How to Use Your Strawberry Tops

September  4, 2017

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: We're re-running one of our favorite summertime, zero-waste kitchen tips. Don't toss those strawberry tops: Turn them into a sweet, refreshing infused water.

Strawberry Tops

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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 both 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 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


This article was originally published in 2015.

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Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



Justin B. June 12, 2018
Strawberry infused vodka
Joz L. April 21, 2018
I add mine to smoothies!
Sue M. September 10, 2017
Eat the tops! They are edible!!!
Ruth R. September 8, 2017
berta September 8, 2017
My everyday breakfast is a protein smoothie with strawberries that I cut in half and freeze whenever I can buy fresh. Once read to use the tops (greens) to add extra vitamins. They absolutely disappear in smoothie and no waste.
Woofgang September 7, 2017
Love the idea of giving them to the dog(s in my case) - something to keep in mind!
Becky September 6, 2017
My beagle loves strawberries. One day I dropped one of the "tops" on the floor when cutting them up and he quickly ate it, so I gave him another and another. I checked with my vet and she said it was fine...he's getting his fresh greens and fruit all at the same time and I'm not throwing anything away!
Woofgang September 5, 2017
I cut the stems off and if I get a bit of the fruit, so be it. Then I put in a freezer safe container and when I'm ready for a smoothie, I throw a handful of these into the blender with all the other ingredients. I do buy organic strawberries and make sure they are washed and cleaned before freezing those tops. I do like lemon water so I'm going to try strawberry top infused water - sounds like another good use for the tops.
Gabby B. September 4, 2017
I honestly never thought about doing this before! It's a great idea!
BerryBaby September 4, 2017
Interesting. I cut the green stem off but never the fruit.
Shari L. June 10, 2016
eliminate the plastic bag, bad for the environment anyways..8)
Linda V. April 20, 2016
I don't cut my berries, I pinch the top off :)
Homebaked June 12, 2018
Me too!
Christyne D. April 5, 2016
I give them to the dogs as a special treat!
ella W. September 29, 2015
take a straw, push it up from the bottom and it takes the stem right out
Linda H. August 17, 2015
Then leaves are the most nutritious part of the strawberry, and I never discard them. They are great in smoothies, and I also put them into salads. When I eat a whole strawberry, I eat the leaves as well.
Sheila August 16, 2015
I find the thought of soaking the stems and leaves disgusting.
J8m July 5, 2018
Then don't do it!!
ilse August 9, 2015
When I hull my strawberries I never have any berry left at the blossom. I don't know what you are doing to yours but I just remove the green, nothing else.
Homebaked June 12, 2018
Janet S. August 6, 2015
If I'm making a smoothie, the whole berry goes in. But if I'm trimming them, I have three corgis who insist they get first dibs.
nano Z. July 16, 2015
I love the brief strawberry season here in Maine..and I try to use every single part of them. many years ago i found a recipe for fresh strawberry pie...using the tops to make a jell for the base of the pie...to keep the berries stable...and then pour the rest of the gel over the top...this reminded me of the strawberry pie I used to love as a kid at the fancy restaurant at Saks Fifth Ave in NY.
Shari L. June 10, 2016
can you please send me the recipe for this pie? [email protected] thank you
Fran M. May 27, 2017
I would also love the recipe for this pie.
franmcginty@ yahoo.com
Kevin C. July 14, 2015
I might try this......