced (1/4-inch thick slices) strawberries.
1 pint = 1.25 to 1.5 cups pureed (mashed) strawberries.
Now go out and get ‘um! Strawberries. Because you know How to Purchase and Store Strawberries. You can buy a truck load of strawberries and freeze them and have them all year round for smoothies, cakes, pies, jelly, and stop me. I can’t get enough.
Here’s a recipe for a Sweet Strawberry Pie with a Cookie Crust.
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