Strawberry Basics: Picking, Storing, Nutrition and Healthy, Oil-Free Vegan Recipes

Here are Strawberry Basic Essentials: How to pick, store, and cook healthy, oil-free vegan recipes.  When to choose organic. Plus, nutrition information on this delicious, healthy antioxidant-rich fruit.

Strawberries are a healthy, naturally sweet fruit.  Berries grown in the US are traditionally harvested in the spring and summer, but you can enjoy frozen and dried strawberries year round.

Strawberries are a healthy, naturally sweet fruit.  Berries grown in the US are traditionally harvested in the spring and summer, but you can enjoy frozen and dried strawberries year round.

Sublime French Strawberries: For unreal sweetness, try tiny Fraises des Bois Strawberries.  You can find these for a limited time at farmer's markets and specialty grocers.  These fragile berries are oozing with juice and will blow your mind.

Sublime French Strawberries: For unreal sweetness, try tiny Fraises des Bois Strawberries.  You can find these for a limited time at farmer's markets and specialty grocers.  These fragile berries are oozing with juice and will blow your mind.

To store fresh strawberries, it's best to place them on a plate or colander, lined with a paper towel, uncovered in the fridge.  

To store fresh strawberries, it's best to place them on a plate or colander, lined with a paper towel, uncovered in the fridge.  

Swish fresh berries around in a "Berry Bath" so that you can properly wash them without bruising their delicate skin

Swish fresh berries around in a "Berry Bath" so that you can properly wash them without bruising their delicate skin

Chef's Tip: Add fresh or frozen strawberries to oatmeal in a jar for a healthy, on-the-go gluten-free breakfast.  

Chef's Tip: Add fresh or frozen strawberries to oatmeal in a jar for a healthy, on-the-go gluten-free breakfast.  

Chef's Tip: Use frozen strawberries year-round for natural sweetness.  Strawberries have healthy Vitamin C, fiber, and even protein and Omega-3 fats

Chef's Tip: Use frozen strawberries year-round for natural sweetness.  Strawberries have healthy Vitamin C, fiber, and even protein and Omega-3 fats

 

Quick Reference Pin:

Strawberries 101 - Healthy Infographic Pin for Season, How to Choose, Store, Use, and Strawberry Recipes and Nutrition

Strawberry Basics

Season:  

  • Strawberries grown in the US are traditionally harvested in the spring and summer, from April till late September.  After that, you can enjoy them frozen or imported from Mexico, Chile, and Argentina
  • Dried and Frozen:  When it isn't summer, enjoy frozen and dried strawberries.  Frozen strawberries can be used directly in recipes, without thawing.  These are especially great for jam, pie filling, baking, and smoothies.  Dried strawberries can be added to granola, cookies, and oatmeal for bursts of sweetness.

Choosing: 

  • Deep Red, Plump, Firm:  Red, firm strawberries means they've been picked recently and stored correctly.  Avoid moldy or soft berries as this is a sign they're old or getting moldy.  Pale or greenish berries mean they aren't ripe yet.
  • Size Matters:  Smaller strawberries have a higher concentration of sugar, making for a sweeter flavor. 
  • Organics Matter:  Strawberries are highly prized by bugs, birds, and insects so conventional berries are heavily sprayed with pesticides.  Since strawberries have a thin, edible skin they soak up these chemicals and it's hard to wash off.   Because of this, they are at the top of the DIRTY DOZEN list.  Organic berries also taste so much better.  It's a little pricier, but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you buy organic
  • Sublime French Strawberries: For unreal sweetness, try tiny Fraises des Bois Strawberries.  You can find these for a limited time at farmer's markets and specialty grocers.  These fragile berries are oozing with juice and will blow your mind.

Storing:

  • Dry:  Above all, keep berries in a dry location.  It's best to place fresh strawberries on a plate or colander, lined with a paper towel, uncovered in the fridge.  If possible, wash just before using.
  • Cold:  Keep strawberries refrigerated and eat within 10 days.

How to Clean and Cook:

  • How to Clean: Make a Berry Bath by filling a large bowl with cold water.  Carefully pour the berries into the bath and swish around for 20 seconds.  Use your hands to remove the berries and drain in a fine-mesh colander.  Best to wash berries just before enjoying or freezing.
  • How to Cook: Enjoy berries for easy, healthy snacking.  Simmer with a little water for Berry Compote.  Add to muffins, use in a Berry Crisp, make Strawberry Chia Jam, or top a Chia Parfait

Nutrition (help from World's Healthiest Foods)

  • Low Calorie, Fat Free, Cholesterol Free, Low Sodium, High in Fiber
  • Excellent Source of: Vitamin C, Manganese
  • Very Good Source of: Fiber, Iodine, Folate
  • Good Source of: Copper, Potassium, Biotin, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Omega-3 Fats
  • Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Polyphenols in Strawberries: 
    • Flavonoids: Anthocyanins, Catechins, Cyanidins, Epicatchins, Gallotcatechins, Kaempferol, Pelargonidins, Petunidins, Quercetin
    • Phenolic Acids: Caffeic acid, Cinnamic acid, Ellagic acid, Ferulic acid, Gallic acid, Homovanillic acid, Vanillic acid
    • Tannins: Ellagitannins, Gallotannins, Sangulin H-6
    • Stilbenes: Pterostilbene, Resveratrol
  • Just 8 strawberries a day can improve cardiovascular function, cognitive processes, and improve blood sugar ratios.

Strawberry Recipes

Healthy, Oil-Free Plant-Based Vegetarian Dishes