What to do with all these strawberries???

(You’ll probably think I’m crazy after you read the following first sentence, or maybe you already think I am!, but I promise….there are many uses for strawberries!)

I just got back from picking 35 pounds of strawberries!!!!!! Yes, I’m sure you are thinking….what in the world would make someone pick that many and how in the world will she eat them all???

Well, here goes… Last summer we picked about 20 pounds of strawberries and they lasted us about 8 months. So this year, I’m trying to get enough to last us the whole year through. Think I have enough??

The reason I do this, is because U-Pick farms have strawberries at a much lower price, you get more nutrients from the fruit because there is minimal time from farm to table, you get dirt in your toes (have you figured out yet that I really like dirt?), and it provides a great outdoor activity for the kids!

So how much lower is the price?? Maple Ridge Farms, the U-pick farm I LOVE, has their strawberries at $1.50/pound and if you buy more than 20 pounds, the price is $1.25/pound! So its’ a no-brainer for me! Pick away!!

But what to do with all of these strawberries? By the time we get home I am seeing red, red, and more red, and I begin to ponder…maybe I really am crazy?

#1. Berry Jam…the best part about making jam is that the berries do not have to be fresh, you can use frozen. So just freeze, see below for notes on that, and then save making jam for a day when you have more time.

#2. Fruit Smoothies…we make fruit smoothies all the time. We just throw in whatever berries and fruit we have on hand, add some yogurt, and 100% juice, and puree away.

#3. Eat them frozen, straight from the bag…(blaming a little sister for going through the strawberries so fast last year – she  probably ate 2 gallon size bags by herself in the 6 weeks she lived with us!)

#4. Let defrost and eat with a fork….yes, they will be mushy and your kids might protest but why not start early teaching kids about the seasonality of eating local produce and if they want to eat strawberries in December, then there has to be a compromise….they’ll still get that same flavor but the consistency will be different.

#5. Berry Muffins

#6.  Top homemade Belgium waffles with them and icecream

#7. Cobbler, Pies, Scones, the dessert list could go on & on

#8. Strawberry soup perhaps??? Not really sure of any other ideas at this point!

To preserve the fruit, you first rinse off in a cold water bath in your sink, then you hull them with a magic strawberry huller and then slice to desired size and place in a gallon sized ziploc freezer bag.

And yes, we do have a stand alone freezer in our garage that we use for storage.

If you live in the Lowcountry and have a strawberry craving, I suggest Maple Ridge Farms in Canadys, SC…they have the perfect soil for growing sweet fruit and their strawberries are not dusty & dirty because they do not have the sandy soil you find on the islands around Charleston. The farm is in Colleton County, about an hour drive from Charleston, but I think its well worth it. Fritz and his wife are so down to earth and enjoy talking to you about how they farm the land.

The strawberries should be around for another month and at this point, near the end of the season, they are sweeter!

Other U-Pick Farms in the Charleston area…Ambrose Farms and Boone Hall Plantation.

For U-Pick Farms throughout the US, check out the Pick Your Own website.

You may have decided I’m crazy for picking 35 pounds, but hopefully this post will inspire you to pick some berries this summer!

And if you have any suggestions of how I can use up all these strawberries, I’d love to hear!!!

Happy Fruit Eating Season!

Jessica

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Comments

  1. I suggest strawberry popsicles. Just blend and freeze in popsicle container. Big hit at our house!

  2. Veronika says:

    Try fresh strawberry ice cream rather than the cooked or jam-based one – it’s best with seasonally ripe berries and it’s gorgeous! I made that last summer (recipe is up on my blog), and my boyfriend swore it was the best strawberry ice cream he ever ate! Best part – you could probably freeze them sliced and then blitz in food processor anytime you want to make the ice cream!

    I love strawberries and been resisting getting the imported ones at the stores – soon, soon there will be loads of sweet, fresh local ones here too. Ok, maybe not that soon, but in a couple of months, oh yes!

    • Thanks Veronika for the great idea! Once again, I never would have thought of this. I’ll look up your recipe and give it a try. My kids will love making their own icecream!
      Have a great day – Jessica

      • Do you have an ice cream maker? I just freeze mine straight after whipping, but if you churn it a bit it’ll be even creamier!

        • I do have an icecream maker, so I’ll use that. But how long do you have to whip yours for? I had never used our maker until last year and when I was searching for recipes I found that you could do it without a maker. I had no idea about that. So I was just curious how long it takes to make by that method and do you have to stir continuously when you do so? I’ll also take a look at your blog recipe for it, so don’t feel like you have to retype everything. Thanks! Jess

          • Veronika says:

            No worries – take a look at the recipe, but it is really simple. I did not use eggs in it as my boyfriend is allergic to the whites, so it is cream, sugar and fruit, essentially – with a bit of yogurt to provide the protein.

            What I do is blend fruit, sugar and yogurt and fold that into cream which is whipped to soft peaks. Freeze. It really is that easy. If you do the freezing in the icecream maker bowl, you can give it a churn or two to make sure ice crystals don’t form much but I found it’s not necessary.

            I plan to update the recipe for fruit ice cream with my newfound method of using condensed milk and cream that results in even creamier dessert, and include egg yolks because we discovered that he can handle them if they are separated, but I haven’t had a chance to experiment with it this year yet – it’s sleeting outside, slowly turning to snow – not really ice cream weather just yet!

    • Also Veronika,
      I hear you on resisting the fruit until its in season. Sometimes it’s so hard though. Today I broke down and bought tomatoes from the grocery store even though I try to wait until they are truly in season here….but that’ll be another month or two.

      I hope you enjoy your strawberries when they come in there!

      Jessica

      • Veronika says:

        I totally will – they are cheap and abundant when they are in season, and utterly gorgeous!

        I don’t fully restrict myself to seasonal buying, since in these latitudes, it’d mean turnips and cabbage all winter and maybe an old apple or two, which isn’t too exciting, but I do try to follow the truly seasonal produce such a fresh berries, citrus fruit, mangoes (contrary to the popular belief, those aren’t in season all year, nor do they taste good when they aren’t), etc.

        I do buy fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and the like year-round, but that’s for my own health and sanity. And there is no way they can be grown anywhere near here about half of the year – greenhouses do nothing to change lack of light and -30C temperatures which can happen in the winter even as far South as Stockholm itself.

  3. Hi There. You could make a strawberry syrup to make cordial with.

    We also make a strawberry vodka, (fill a large jar with strawberries, sprinkle in sugar to fill the gaps about a third of the height of the strawberries and then fill with vodka. Shake every day until the sugar has dissolved. Store for 3 months. Strain.
    It makes a rich strawberry liqueur flavour that is so nice that we only have it in thimblefuls to make it last!

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