Don’t you love summer for its variety in the supermarket shelves? There are so many great options to choose from, or maybe you have your own fresh produce in the garden. The drop of bitterness with that: Especially the berry season is just so very short. How can you make strawberries last longer and extend the berry season for the full year? And what to do with all these berries if you have more than you can eat? Here are some tips how to make the most out of them without letting them go to waste!
How to make strawberries last longer in the fridge
Strawberries are very sensitive to touch and pressure, so you need to make sure to handle them with great care. Once you have them in the kitchen, you should store them in the vegetable area of the fridge. Make sure that they are dry and under no circumstances wash them first! This will make them more sensitive to decay and mold. Washing and removing the green leaves should be done directly before usage (or rather, eating). You can use a sieve or kitchen towels to store them and make sure they stay dry.
With these guidelines, you might be able to store them for a few days. But eventually they will start molding. To make them last longer than just a few days, you will need to take further steps:
How to make strawberries last up to a year in the freezer
You can always store strawberries in the freezer: Wash them first, remove the green top and make sure to dry them thoroughly (e.g. with kitchen paper) so that they don’t stick together after freezing. Like this, you can store them in a freezer bag for several months or up to a year.
Once defrosted, because of their high water content their structure will be rather soft. They will not be good to be used as chunks but are great for smashing them into cream cakes or homemade desserts. You can also blend them for smoothies or add them as soft additions to smoothie bowls. I love to add single frozen berries as tasty ice cubes to my drinking water or blend them for homemade yogurts and cream desserts.
What else to do with strawberries?
The most common idea to make strawberries last is making jam out of them: That is easily done in just a few hours and can get you all over the winter. In addition, I love to can things as homemade gifts for my friends. But there are so many more things you can make from strawberries! How about a strawberry chutney? Here are my favorite recipes to preserve strawberry for the year ahead:
Vegan strawberry jam with Chia seeds
Ingredients for the quickest, all natural and vegan, gluten-free and tasty strawberry jam (recipe modified from ):
- 500 g of Strawberries
- 40 g Chia seeds
- 120 ml maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Cook the strawberries, lime juice and 3 tablespoons of water for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Smash the berries or use a blender to soften it evenly. Then add all other ingredients, mix it well and let it thicken for about 10 minutes with the heat turned off.
This jam can be used directly or can be canned to be stored for several months. If you want to can it, make sure to use clean tools! Before you fill it into the glasses, clean those again with boiling water or heat them up in the oven over 100 °C for at least half an hour to disinfect them. Fill the jam into the glasses when it (and the glasses) are still hot, close them and place the glasses on the lid to seal them completely. Only if the lid can’t be pressed down after cooling is the glass really tight and can be stored for a long time.
Strawberry chutney with onions, ginger and chili:
A more special recipe is this for a sweet and spicy strawberry chutney: This is a delicious addition to all Indian curries, tasty salads or special sandwiches! You need the following ingredients for about 4 glasses of 250 g each (recipe with modifications from ):
- 500 g of Strawberries
- 100 g dried apricots
- 400 g onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 40 g ginger
- 100 g sugar
- 100 ml white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper
- some chili
Clean the strawberries and cut them into small chunks. Skin the onions and ginger, cut them and the dried apricots into very small pieces. Clean and gut the bell pepper and also cut it into small pieces.
Heat a big pot and first roast the onions in some vegetable oil until they are glazed. Add all other ingredients and let it boil for about half an hour on low heat. Afterwards everything should be soft and thickened into a nice jam mush. Season it with salt, pepper and chili (if you like) before filling it into the glasses. Just like with the jam, the glasses should be disinfected prior to filling and should still be hot! Best case this can be stored for several months (or till it is gone, which might be quicker!).
What are your favorite strawberry recipes? Please share!
References: The recipes are modifications that I made to the recipes found here: