Kitchen Confidence

How to Use Your Strawberry Tops

By • June 5, 2014 • 48 Comments

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Turn your strawberry tops into a sweet, refreshing infused water.

Strawberry Tops

When it comes to trimming and hulling your strawberries, it’s important to be exacting. If you slice off too much top, you’re essentially wadding up five dollar bills and pulverizing them in your garbage disposal. Strawberries are expensive, and throwing out too much of their flesh feels wasteful and sad.

More: Before you buy a punnet (or four) of berries, read these links.

But strawberry season -- that warming time between spring and summer when you want to run barefoot through a field while waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care -- isn’t a time to be type A. It’s a time to be carefree! So if you’ve been a little too nonchalant with your berries and lopped off too much top, here’s a way to use them up instead of throwing them out.

How to Make Strawberry Water

Just take your strawberry tops -- which you’ve already rinsed, right? -- and dump them into a large jar. Fill it with water, then let it sit for an hour or so. It will create a softly infused, fruity water -- a rounder, sweeter version of the cucumber stuff that you’re used to drinking at fancy spas, as you sit next to strangers in robes and jam out to Enya. It will keep you refreshed all summer, and it will make your strawberry budget stretch a little farther.

Now breathe easy, chill out, and go run through that field.

How to Use Strawberry Tops

Tell us: Do you know of any other uses for strawberry tops? 

Photos by James Ransom

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Tags: how-to & DIY, strawberries, berries, food scraps, water, infused, infusions, spring, summer, drinks, strawberry tops

Comments (48)

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13 days ago AmberPixie

I dry mind to add to teas and such! They add a nice summer flavor to a cup of hot tea in the wintertime. http://pixiespocket.com...

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13 days ago kervin joel vinson

kate .all depends on how much flavor you looking to get .the more tops and longer it get to seep= more flavor

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14 days ago Kate Acker

Is there a certain ratio anyone recommends following of strawberry tops to water?

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13 days ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

I have to admit i've never measured mine -- I'd start with 4 parts water to 1 part strawberry tops, but that's a very looks estimation.

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23 days ago Rivka

I use them to infuse cheap balsamic vinegar. Then I reduce the vinegar to about 1/3 of its initial volume, and I have a lovely syrup for drizzling on mozzarella, watermelon, sour cherries, and pretty much everything else.

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17 days ago Sharon Simpson Thumann

OMG that sounds awesome and I will try it next time I buy strawberries.

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about 1 month ago baltimoregon

I had thought of this but then forgot to mention in my column today on infused waters: http://www.pressherald.... Thanks for the gorgeous, timely reminder!

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about 1 month ago Meghan Z

I freeze them for smoothies. Mmm!

Katiesmall

about 1 month ago Katie @ Produce On Parade

That's smart! I just blend them up in my smoothies when I use strawberries. Throw them in whole! :)

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about 1 month ago isabelle

I don't cut off the tops unless they are bad. I put them in the blender with the strawberries etc and make a smoothy. I've heard they have something beneficial in them although I can't remember what. They don't detract from the flavor of the smoothy.

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about 1 month ago Cookie16

Simple and brilliant.

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about 1 month ago Paula Zevin

GReat use for those strawberry tops! I'll try the water and maybe infuse them in gin and make summer slushes. BTW, you want to make sure that you don't just rinse the berries and tops, rather wash them - it will take care of the surface pesticides if you didn't get organic or grew your own.

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about 1 month ago monacake

simply brilliant! (oh, and delicious...)

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about 1 month ago Allyn

I did this and added some mint leaves yesterday. Completely brilliant!

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about 1 month ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

Oh, that's so smart! I love strawberry and mint -- or basil! -- together. Will have to give that a try.

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about 1 month ago laurenlocally

Lauren is Food52's Director of Partnerships.

Did this tonight and LOVED it. Great one MB!

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about 1 month ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

So happy to hear it!

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about 1 month ago erin

chickens go berserk for them too. but now i may not share, ha!

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about 1 month ago Kathy R

I just use the tip of a paring knife to core strawberries so that I don't have any waste.

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about 1 month ago Red Clog Chef

That's exactly what I do! No waste :)

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14 days ago Karin

Same here, Kathy.

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about 1 month ago Lisa miracle

Wish I read this yesterday

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about 1 month ago Vanina Howan

Great idea!
Any suggestions for leek tops?

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about 1 month ago Francesca Zavacky

Maybe finely dice and roast to add to cooked rice or quinoa with a light vinaigrette?

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about 1 month ago Vanina Howan

Ok Will try it! thanks

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about 1 month ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

I also freeze them and add them to vegetable stock! Here's how: https://food52.com/blog...

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about 1 month ago Jessica

I just braise them in chicken broth and eat them. Absolutely delicious

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about 1 month ago Francesca Zavacky

How about letting them sit in champagne vinegar for a week or two?

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about 1 month ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

you clever girl!

can i do this with vodka?

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about 1 month ago Savorykitchen

We used to make strawberry vodka at the restaurant this way - to get the best color, you'll want at least 1/3 of the berry detritus to be whole berries.

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about 1 month ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

I like the way you think, mrslarkin.

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about 1 month ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

+1

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about 1 month ago kervin joel vinson

i have used them in tea..after I boil the water I drop in the tea bags and the berry topafter the water cool and let both seep ..a

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about 1 month ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

I love this idea!