Using & Storing Strawberries

This information has been reviewed and adapted for use in South Carolina by J. G. Hunter, HGIC Nutrition Specialist, and K. L. Cason, Professor, State EFNEP Coordinator, Clemson University. (New 09/05.)

HGIC 4255

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South Carolina-grown strawberries are available late-April through May.

Strawberries are Good for You

Strawberries are:

  • high in vitamin C.
  • a good source of potassium.
  • a source of fiber.

How to Buy Strawberries

Choose berries that are firm, brightly colored, sweet-scented, and have hulls (green caps) attached. Check underneath the top layer of strawberries in a box or basket for smashed or moldy berries. Do not buy boxes that are stained and leaking.

One pound of fresh strawberries equals ⅔ quart. A quart container of fresh strawberries equals 1½ pounds or 4 cups sliced berries.

How to Store Strawberries

Strawberries will not ripen further after picking. When you bring home a box of berries, gently empty it and check the fruit. Use soft, overripe berries for eating right away. Throw away any smashed or moldy berries. Store strawberries in the refrigerator, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel until ready to use. Use berries within 1 or 2 days, washing and hulling them as you use them.

How to Use Strawberries

Once strawberries are hulled and cut, they lose their vitamin C content quickly, so prepare them just before serving.

Although it is hard to improve on eating fresh strawberries just as they are, here are a few other ideas for using them:

  • Combine sliced strawberries and plain or vanilla yogurt for a lower-sugar alternative to commercial strawberry yogurt.
  • Serve vanilla yogurt as a dip for whole strawberries.
  • Fill a melon wedge with strawberries.
  • Serve sliced strawberries on top of: cold or cooked cereal; ice cream or sherbet; pancakes, waffles or French toast (instead of syrup).
  • Add sliced strawberries to a fresh spinach salad, and serve with poppy seed dressing.
  • Add to a fruit salad. Instead of sweetening with sugar, try a little orange or pineapple juice concentrate as a "dressing."
  • Pack fresh strawberries into an ice cream cone.
  • Make a "strawberry on a stick" by inserting a Popsicle stick into a large berry. Serve fresh or frozen.

Strawberry Recipes

Morning Shake:
1 cup skim milk
1 cup sliced strawberries
3 Tbsps. frozen orange juice concentrate
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: Put all ingredients in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Serve at once. Makes 2 servings.

Calories: 120 per serving
Fat: 0 grams per serving

Strawberry Shortcake:
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
¼ cup sugar
8 oz. box biscuit-type mix (or 1¾ cups of mix)
4 tsps. sugar
2 Tbsps. melted shortening
⅓ cup skim milk
1 Tbsp. flour
1½ cups no-fat whipped topping

Directions: Put strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar. Set aside for an hour or until strawberries make their own "juice."

Preheat oven to 450 °F. Combine biscuit mix, 4 teaspoons sugar, shortening and milk until you have a soft dough. Turn onto a surface dusted with 1 tablespoon flour and knead quickly 20 times. Pat or roll dough ¼" thick. Cut into 8 squares, or cut with a floured 3" cookie cutter. Bake on un-greased baking sheet 8 to10 minutes. Split warm shortcakes into two layers.

Just before serving, drain the strawberries and save the "juice." Make each dessert by putting ¼ cup strawberries between shortcake layers, another ¼ cup strawberries on top, and then add ¼ cup whipped topping. Finish with a drizzle of the strawberry "juice." Serves 8.

Calories: 230 per serving
Fat: 7 grams per serving

Strawberry Ambrosia:
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. orange extract
2 oranges
½ cup flaked coconut

Directions: Toss strawberries, honey and orange extract in a bowl. Cut oranges in half and remove segments, leaving the shell whole. Cut orange segments into pieces and toss with strawberries and coconut. Spoon into shells and chill before serving. Serves 6.

Calories: 90 per serving
Fat: 3 grams per serving

Source: University of Illinois Extension fact sheet; originally developed by Michigan State University Extension

Page maintained by: Home & Garden Information Center


This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.