By: Vikki Thomas
Strawberry Picking in Charlotte!
Did you get overly excited during your strawberry picking session like I did and pick way more than you can eat before they’ll rot? Do you not have enough friends and family locally to share them with? Do you not have any clue what to do with all these berries?
After you realize 15 pounds of strawberries may have been slightly too much, we’re here to help!
Strawberries are one of my favorite things. Aside from being delicious, sweet, and versatile, for me they signal the start of warmer weather. Below are some of the most creative ways I’ve found to use up your overzealous strawberry haul before they turn!
What to do with Strawberries Before they Become Overripe
Wash, dry, and cut them up and freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag to use in smoothies, milkshakes, or cocktails later on.
Puree strawberries and freeze in ice cube trays to flavor and chill drinks like lemonade and sweet tea. Definitely try using them as the rocks for your margarita!
Quick, Easy, and Delicious Strawberry Recipes:
Savory Strawberry Sauce:
Try this over chicken, fish, or pork to shake up your dinner!
1 cup of strawberries
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of corn starch
1/8 cup of chicken broth
1 tablespoon of rosemary
Combine the strawberries, sugar, and balsamic in a food processor. Place mixture in a pan and add chicken broth, cornstarch and rosemary. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Sweet Strawberry Sauce:
Perfect for pouring over ice cream, cheesecake, and anything else you can get your hands on!
2 pounds of strawberries, hulled
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ a lemon, juiced
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan on medium-high heat and cook until strawberries are soft, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and mash the strawberries. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl (I found a measuring cup is easier for transferring later), using a spoon to ensure all liquid is pushed through. Transfer to your storage container- I used a diner ketchup-style squirt bottle. You can also add some of the solids back to add texture to your sauce. Store in the refrigerator.
Strawberry Dog Treats
Crazy dog mom like me? Make sweet treats for your four-legged kids! My pup loves his doggy ice creams, no matter what flavor. Here’s a super simple recipe to help your pet beat the heat.
Strawberry Banana Doggy Ice Cream
1 whole banana
2 cups of strawberries
¾ cup of plain yogurt
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into individual cups (shout out to Dollar Tree) and freeze until firm. You can make this for yourself as well; just add honey and sweeten to taste!
Where to Pick Strawberries in Charlotte
Haven’t been strawberry picking yet this season, but now you want to?
Check out these local farms to get your strawberry fix, but be sure to call ahead to check the status of the fields! Most farms also sell pre-picked strawberries for your convenience, but where’s the fun in that?
- Hall Family Farm 10713 Providence Rd West, Charlotte, NC
- The Hunter Farm 13624 Providence Rd, Weddington, NC
- Wise Acres Organic Farm 4701 Hartis Road, Indian Trail, NC28079
- Carrigan Farms 1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC 2811
- Vikki Thomas