Do strawberries ripen after picking?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Do strawberries ripen after picking?”, discuss what you can do with not-so-ripen strawberries, and how to pick ripe strawberries.

Do strawberries ripen after picking?

No, strawberries do not ripen after picking. So, before harvesting the strawberries, one should make sure that they are fully mature. Allow the strawberries to complete their growth before picking them up, wait for them to turn fully red, and let the white and immature strawberries grow to their maximum size.

Why do strawberries not ripen after picking?

Ripening is a process that is stimulated and promoted by an essential component, ethylene, a naturally occurring gas. Also, there are certain enzymes such as amylase and pectin, that are useful in breaking down the starch and pectin to sweeten and soften the fruits. 

Strawberries, as they belong to non-climacteric fruits, do not ripen after picking because the production of ethylene is reduced to a minimum in such fruits when they are off the tree. Therefore, strawberries do not ripen after picking.

Is there any way to ripen the strawberries?

Even though strawberry is not a climacteric fruit, exogenous ethylene can help it to ripen through a secondary ripening process in some cases.

What can you do with not so ripen strawberries?

If the strawberries are not-so-ripen, or if they are lacking the sweetness of a truly sweet strawberry, or if they are a little too tart to snack on, will you throw them straight into the garbage bin? No, throwing them will hurt you for sure. So here are some way outs to deal with such strawberries:

  • Strawberry syrup

If the strawberries are not-so-ripen or if they are not exactly sweet, you can make the strawberry syrup of such strawberries. For this, you can toss tart berries with a little sugar and reduce them on the stovetop. Now, the strawberry syrup is ready to liven up your pancakes or make ice-creams.

  • Popsicles

You can try cheesecake pops if the strawberries are lacking in sheen, brilliance, or vitality. For this, use Greek yogurt and cream cheese to disguise the flavor in lackluster strawberries.

  • Roasting

If the strawberries are not sweet enough, try to roast them. Roasting them will help in bringing out all their natural sweetness. So you can toss them in the salad, tuck them into desserts, or blend them into margaritas.

  • Drinks

If the strawberries are not-so-ripen or if they do not taste sweet, they can still be the perfect complement to your favorite warm-weather sipper. You can try berry-infused iced tea or strawberry-lime rickey according to your choice and mood.

  • Soup

If the strawberries are super tart, make a soup of them. For this, replace the tomatoes from the gazpacho with strawberries to have a slightly sweet and refreshing twist.

  • Smoothie

If you want to deal with a big batch of strawberries that do not taste well, the easiest way out is to whip up a smoothie. The creamy nut butter or other sweet fruits will help you to disguise the flavor of strawberries. You can try a Peanut butter and jelly smoothie or a blueberry strawberry smoothie.

  • Pickles

To add up a pop of brightness to salads, sandwiches, tacos, and cocktails, make pickled strawberries. But they are just eaten straight out of the jar.

How to sweeten not so ripen strawberries?

To sweeten not-so-ripen strawberries, first of all, rinse them off and let them dry. Then chop the dried strawberries and take them in a small bowl. Add some sugar to the bowl and refrigerate it. The mixture of sugar and acidic juices from strawberries will help them increase their sweetness naturally by marination. So there will be no need to add any syrup, the strawberry juice will do this by itself for you.

How to pick ripen strawberries?

As we know that strawberries do not ripen after picking, so one should be careful before taking them off the vine. So before picking:

  • Keep an eye on your strawberry vine and wait for the strawberries to grow. They will start as pale green and grow to a deep red. (Experts say that strawberries start to grow after 90-110 days of their planting).
  • Look for the telltale sign. They will be ready to pick when three-quarters of the surface of the fruit has changed from green to red. At this stage, they will feel soft on touch and have a little give when squeezed lightly. Now, this is the right time to PICK!
  • Apply 70% isopropyl alcohol on the knife and your hands for disinfection purposes.
  • Cut the strawberries off the stem with the help of the disinfected knife from a point that is a little higher than the fruit itself.
  • After picking the strawberries, drop them in your pail.
  • Now, take the strawberries to the kitchen and wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt before consuming them. Try to consume the strawberries when they are fresh, to taste them at their best.

Conclusion: 

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Do strawberries ripen after picking?”, discussed what you can do with not so ripen strawberries, and how to pick ripen strawberries.

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