There’s been lots of uncertainty in 2020, but there’s one thing you can count on. It won’t be long, and the strawberries will be ripe for the picking in fields across Wisconsin.
Yeah, we know it’s only May. But strawberries start ripening in southern Wisconsin as early as the last two weeks of May. The season typically runs through the end of July.
Picking strawberries? Pro tips from the Wisconsin Berry Growers Association
- Pick firm, red strawberries. If they’re red, they’re ripe. Strawberries don’t continue to ripen after they’re picked.
- When you pick strawberries, pinch and twist the stem. Leave the caps – the stub of the stem and the leaves – on the berries. Remove them only when you’re ready to use or eat them.
- Handle strawberries with care. Spread them out in the refrigerator, then put them gently into containers and into vented plastics bags. (But don’t squeeze too many berries into a container. You’ll bruise the berries on the bottom.)
- Don’t wash strawberries after picking. That makes them more prone to spoiling. Refrigerate strawberries as soon as possible. Wash berries only just before eating or processing them.
May is National Strawberry Month. Wisconsin’s strawberry festivals usually take place in June. This year, though, you may have to throw your own strawberry festival.
Celebrate strawberries because they’re good for you – rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Enjoy them in easy-to-make strawberry shortcake and strawberry lemonade.
Prep time: 15 minutes. Additional time: 15 minutes. Serves 6
1-quart fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup white sugar
1 12-ounce package of sponge cake dessert cups
1 7-ounce can of whipped cream (or whipped topping)
Place strawberries in a container with a lid. Add sugar. Stir to coat. Place lid on container and refrigerate until sugar has dissolved, at least 15 minutes.
Place 1 dessert cup in each serving bowl. Smother with strawberries. Top each with whipped cream.
Per serving: 311 calories, 9.1 g total fat, 82 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 260 mg potassium, 54.5 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g protein, 36 g sugar.
Prep time: 15 minutes. Makes 12 servings.
8 large strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons white sugar
7 cups water, divided
1 cup white sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
Note: You’ll need a blender with a puree or high pulse setting.
Place strawberries in blender. Top with 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour 1 cup water over sugared strawberries. Blend until strawberry chunks transform into juice.
Combine strawberry juice, 6 cups water, 1 cup sugar and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Stir until blended. Chill before serving. Garnish with any leftover strawberries.
Per serving: 87 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 71 mg potassium, 23.2 g carbohydrates, 0.2 g protein, 20 g sugar.