Strawberries: Our Ingredient of the Week

Kim Conte
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strawberries
Flickr Photo by ~MVI~
Each week in Food and Party, we'll be featuring an "Ingredient of the Week" -- paying homage to some of our favorite ingredients all week long with buying and storage tips, recipes, and other useful information.

This week's special ingredient is: Strawberries.

Strawberries are extremely cheap and easy to come by right now because cold weather delayed the Florida harvest to coincide with California's. The result? Supermarkers are oveflowing with berries; you can buy a pound of strawberries for anywhere from $1.25 to $1.66.

So what can you do with so many strawberries?

Freezing strawberries are a great way to preserve them for up to six months. Use frozen strawberries for desserts, to top cereal in the morning, or to blend into a quick smoothie with yogurt.

Here's how to freeze fresh strawberries:

1. Wash strawberries with cold water and vinegar to remove dirt and pesticide residue.

2. To freeze whole strawberries: Trim the green leaves off the top, as well as a bit of the fruit so that the strawberry can stand on it's end. Or, if you prefer them sliced, slice them. 

3. Dry strawberries thoroughly. This step is most important;otherwise your strawberries will clump together in the freezer. Gross.

4. Place dried strawberries on a cookie sheet (not-touching each other).

5. Place cookie sheet in the freezer.

6. Once completely frozen, remove from freezer. Transfer to an air-tight container or plastic zipper-lock bag, and store in freezer.

What are you waiting for? Go stock up on fresh strawberries! And don't forget to tune in all this week when we feature delicious strawberry recipes.

What's your favorite thing to make with strawberries?

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