Strawberries should definitely be bought locally, from a farmers market (or a u-pick) if you want the best flavor.
When are strawberries in season?
- In mild climates, strawberry season lasts from April through September or even October.
- In hot climates in the southern states they can start as early as February or March and last until early or mid-summer.
- In the cooler northern climates they are in season in May or June and last through July or August.
- See what else is in season at the same time: April, May, June, July, August, and September.
You should go to your local farmers market to pickup strawberries for 3 reasons.
- They let you taste the berries before buying them!
- You’ll be sure they are local and in-season
- Strawberries don’t soften or sweeten after being picked, and ripe berries only last a couple of days (which is bad for distributing and storing at supermarkets).
Strawberries grow well everywhere, so it’s easy to find them locally.
How to pick:
Taste them if you can! Otherwise, look for a bright or deep red color and shiny exteriors. They should also smell very strawberry-y. Any signs of white or green indicate that they were picked too early, however, as time passes those spots can turn red (but they won’t taste better) – making it hard to pick flavorful strawberries without tasting them.
How to store:
Place them on top of a paper towel-lined plate or tray to absorb moisture, and put them in the fridge. They will last a couple of days.
Should I buy organic?
Absolutely. The non-organic health risk of the pesticides found in strawberries is high. Based on the information that Consumer Reports published, that means you would need 1-5 servings in a day to exceed the level of safety set by the EPA.
The data collected by the EPA looks at the toxicity and amount of each pesticide found in the edible portions of the fruit after being thoroughly washed. The full details can be found over on the Consumer Reports website.
Now what should I make?
That’s a good question! I scour the internet to find recipes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients, often with a fun twist. Follow Ask The Food Geek on Pinterest or Facebook to get access to the recipes I find every day.
Each recipe below only uses ingredients that are in season at the same time as strawberries, or ingredients that have a year-round season. Since their season overlaps with the beginning or end of other fruits and vegetables, the recipes are grouped into early season, late season, or anytime they are available.
Arugula salad with summer berries and steak – recipe from Sweet Peas & Saffron
Use an assortment of berries from the farmer’s market – if they have it, it’s local and in-season. Most summer berries are in season at the same time.
…For anytime strawberries are in season
Strawberry grilled cheese sandwich with maple syrup – recipe from Roti n Rice
Strawberry pistachio crumble – by Love & Lemons
Rosemary-infused strawberry empanadas – recipe by Caroline’s Cooking
Strawberry baked oatmeal – recipe by A Virtual Vegan
Strawberry lime cream cheese scones – recipe by Kitchen @ Hoskins
Strawberry and cream naked cake – recipe by Supergolden Bakes
Strawberry curd – recipe by Contemplating Sweets
A great way to preserve strawberries at the end of their season.
Strawberry buttercream & pistachio mini cakes – recipe by Rachel Phipps
Strawberry shortcake trifles – recipe from Cooking Classy
Fun fact: strawberry flowers are edible! You won’t be able to find them for sale, but if you have your own plants and want to sacrifice a few buds for some pretty decor, go for it. Other edible flower options would be some roses, geraniums, or lavender.