Strawberry season is wrapping up in Florida. As the second largest strawberry producer in the country, Florida strawberries are sweet and juicy ways to celebrate winter turning into spring. At the end of the end of the harvest, don't let the final weathered fruit go to the wayside. Here 8 ways besides fresh strawberries that can cherished long past strawberry u-pick season.
1. Freezing. Wash and dry and the berries. Remove the tops, and place into a resealable bag. Suck out all the air before sealing. Place this bag into a second bag, and remove air before sealing and putting into the freezer. The double bagging will help prevent dehydration from moisture loss. Shelf life: 6 months.
2. Strawberry Jam- Try a small batch of homemade strawberry jam. Even if you don't can and process the jam, you can still keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. Properly canned and processes jars have a shelf life of approximately 1 year. To can or put up the sauce check out Home Canning Tips and Techniques
3. Strawberry Jelly- Slightly easier to make than jam, strawberry jelly has the same shelf life and storage requirements at strawberry jam. To can or put up the sauce check out Home Canning Tips and Techniques
4. Strawberry Sauce- Pureeing strawberries (and sugar to taste) makes a yummy way to
incorporate strawberries into drinks, cocktails, smoothies and other items such as ice cream or salad dressing. Can also be frozen or canned and processed. Check out these recipes for strawberry soda and strawberry float. Properly canned and processes jars have a shelf life of approximately 1 month. Frozen sauce has a shelf life of approximately 3-4 months. Refrigerated sauce has a shelf life of about 2 weeks.
5. Strawberry Vinaigrette- Add some fruit to your salad routine. Vinaigrette can be saved for approximately 1 week.
6. Strawberry Onion Relish- Cooking down pureed strawberries with caramelized strawberry
(or other sweet onions) for a sweet and tangy spread for your turkey sandwiches. Shelf life: under refrigeration 1-2 weeks, 2-3 months frozen.
7. Strawberry Leathers- A reminder of your childhood, without the artificial ingredients or
colors. These take a while to make, but they are a perfect afternoon snack without any added sugar Try mixing and matching different fruits. It is vital that these get stored in an airtight container, or they will stick back together. If desired, lay between pieces of waxed paper. Shelf life: 1 month......... if they last that long.
8. Dried Strawberry Chips- Slice your strawberries into to 1/8" slices, sprinkle with a little
sugar, and lay flat on a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat. Place in a oven preheated to the lowest temperature. Dry for 45 minutes to an hour. Store in an airtight container. Shelf life: approximately 1-2 months if stored properly.
Check out other great strawberry recipes as well in the recipe section.