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Strawberry Recipes for Strawberry Season!

Are you taking advantage of the strawberry season? It’s a short one, so don’t miss it! In this post, I share about our family’s adventure strawberry picking this year plus strawberry recipe ideas to use up all your baskets of strawberries!

When we made the switch to a more natural, real food lifestyle, I quickly discovered local farms that allowed you to come pick your own produce.

I had no idea this was a thing, since I grew up picking green beans from a friend’s garden, eating tomatoes from a friend of a friend of a friend, or sneaking into the corn fields on a hot summer evening to grab a few ears of corn to boil for an evening meal.

I didn’t really grow up with fresh produce, though I am thankful for the exposure I had to farms and backyard gardens.

However, as I’m now growing a family of my own, I’m intrigued with the idea of getting as much food straight from the source as I possibly can.

But the first year I discovered the “pick your own” farms, I missed every single growing season that year. Every single one of them!

Not one to be defeated, I slotted dates on the calendar each month for the following year for us to go pick our own berries and fruit at the local farm. I didn’t want to miss a single opportunity! Not again.

And we didn’t. The summer of 2011 was by far my favorite summer!

My oldest boy in 2011 on his first berry picking experience!
My oldest boy in 2011 on his first berry picking experience!

I made my first ever strawberry freezer jam and learned that the hulls could be saved for smoothies. I canned peaches that were to die for and made raw applesauce for my little one year old that summer.

I read about preserving and gardening like a crazy woman, devouring any and all information I could get my hands on; we even tried our hand at container gardening and had quite the spread!

My freezer jam in 2011.
My freezer jam in 2011.

Then we moved across the country to Colorado to a small, resort town with a 55 day growing season. The closest berry patch was four hours away, and anything we wanted to preserve had to be bought at the grocery store. I was sad, but it was a short season, and now we’re back in the South where berries grow in abundance and we can again pick as much as we want!

Last weekend, we hopped in the car and headed to where the strawberries were said to be growing like crazy berries – a bumper crop they called it.

Strawberry Picking 2015-2
We took a ferry ride across the James River – the boys and my first ever ferry ride – and pulled up to a little farm with plenty of strawberries to pick!

We were all elated and couldn’t wait to fill our baskets!

And baskets we filled, y’all!

Strawberry Picking 2015-8
Timmy (20 months old) filled nearly an entire basket all by himself!
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He took an occasional break in the wagon. Too cute!

Most of the people there had cameras in hand and a small basket for their little toddler girl in a white dress to fill (and they were stinkin’ adorable, mind you).

We were there in our grubby pants and sturdy shoes pulling a wagon. We were on a mission to bring in as many strawberries as we possibly could!

Of course, we had our camera too (clearly). It was our youngest’s first trip to the berry patch after all.

Oh and the boys were in matching shirts because it’s their favorite thing to do these days.

Strawberry Picking 2015-15
Where did my baby go? Wasn’t he JUST in the baby carrier looking at his first ever strawberry?
Strawberry Picking 2015-10
They really do grow up fast…

We explained to our boys that we had a lot of work to do and proceeded to give them a quick lesson on what to pick and what to leave for later.

We picked eight gallons of beautiful ripe, red strawberries to take home!

They worked so hard!

Strawberry Picking 2015-7
Plus the farm had homemade strawberry ice cream on hand, which of course meant a treat at the end of a long day of picking!

Strawberry Picking 2015-26
What in the world does one do with eight gallons of strawberries? Well, let me tell you!

How We Used Up and Preserved 8 Gallons of Strawberries

First, we ate as many of them fresh as we could! Why not? It’s part of the fun and strawberries are packed full of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need!

Strawberry Picking 2015-16
We put diced strawberries over warm oatmeal, ate them for afternoon snacks, and spun them in the blender for a refreshing drink – smoothies anyone?

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Next, I went ahead and flash froze several gallons because we like using them in smoothies throughout the winter months.

My grandmother-in-love taught me that if you leave the hulls on and stand the strawberries up on the hulls, you can fit more on a tray to freeze. Genius!

I had always just tossed them on a tray and let them fall however they may.

Sometimes I really do lack common sense…

We leave the hulls on because it’s less work and you don’t even notice them in a smoothie. At least that much I figured out on my own. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also made a big batch of strawberry jam using Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

Canning strawberries is really a simple process.

Here’s what I did (you can easily do an internet search for variations)…

Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe


Canning Tools:


I stuck my jars in the dishwasher and ran them through a nice hot cycle. I left them in the dishwasher warming while I made my jam. If your jars are clean but cool, just tuck them into a pot of simmering water to temper while you work.

You also want to sanitize your jar lids, which I did by sticking them in a small pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Just leave them warming on the stove as well while you make your jam.

I also filled up my canning pot with water and set it to high (could add your empty jars here if they aren’t already warm). I wanted it to be boiling by the time I was finished filling my jars.

Next, my little helpers washed all the strawberries we needed.

We hulled them and stuck them on baking sheets. This is a great way to include children in the kitchen!

We mashed the berries on rimmed baking sheets and poured the mashed berries and juices into a nice size stock pot.

I then added the calcium water and lemon juice to the pot and brought it all to a rapid boil. I let my oldest do the stirring while I read all the directions and found my sugar.

After the mixture was boiling, we mixed in the pectin and then the sugar.

We let it hard boil for about a minute and half, stirring frequently, and then removed it from the heat.

I ladled the mix into jars using my wide mouth funnel making sure to leave 1/4 inch head space.

Next I ran a butter knife around the outside of the jars and placed the lids and rings on tight. This is when the gagnetic lid lifter comes in hand. You can pull the jar lids and rings out easily without burning your fingers!

Once all my jars were full, I added them into my pot of boiling water and put the lid on the pot. We let the jars boil for ten minutes before turning off the heat and letting them sit for several more minutes.

Using my jar lifter I removed the jars and placed them gently onto a sturdy baking pan. We put them on a shelf not to be touched for 24 hours.

For the next hour or so we listened to the beautiful popping sound as the jars sealed and the jam cooled. The jam will thicken as it cools, which always makes me nervous and wondering if I did it all right!

When the jars were cool, we wiped them down (thanks hard water) and added a label to them with the name and date of the jam.

Easy, easy, easy! It took us about an hour from start to finish to make our strawberry jam.

Additional Notes:

For years, I didn’t have a big canning sized pot and just used the largest stockpot I had. I also didn’t have the handy magnetic lid lifter or jar lifter. I won’t even tell you how I managed to do my canning in those lean years.

Let’s just say it’s possible to do this without the fancy tools, but now that I’ve used the fancy tools I never want to go back. It’s sooooooo much simpler when you have the right tools on hand! I borrowed my canning pot and gear from my grandmother-in-love. Bless her.

After a regular batch of strawberry jam, I went on to make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, which is actually my family’s preferred jam. I made a “plain” batch because I plan on sharing the jam with family and not all of them like rhubarb.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe


  • 4 cups washed, hulled, and mashed strawberries
  • 4 cups washed, peeled, and chopped rhubarb
  • 4-5 cups raw cane sugar, divided
  • 4 t calcium water (in Pomona’s Universal Pectin package)
  • 4 t pectin powder
  • 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained

I used the same canning tools as my strawberry jam recipe above.


I also followed the same method as the strawberry jam recipe, but I first put my rhubarb in the pot with two cups of sugar to let it soften while I worked with my strawberries and prepared my work space again.

The longer the rhubarb sits in the sugar the better, but I’m too impatient to wait (and not that great at planning ahead).

Once I was ready to start the canning process, I followed the strawberry jam step by step.

Another easy, peasy process!

Using the Rest of the Strawberries We Picked

Finally, we used the rest of the strawberries (and more rhubarb) to make a Rhubarb Strawberry Pudding Cake I found in the local newspaper.

My grandmother-in-love pointed it out and expressed her great desire to have some. Hint, hint! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course, I wanted to give her a thank you gift for the canning supplies, so I made a cake…

Except my family ate it all before taking her any. Oops!

So I made a second batch just for her and hid it from my family!

This cake is great as a dessert or for a special treat breakfast…ahem.

You can find the recipe for Rhubarb Strawberry Pudding Cake here. So very yummy!

By the way, I had more rhubarb leftover from this day and just chopped it up and put it in freezer bags to keep for later.

Even More Ideas for Using Up Strawberries

There are plenty of strawberry recipes I’m dying to try, but since we aren’t yet in our own home (come on June!), it’s hard to justify occupying someone else’s kitchen and freezer right now. I had to put on my patience hat and be happy with what we were able to do this year.

Nevertheless, here are some strawberry recipes I hope to try out in the future! Putting them here will help me remember!

Plus I can even use my frozen strawberries for some of these recipes in the coming weeks and months. My mouth is drooling as I round these up for you!

strawberry chia muffins-2

Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks

Strawberry Chia Muffins @ Keeper of the Home

Strawberry and Cream Muffins @ This Pilgrim Life

Strawberry Breakfast Bars @ Mess for Less

Baked Strawberry and Rhubarb French Toast Casserole @ My Humbled Kitchen

Dehydrated Strawberries @ Barefeet in the Kitchen

Strawberry Feta Salad @ The Nourishing Home

Grilled Chicken Strawberry Feta Wrap @ The Pioneer Woman

Glazed Pecan and Strawberry Salad @ This Pilgrim Life


Jams, Jellies, and Sauces

Quick and Easy Strawberry Jam @ This Pilgrim Life

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam @ Red and Honey

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce @ Food Network

Strawberry Sauce @ The Pioneer Woman

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette @ This Pilgrim Life


Sweets & Treats

Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt Bars @ Live Laugh Rowe

GF Easy Strawberry Crisp @ This Pilgrim Life

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits @ Mommypotamus

Naturally Sweetened Fresh Strawberry Pie @ The Humbled Homemaker

Strawberry Watermelon Slushies @ Live Renewed

Strawberry Lemonade @ Gal on a Mission

Fresh Strawberry Sherbet @ Red Wagon Farm

What about you? Have you been strawberry picking this year? What are your favorite ways to preserve strawberries?

This post contains my affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.

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