Strawberry season is here and I can’t stay out of the fields! Here are 7 simple ways to make the most of these lovely, fresh-picked fruits.
Strawberry supplies, fresh on the vine
April through June is strawberry season here in Georgia. Although these bright red delights are available in stores year-round, there is no better tasting strawberry than one that is freshly picked at the peak of natural ripeness.
And now is the time to make some deliciously sweet dishes with strawberries. Once they peak these little fruits turn fast, but using them up won’t be a chore. I’ve got 7 super easy ways to enjoy strawberries as soon as you can get them home and wash them off!
Strawberries from the source
Being a true culinarian means getting out of the kitchen and to the source of your food. When you take the time to see where food comes from, how it looks on the vine, how it smells in the earth, and how it tastes when you eat it right in the field, you get a renewed appreciation for how marvelous and vital our agricultural resources are.
Pick your favorite U-Pick strawberry field
Zoe and I decided to take advantage of a cool, sunny morning by going out and picking some fresh strawberries. We could have gotten them at a local fruit stand or farmer’s market, but we wanted to get back to the earth and pluck our own selection of fruits right from the plants.
Washington Farms in Watkinsville is one of our favorite go-to farms for seasonal fruits and vegetables. We go up annually to pick pumpkins, wander their corn maze, and enjoy the fall festivals.
Whenever we want to pick strawberries, however, Washington Farms’ Loganville location is closer and more convenient. We were able to pick our necessary supply for a couple of weeks in about 20 minutes.
The people there are really nice. They provide you with a gallon bucket an advice on what parts of the fields have the ripest berries. Once you fill your bucket, you bring it back to them and they will ring it up. Zoe and I paid a fair $12 for a gallon bucket of beautiful red, ripe berries.
Wash and chill, then eat!
Like any fresh-picked produce, we brought our strawberry haul home and washed them in a bucket of clean water. This knocks off any excess sand and debris that hitchhiked home on the berries.
We scooped the floating strawberries out of the water with a colander and gently deposited them onto a plush kitchen towel to soak up the excess water. The fruits were super-ripe, so we were careful to pat them dry with paper towels and to not bruise them.
We lined a big plastic tub with more paper towels, carefully laid our strawberries in the tub, then topped with more paper towels. Then they went into the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, Zoe and I came up with some yummy ways to enjoy our goods. We wanted to keep it simple, with a bare minimum of prep and production. After a little brain-storming, we had our dishes.
Strawberries and Whipped Cream
This one is the most straightforward and easiest. What could be more simple than a bowl of cut strawberries and some freshly whipped cream? A perfectly minimalist treatment of our delicious strawberries.
Again with the simplicity. These berries needed just a turn or two in the blender with some ice to make a thick and frothy fruit drink. Perfect for breakfast or a quick snack
Strawberries and Yogurt
Strawberries’ sweetness with just a tinge of tartness match well with the tangy creaminess of homemade yogurt. A cup of cut berries topping a bowl of plain, Greek-style yogurt makes an excellent mid-day dish.
Strawberry Ice Cream
There are many recipes for strawberry ice cream, but if you want it fast and easy, use the marble slab method.
- Put a marble cheese board or other stone slab in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Prep your strawberries by slicing them up. Pull your ice cream and have two spoons standing by.
- Pull the marble from the freezer and scoop ice cream onto the marble.
- Use the spoons to chop up the ice cream and then sprinkle on the cut strawberries. Use the spoons to fold the ice cream and berries together. Don’t over mix.
- Now scoop it from the marble into a bowl or sundae glass and enjoy!
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
This 2-ingredient solution provides unparalleled depth of flavor, making it one of the most popular ways to use both chocolate and strawberries! Simply melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, dip strawberries into the chocolate (make sure the berries have been patted dry with a paper towel first), and let them cool. Then prepare your eyes for some serious rolling as you gobble these up.
Granted, this one was more mine than Zoe’s. But after bending over and picking strawberries in the sun, I needed an adult-themed use to justify that exertion.
When the day had been long and you are ready for a soothing siesta, blend up this satisfying cocktail. Get Chef Jack’s Costa Rita Margarita Recipe
Sure, it’s cheating a little to get ready-to-go shortcakes in plastic packages of six from the grocery store. It does seem like a disservice to our above-average quality berries to meld them with this mass-produced concoction. But we are looking for fast and easy. And this is both, while still being super tasty!
If you have an extra few minutes, you can use Chef Jack’s Summer Shortcake Recipe for an even better experience. It is really worth the small amount of extra effort and won’t take more than 30 minutes
Minutes to make, months to savor
No single dish here took us more than 5 minutes to make. And we will be back out picking gorgeous red berries all spring. We will pick and plan for strawberry pies, jams, ice pops, and more cocktails. We are even going to cook up a strawberry-coke barbecue sauce for summer!
Comment below and share with Zoe and me what your favorite way to eat strawberries is. We’d love to hear your stories!