Much like spring, strawberry season is short and sweet. From the first warm day on, you have a limited amount of time to make as many strawberry desserts as possible while the fruit is at its flavor peak—which is during June in most of North America, according to Epicurious. Though it can be hard to resist the urge to devour an entire carton on your way home from the farmers market, so much potential lies ahead if you’re willing to wait (or splurge for two cartons—one for now, one for later).
While this ruby red berry is definitely a treat on its own, it can be truly phenomenal with the right recipe. Whether you’re looking for a baking project to test your skills or a speedy dessert that you can enjoy in mere minutes, there’s almost always a way that strawberries can be of service. Need to satisfy a sweet tooth stat? Blend up a simple strawberry smoothie recipe. Want to spring-ify an old favorite? Try strawberry banana bread. Or, go all out and use strawberries to fill and decorate a decked-out cake for spring.
As for how to properly wash this fruit before getting started, that part is easy. Avoid soaking strawberries in water for an extended period of time because they’re highly porous and will act like a sponge, as SELF previously reported. And don’t remove the stems before washing, as doing so creates another opening where water can enter—you’ll end up with mushy, waterlogged berries. Just wait until you’re ready to get baking, then simply place the berries in a colander and run under a faucet until all visible dirt is gone, and gently pat dry.
Next step? Whip up one of these 25 easy strawberry recipes. These fresh ideas will help you figure out what to do with strawberries galore while they’re in season—and churn out some of the most beautiful and delicious springtime treats you’ve ever seen or tasted.