Red, ripe, and luscious, this popular fruit has lots of vitamin C and health-boosting antioxidants.
Season: Year-round; peak April through July.
How to Choose Strawberries
Local strawberries, available at farmers’ markets and upscale grocery stores, are always sweetest. The reason: Strawberries that are shipped long distances are picked before they are ripe. Otherwise they would be too fragile to survive the trip. And they don’t get any sweeter after picking. At their prime, strawberries give off an intoxicating aroma and are plump and firm, with bright red flesh. Avoid berries that have green or light tops or dry or brown leaves and those that are bruised or shriveled. The smaller varieties are generally more flavorful. Inspect plastic containers and cartons for stickiness or stains, signs that the fruit inside is damaged or past its prime.
How to Store Strawberries
Discard bruised or moldy fruit. Then enclose the container of berries loosely in a paper bag so they don’t dry out. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just before using, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
How to Prepare Strawberries
Wash the berries and trim the caps just before using.
How to Use Strawberries
Strawberries are perfect in pies, just right in jams, and a sweet-tart touch in salads. But they’re at their best raw, served at room temperature, topped with freshly whipped cream.
Real Simple Strawberry Recipes:
- Easy Strawberry Shortcake
- Boozy Strawberry-Orange Milk Shakes
- Strawberry-Flax Smoothie
- Strawberry-Thyme Lemonade
- Fresh Strawberry Shake
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.