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Tips for Savoring Strawberry Season

Check out these recipes and advice for choosing the best strawberries in June

Got a refrigerator drawer full of big, fat, red strawberries?

Because June is a big time for fresh strawberries in the northeastern U.S., you’ll find great deals on strawberries at your local market, or you can find a farm in your area and pick your own.

Choose berries that are firm and plump and free of mold. Look for vibrantly red berries, since they will not continue to ripen once picked. Don’t purchase packages where the berries are tightly packed, which can cause crushing and premature rotting. Examine all the berries you can see in a package, not just the few which are sitting on top.

Now what to do with all those berries? Well, for starters, pop off the green cap and taste a few. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants.

You can also freeze them to prolong their shelf life, which as far as produce goes is not very long – a few days, maybe longer if they’ve just been picked. Note, however, that many of the berries’ nutrients will be lost during the freezing process. 

You could also make your own preserves or jelly to enjoy the June berries all year.

Or, if you want to whip up a delightful dessert with those strawberries today, here are some great recipes to try.

Strawberry cheesecake – You love the Jelly Belly flavor, so the real-life baked-good has to be amazing, right? This recipe calls for – shudder – frozen strawberries, but I can’t see why you couldn’t substitute fresh, or why fresh wouldn’t be better! 

Layered strawberry-chocolate cake-in-a-jar – This recipe appears long and complicated, but if you break down each step (or substitute mixes or store-bought cake and whipped cream), the toughest part is really not eating the layers before the make it into the jar.

Strawberry shortcake cookies – Everyone loves strawberry shortcake. (Well, everyone but my mom, who hates strawberries.) Why not make them bite-sized and portable in cookie form? The blogger recommends using two to make a vanilla-bean ice cream sandwich.

Strawberry milkshake Popsicles – Blend yogurt, vanilla extract and fresh strawberries. Strain out seeds (optional). Freeze in Popsicle molds overnight. Then remove and enjoy! These make a healthy dessert option for kids who will only know they’re yummy! 

DIY chocolate-covered strawberries – You don’t have to spend $19.99 for half a dozen of these sinfully delicious dessert berries! All you have to do is select big, fat, ripe berries, temper some chocolate, dip, then cool. Decorate with white chocolate, crumbled cookies, sprinkles, coconut or whatever appeals to you, if desired (and if you can wait that long before eating them!).

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