If you’re growing strawberries in your garden and you’ve provided them with the perfect conditions, you’ll often end up with a glut of these delicious berries that you need to use up.

While strawberries and cream or ice cream are everyone’s favourite, if you have a lot of strawberries all ripening at once, you might be looking for some inspiration.

Here are some clever ways that you can use strawberries and make the most of this abundant and delectable fruit.

Make Your Own Strawberry Jam

There’s nothing nicer than strawberry jam on a delicious crumpet for breakfast or even as a special afternoon treat. And, nothing beats homemade strawberry jam that you’ve made with the fruits you’ve grown in your garden.

For a simple stovetop method, all you need to do is wash and chop up the strawberries and put them into a saucepan with some water and sugar. You’ll also need to add some pectin or lemon juice so that the jam will set. Just simmer the mixture until it’s thick and the bubbles cover the surface. Then, put the jam into a jar and allow it to cool.

strawberry jam

Enjoy Some Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade

If you also have a lemon tree that’s bursting with fruit, you can combine your strawberries with a few lemons to make your own refreshing lemonade. The wonderful sweetness of the strawberries will perfectly complement the tartness of the lemons for a refreshingly simple summer drink.

For a simple stress-free method, just chop up the flesh of the lemons roughly and dehull the strawberries. Throw these into a blender along with some water and a little sugar to taste. Mix well and then strain the liquid to remove any lemon pips. Taste the finished mix and blend with enough water to create a refreshing drink.

strawberry lemonade

Liven Up Your Summer Salads

Don’t just think of using strawberries in desserts and sweet dishes. These little morsels bursting with flavour can also be added to savoury dishes to add another taste dimension.

You can throw some sliced strawberries into a mix of lettuce leaves and baby spinach and top the lot with a nice tangy dressing. Not only will this create a visually pleasing salad but it will give you a flavour burst in your mouth.

Another idea is to make your own vinaigrette by blending strawberries with cider vinegar, olive oil, finely chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

strawberry salad

Create A Refreshing Granita Using Strawberries And Watermelon

Nothing makes you feel more refreshed than an icy granita on a hot day. Try mixing your strawberries with some chunks of watermelon and adding a bit of lime juice. This is the perfect dessert for those warm summer evenings.

It’s best to freeze the chopped-up strawberries and watermelon first before adding a syrup made from sugar, water and lime juice on the stove. Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Then spread the mixture into a flatish container and put it back in the freezer before serving it in scoops as a refreshing dessert.

strawberry granita

Make Some Strawberry Jelly For An Extreme Flavour Burst

It’s not that difficult to make your own jelly and your homegrown strawberries will add a unique burst of flavour that you just don’t get if you’re using a package mix.

Wash and hull the strawberries. Puree them until smooth, and then strain to remove any seeds for a smooth finish. In a seperate bowl, sprinkle gelatin powder over some cold water and let it absorb the water for a few minutes. In a saucepan, gently heat the strawberry puree with a little sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the gelatin and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the mixture into molds (adding chopped fresh strawberries if desired) and let it cool. Then, refrigerate until set.

strawberry jelly

Whip Up A Batch Of Strawberry Sauce Or Coulis

A lovely sweet strawberry sauce or coulis makes the perfect topping for ice cream or as a garnish for any other desserts you like to create. It’s also perfect as a topping for your cheesecakes or pavlovas.

To make a quick and easy strawberry sauce, wash and chop fresh strawberries, simmer with a bit of sugar until soft, then add water to get your desired consistency. If you like a smooth sauce, you can put the mixture into a blender once it’s cooled down.

strawberry sauce

Delight Your Family With A Strawberry Pie Or Tart

While you probably love making heart-warming apple pies in winter, you can use your abundance of strawberries in summer to whip up a delicious strawberry pie or open tart topped with lashings of cream.

For a quick and easy strawberry pie, you can use frozen shortcrust pastry to line a pie tray. Use a fork to prick the base of the pastry and fill the crust with some pie weights or dried beans after lining with baking paper. Bake in the oven until golden.

In the meantime, put some washed and chopped strawberries into a saucepan along with some sugar, cornflour, vanilla essence, and lemon juice. Simmer the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and thickened. Let this cool to room temperature.

Once the mixture is cool, mix in some more freshly chopped strawberries and pour this into your cooked and cooled pie crust. Put into the fridge to cool and serve with lashings of fresh cream or ice cream.

Tip: You could also purchase pre-made pie or tart shells from the supermarket if you’re short of time.

strawberry pie

Make Some Refreshing Strawberry And Lime Cordial

For a healthy and refreshing drink in summer without all the preservatives, why not make your own fresh strawberry and lime cordial?

For a quick and delicious cordial, put some washed and halved strawberries in a saucepan along with some sugar, lime rind, cinnamon and water. Cook this until the sugar has dissolved while stirring. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes.

Once cool, strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour into glass bottles. Store these in the fridge.

strawberry cordial

Whip Up A Batch Of Candied Strawberries For A Special Treat

Candied strawberries are a delicious snack and very easily whipped up at home. All you need is a candy syrup and some small skewers that you insert in the fruit before dipping them in the syrup.

To make the candy coating, mix together some sugar, water and corn syrup in a saucepan. To make a good candy, you should use a candy thermometer and heat the mixture to 180 degrees Celsius.

In the meantime, wash the strawberries and insert a thin skewer or toothpick into each one. When the candy mixture has reached the right temperature, dip each strawberry into it taking care not to burn your fingers.

Place the dipped strawberries onto a baking tray lined with paper and allow to cool.

candied strawberry

Make Your Own Strawberry Fruit Chutney

If you enjoy a good chutney on your ham sandwiches or as an addition to your cheese platter, why not make your own using strawberries as the base?

For the chutney, you’ll need some washed and quartered strawberries, chopped red onions, a few cloves of crushed garlic, lemon juice, brown sugar, red wine vinegar and spices such as cumin, mustard seed and coriander.

Put all of your gathered ingredients in a large saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. After boiling, simmer the mixture for an hour or so until it’s thickened. Let the mixture cool and store in clean glass jars in the fridge.

strawberry chutney

Have You Ever Tried Pickled Strawberries?

Pickled strawberries can add an extra taste treat to your cheese platter or charcuterie board. Once you’ve pickled the strawberries, you can just store them in an airtight jar in the fridge.

It’s really easy to make your own pickled strawberries by using this simple method. Wash and halve the strawberries and put them into a clean glass jar. Add vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, salt and enough water to fill the jar.

Put the lid on the jar and give the contents a bit of a shake. Now, put the jar in the fridge for a few hours up to a couple of days before serving the pickled strawberries at your next get-together.

pickled strawbery

Freeze Strawberries For Use In Smoothies And Baked Goods

If your family is a little tired of eating strawberries every day, why not freeze them so that you can enjoy that delicious flavour at other times of the year?

You can dehull and freeze them whole, but if you cut them up, you’ll find they’ll be easier to use in your cooking. Once cut, place them on a tray lined with baking paper and pop them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

The next day, take the frozen strawberries off the tray and put them into a freezer bag or airtight container and put them back in the freezer. If you prepare them this way, they won’t all stick together and you’ll be able to take out as many as you want each time.

frozen strawberies

Dehydrate Strawberries For A Tasty Snack

If you have a food dehydrator at home, you can dry your surplus of strawberries and enjoy them either for breakfast on your granola or a tasty snack just on their own.

It’s best to line your dehydrator trays with baking paper so that the fruits don’t stick to the trays once they’re dry. Leave small strawberries whole but large ones can be halved. They’ll shrink quite a bit during the drying process.

Once your strawberries are completely dried, you can store them in an airtight jar in the pantry.

dehydrated strawberry

Make Your Own Strawberry Roll-Ups

You can also use your dehydrator to make your own strawberry roll-ups. Just blend the strawberries and spread the mix on your dehydrator trays lined with baking paper.

Once the mix is dry, just slice and roll. These can also be stored in airtight jars in the pantry.

strawberry puree

Take advantage of that bumper harvest of strawberries by using them in clever ways in the kitchen. Apart from eating them fresh or using them in your baked goods, strawberries are very versatile and can be used in a wide variety of both sweet and savoury dishes.

Shop strawberry seeds and runners