What To Do with Fresh Picked Strawberries

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There is nothing quite as satisfying as picking fresh strawberries from your own garden. But once you’ve picked them, what do you do with them? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

diced strawberries

Late spring and most of the summer are the ideal times to enjoy fresh strawberries. The strawberry season in the US usually starts mid spring, around April, and then you can still see fresh berries through August. If you have your own strawberry patch you’ve been growing during the summer, you may notice a full “crop” that ends up ripening all at once.

What to Do with Fresh Strawberries After You Pick Them

It’s exciting to get a beautiful bumper crop of sweet strawberries from your own plants, but at the same time may be disappointing since you simply cannot use that many at once! You may also have plenty of strawberries if you’ve recently been to a local strawberry farm or have taken the family strawberry picking– a fun summer activity for little ones. Either way, it’s important to know what to do with all of your own strawberries fresh from the garden.

how to ripen strawberries

A great way to preserve your strawberries is to do the right things right when you harvest them. Here are some tips, if you aren’t sure the best way to handle freshly picked whole berries.

  • Do not wash them right away! This may be tempting, and of course we always wash fresh berries from the grocery store. However, this can cause the fresh from the garden strawberries to lose a lot of their freshness. Additional moisture on ripe strawberries from the garden will shorten the shelf life in the fridge. For best results, store unwashed strawberries in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. Then, give them a quick wash and pat dry.
  • Store in a shallow container. A deeper container like they are stored in at the grocery store is fine, but it can cause the strawberries on the bottom to become soggy and mold more quickly.
  • Use good fruit-saving containers for the fridge. You can also buy stay fresh bags that allow the gases to escape which cause the fruit to spoil over time. I’ve had good results with both, but they are definitely an investment so only purchase if you do use a lot of fresh produce at home.
  • Remove bad spots and cores with a strawberry huller, if needed. If you have several people who want to snack on strawberries throughout the day, having them ready to eat is a good way to use up an abundance of berries! Place berries in a container where the family can easily see it, and have a ready to eat snack!

How Long Can Fresh Picked Strawberries Sit Out

Strawberries can sit out in an single layer on the counter, after they have been patted dry. At room temperature after they are washed, be sure to refrigerate within 1 day. This would be if the berries have no bad or moldy spots– they will go bad much faster if this is the case. In the plastic clam shell containers or a non-airtight container, you can refrigerate them a couple of days beyond this. Due to insects and uneven temperatures, most food should not be left out at room temp after you’re done serving it, for best results.

Do You Have to Refrigerate Strawberries After You Pick Them

While strawberries from the store need to be refrigerate immediately after purchase them, fresh strawberries have been out in the air temperature and there is not a reason they need to go directly into the fridge once picked. However, if you leave them out for more than one day they will have a much shorter shelf life, and chances are they won’t be good to eat at all. Strawberries are a delicious fruit eaten cold or at room temp, but for best shelf life, they are one you need to keep refrigerated for storage!

What is the Best way to Save Fresh Strawberries

If you need extra time to use up your strawberries in recipes and delicious treats, you can optionally rinse them in a vinegar mixture after picking. The nice thing is that these berries will also be ready to eat fresh after they have been rinsed in a vinegar mixture.

Basically, remove any bad spots or berries as you normally would. Then, in a large bowl, mix 3 parts cold water with 1 part white vinegar. Allow the strawberries to soak a few moments in the rinse, then remove the berries to a colander. In the sink, rinse your berries well and then set out on a baking sheet or towel on the counter. Pat dry and then allow to dry further until there is no excess moisture left. Finally, place strawberries in a container or Ziploc bag. Leave the top of the container open or use a vented container rather than airtight container, to avoid mushy strawberries later on. You can use any of your own containers, or invest in Green Bags or eco-friendly containers that help fresh produce last longer.

What are Some of the Benefits of Eating Strawberries

Strawberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, as many other fruits are! Just 1/2 cup of fresh strawberrys provides about 100% of your daily value (this varies, so you can look up specific numbers online, or a nutrition app).

healthy food

What are the Nutritionals in Strawberries

You may be surprised to see strawberries are low in calories, and are a great option for snacking if you’re looking for a healthy treat. I love substituting berries and watermelon on a low calorie eating plan, when those sugar cravings strike! You might think ripe berries are loaded down with sugar, but they are actually fairly low in calorie content. One cup of strawberries comes in at around 47 calories! This makes them perfect for snacking on their own or adding to your cereal or breakfast as a side.

You can also add fresh frozen strawberries to your favorite smoothie recipe without bumping up the sugar content a lot– unlike pre-made fruit smoothie mixes, which may have added sugars on the nutritional facts!

Recipes Using Fresh Strawberries

Since we’ve had a strawberry patch for several years, I am always trying to come up with new ways to use them. Some of my favorite recipes are desserts that call for fresh fruit! Check out some of our strawberry dessert recipes below.

Homemade Strawberry FROYO

This recipe came from one of our members of our U.S. Homesteading for Beginners group who gave me permission to use. Thanks Monica!

Yield: 2

Homemade Strawberry FROYO

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

This recipe came from one of our members of our U.S. Homesteading for Beginners group who gave me permission to use. Thanks Monica!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes



  1. Add 2 parts Puree Strawberries
  2. Add 1 part Greek yogurt
  3. Add honey for sweetener
  4. Add coconut oil
  5. Mix, dollop, freeze, eat

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

We hope this post has been helpful providing some easy strawberry recipes and also some great tips on using up your fresh strawberries. Here’s to a great strawberry crop this year! Happy Gardening!

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