There’s something about those displays of little green cartons – full of plump, red strawberries – I’m helpless against them. If I go to the grocery store or farmers market this time of year, and happen to see a display of my favorite berries, I’m leaving with a carton.
Yet sadly, in the past this has led to me throwing said strawberries into the trash, overripe and untouched a few days later. Don’t let your perfect summer strawberries meet this unworthy fate!
If you find yourself with a bowl of so-ripe-they-must-be-eaten-now berries, I give you five simple solutions:
5 ideas for super ripe strawberries
1) They say the best defense is a good offense, so the first step is to prepare the berries for easy eating as soon as they enter your kitchen. Carefully rinse, trim leaves (without exposing flesh) and pat dry your just purchased berries.
Display them in a nice bowl on a high-traffic table or counter. People are lazy – you’ll be amazed how quickly a big bowl goes when they’re sitting pretty and ready to eat.
2) If a few days later you have more than a mouthful of berries left in the bowl, it’s time for action. Cut off tops of the berries, cut into quarters and place in a bowl with their juices (don’t use a cutting board, quarter berries over the bowl, if you can do so safely).
Add a few sprinkles of sugar and just a squirt of lemon, mix well and let sit for an hour or so. Spoon berry mixture over or into ANYTHING – ice cream, cereal, bagels, oatmeal, etc. Refrigerate left overs.
Bonus tip: Adding a dash of balsamic vinegar to this mixture, only makes it better!
3) Make strawberry infused banana bread.
Honestly, I don’t have an exact science for this one. I use an easy banana bread mix and prepare as directed (you can find all sorts of mixes in your grocery store and I think Truly Organic Bakers Basics Banana Bread is worth the splurge).
In a separate bowl, I give the strawberries a good mashing and add them as a last step to the prepared banana bread mixture. Stir a few times, just until it gets a nice marble-y look and bake as directed. Tada! This bread looks fancy, is so easy to make and will be gone in no time – a true win.
4) Make a smoothie! You’ve probably got all sorts of smoothie bases – ice, yogurt, ice cream, juice – in your fridge already. I like to check Allrecipes.com for an ever expanding collection of strawberry smoothie ideas. I find their reader ratings pretty spot-on and you can do a search for recipes using the ingredients you have on hand.
5) Drink some bubbly! Why not? If you have a bottle you’ve been saving, pop it open. It’s perfect on summer nights. And, if you’re sharing with a sweetie, hopefully you won’t reach the bottom – if you catch my drift…
Here’s a simple cocktail from Jamie Oliver that just screams summer, and still feels a little sexy – Strawberry Champagne (and don’t forget to save the best looking berries to use as garnish).
Readers, what are your favorite ways to polish off a carton of strawberries? Share your specialities in the comments!
Tyna, co-founder and co-editor of wht, worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever (some say obsessively) organizing her closets and drawers.
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