So you’ve got strawberry tops intended for compost? Those cute lil greens with the awkwardly cut strawberry meat still attached? Well hold on friend, don’t compost those! A little shared secret about strawberry tops – you can totally eat ‘em! They’ve got the same lovely strawberry flavor and the greens are packed with vitamins! Most folx don’t see this as a normal ingredient in general food stuffs so these strawbabies usually get tossed. If you’re someone who doesn’t have the context for what to do with this sort of plant part it can be hard to know what you’re looking for. To help us get started, I’ve rounded up 4 ways you can use strawberry tops in your next meal.
- Smoothies! If you too like a liquid breakfast strawberry tops in your smoothie are perfect. Drop the whole top, leaf and berry included, into your puree-ing machine and go wild! You probably won’t even notice they’re in there since it’s such a subtle flavor. I go for 4 – 5 to get those nutrients and little kiss of strawb. The tops also freeze well if you want to save for all your smoothies down the road!
- Salads! This is a super simple way to use your extra tops. I like to break down the pieces, tearing the leaves off into smaller clumps and slicing the strawberry in half. The leaves blend in great with other greens and offer a nice contrast in size. The strawberry pieces are a lovely fruit pop and add some nice brightness to any salad. Try adding in strawberry tops to this farmer’s market salad!
- Pesto! I love pesto, it’s flexible, sexy, and green. What’s not to like? You can make use of so many different kinds of greens (hello carrot top pesto :D) and create dynamic flavor through whatever leafy herbs are on hand. Adding strawberry tops to pesto is an awesome way to add flavor to your spread and repurpose those pieces. Since these tops are such a subtle flavor they sneak in nicely with other leafy greens. You can try ramping up the strawberry taste with extra tops!
- Infused water! Can you tell I’m excited? I love infused water! Such a nice way to build in flavor and use up excess produce pieces intended for compost. Strawberry infused water is delicious and can pair nicely with most other fruits. Or you can get crafty and try this with some cucumber peel! Just place clean strawberry tops and water in a container with a lid (preferably glass) and let sit for a few hours in the fridge. You can play with the number of tops to get your prefered flavor, but anywhere between 10 – 20 in a larger jar should do the trick.
Early fall means end of strawberry season around here so make the most of the entire plant! We’re practicing a root to stem methodology here.
Do you have other uses for strawberry tops?
Let me know if you give this a try! #closedloopcooking