What to do with lots of fresh strawberries?

Strawberries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be used in many recipes. When strawberry season hits and you find yourself with more fresh strawberries than you know what to do with, it opens up a world of possibilities for enjoying this tasty fruit before it goes bad.

How long do fresh strawberries last?

Fresh strawberries will usually last about 3-7 days if stored properly in the refrigerator. The optimal storage temperature for strawberries is around 32-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Before storing them, you’ll want to inspect the berries and remove any that are moldy or damaged. Place them in a shallow container or bowl, and try to avoid washing them until right before eating. The extra moisture from washing can quicken spoilage. Be sure not to crowd the berries too much. Some key signs that strawberries are past their prime and should be discarded include mold, soft wet spots, and a dull or browned exterior.

What are some quick and easy ways to use up fresh strawberries?

If you’ve got more fresh strawberries than you know what to do with, here are some quick and easy ways to enjoy them:

  • Add sliced strawberries to your cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, or smoothies for a nutritional boost.
  • Blend strawberries into a refreshing juice or smoothie.
  • Toss sliced berries into green salads for a pop of sweetness.
  • Make a simple strawberry salsa with diced berries, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.
  • Top vanilla ice cream with sliced strawberries and balsamic glaze.
  • Blend into lemonade or iced tea for added flavor.
  • Puree into a sweet dip for fruits or angel food cake.
  • Infuse vodka or water with muddled strawberries overnight for a flavored beverage.
  • Make freezer jam by mashing the berries and mixing with sugar.

The options are nearly endless! Berries that are slightly overripe or getting too soft can be easily incorporated into smoothies, juices, jams, or sauces.

What are some ways to preserve fresh strawberries?

If you want to extend the shelf life of fresh strawberries, here are some preservation methods to try:


Freezing is one of the easiest ways to preserve strawberries for many months. Wash and dry the berries well, then hull them and slice if desired. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze solid, about 2-3 hours. Transfer to freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible. Frozen strawberries will keep for about 10-12 months.


Turn fresh strawberries into long-lasting jams and preserves. All you need is strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Cook the mixture until thick and spoon into sterilized jars. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks or process in a water bath canner for extended shelf stability.


A dehydrator can be used to dry strawberries, which intensifies their sweet tangy flavor. Wash berries, pat dry, hull, and slice if large. Dehydrate at 125-140 degrees F, which takes about 8-10 hours. Dried strawberries will keep for up to 1 year stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Freezer Jam

For freezer jam, you don’t need any special canning equipment. Simply mash fresh strawberries and mix with sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Spoon into containers and store in the freezer for up to 1 year.


Fermenting strawberries with salt gives them a unique pickled flavor and probiotic boost. Mix sliced berries with salt, optional seasonings, and whey from yogurt. Transfer to a jar, weighing down berries to keep submerged. Ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days before transferring to the refrigerator.

Simple strawberry recipes

Once you’ve got your strawberries preserved, here are some delicious and easy recipes to try:

Strawberry Spinach Salad


  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1⁄4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, and onion. Toss to combine.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss again until evenly coated.
  4. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie


  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Ice cubes (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the strawberries, banana, oats, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  2. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add a few ice cubes if you want a chilled smoothie.
  4. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Strawberry Basil Lemonade


  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄3 cup honey or agave
  • 4 cups water
  • Lemon slices for garnish


  1. In a blender, combine the strawberries, basil, lemon juice, honey, and 2 cups water. Blend until smooth.
  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing on the solids.
  3. Stir in the remaining 2 cups water.
  4. Refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.

What strawberry desserts can I make?

Sweet, juicy strawberries shine in so many desserts. Here are some delectable strawberry dessert recipes to try:

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Make an easy no-bake cheesecake layered with strawberry sauce and fresh berries for topping. Use a graham cracker crust and tangy cream cheese filling.

Strawberry Shortcake

A classic! Flaky biscuits topped with juicy strawberries and whipped cream make the perfect summer dessert. You can also use store-bought pound cake or angel food cake for a shortcut.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Puree fresh strawberries with sugar and cream and churn in an ice cream maker for homemade berry ice cream. So much better than store-bought!

Strawberry Sorbet

For a lighter option, blend strawberry puree with sugar and lemon juice, then freeze in an ice cream maker for refreshing strawberry sorbet.

Strawberry Crumble

Simmer strawberries on the stovetop until juicy, then transfer to a baking dish. Top with an oat crumble mixture and bake until golden.

Strawberry Trifle

Layer sliced strawberries, store-bought pound cake, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream in a glass bowl for an easy trifle.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

The ultimate Valentine’s Day treat – just melt some chocolate and dip berry tops for an elegant dessert.

What drinks can I make with strawberries?

Strawberries are wonderful in summery beverages like smoothies, lemonades, sangrias, and more. Here are some delicious strawberry drink ideas:

Strawberry Margarita

Blend frozen strawberries with tequila, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake over ice and rim glasses with salt for perfect patio sipping.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Another frozen blended cocktail – this time with strawberries, rum, and lime juice. Garnish with a strawberry if you’d like.

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Mix lemon juice, strawberry puree and simple syrup. Top with sparkling water and serve over ice for a refreshing cooler.

Strawberry Sangria

Slice fresh strawberries and mix with red wine, orange juice, lemon-lime soda, and brandy. Allow to chill for a few hours so flavors meld.

Strawberry Moscow Mule

Muddle sliced strawberries in the bottom of a copper mug. Fill with ginger beer and vodka. Garnish with lime.

Strawberry Smoothie

Blend strawberries, yogurt, milk, honey, and ice for a creamy and energizing breakfast or snack.

How can I use strawberries in baking and cooking?

Don’t limit your strawberry usage to just desserts! Here are some ideas for incorporating strawberries into main dishes and baked goods:

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Toss sliced strawberries over fresh spinach leaves, feta, and toasted nuts. Drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Strawberry Salsa

Chop strawberries, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño for a unique salsa to accompany grilled chicken or fish.

Strawberry Gazpacho

Blend strawberries, cucumber, tomato and onion into chilled soup. Garnish with diced avocado.

Strawberry Pizza

Spread a pre-baked pizza crust with mascarpone, slice strawberries and artfully arrange over top. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Strawberry Glaze for Meat

Simmer strawberry preserves, balsamic, brown sugar, and pepper flakes into a glaze for grilled chicken, pork, or beef.

Strawberry Muffins

Fold diced strawberries into muffin batter before baking for sweet pockets of fruit. Top with streusel for crunch.

Strawberry Jam Bars

Spread homemade or store-bought strawberry jam onto shortbread or graham cracker dough. Cut into bars once cool.

How do I grow my own strawberries?

Growing your own strawberries is a great way to ensure you have an abundance of this juicy fruit each summer. Here is a quick guide to get you started:

Select a Sunny Spot

Strawberries need at least 6-8 hours of full sun per day. Pick a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil.

Prepare the Soil

Mix in several inches of compost to enrich the soil and improve drainage. Strawberries prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5-6.5.

Choose Your Plants

June-bearing strawberries produce a large crop all at once, while everbearing varieties bear smaller harvests spring through fall. Purchase young bare-root plants from a garden center.

Plant Them

Dig holes 12-15 inches apart in rows, spreading roots out in the holes. Backfill with soil, tamp down, and water in well. Aim to plant in early spring.

Care and Maintenance

Apply mulch around plants to retain moisture and prevent weeds. Water 1-2 inches per week. Fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer as needed. Prune off runners to focus growth.

Harvest Time

Wait until berries are fully red before picking. Snip or gently twist off, being careful not to damage plants. Enjoy your homegrown strawberries!

Strawberry Variety Description
Chandler Extremely sweet, large, bright red berries. High yields.
Allstar Consistently produces extra large, firm berries. Great shelf life.
Seascape Everbearing variety good for coastal climates. Sweet flavor.
Albion Everbearer with superior flavor and disease resistance.
Ruby June Vigorous June-bearer with nicely cone-shaped medium berries.

This table includes information on several recommended strawberry varieties to plant in your garden.


When strawberry season arrives, take advantage of the bounty by eating them fresh, preserving for later, and incorporating into both sweet and savory dishes. With proper storage, preparation, and creative usage, those flavorful berries don’t have to go to waste. Whether blended into smoothies, baked into desserts, or fermented into pickled treats, you can fully enjoy strawberries before their short season has passed.

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