The Farmers’ Almanac has been disseminating “waste-not, want-not” advice to its readers for more than 200 years, with the goal of assisting them in “making do” with the resources at their disposal. This includes the piece of advise to “think before you toss” regarding eggshells, coffee grinds, and anything else you might consider throwing away. There are many things that are thought to be scrap that could have a second or even third life. Strawberrys are not an exception to this rule. Strawberry tops, the part of the fruit that is typically cut off and thrown away or added to compost, can, contrary to popular belief, be repurposed in a wide variety of inventive ways. Although the thought of chewing on the green tops by themselves does not sound particularly delicious, you might be surprised to learn how useful they can be.
Strawberry tops are beneficial to your health.
It turns out that the leaves and stems of strawberries also pack a significant nutritional punch and offer many of the same health advantages as the berries themselves, making strawberries an exceptionally nutritious and healthy snack. Tannins are beneficial for digestion, nausea, and stomach cramps, as well as strawberry leaves, which, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, have a high concentration of vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Strawberry leaves also contain tannins.
The fact that strawberry tops have a high concentration of caffeic acid, a substance that reduces inflammation, is excellent news for people who suffer from arthritis.
1. Make A Refreshing Water Infusion
Adding the leafy tips of strawberries to your water not only imparts flavor but also helps you make use of the unwanted bits that would otherwise be thrown away in the compost. This works exceptionally effectively in cases where too much of the valuable strawberry meat has been taken off. Put the cleaned strawberry tops into a container with a lid, and fill the container up to the top with water. After allowing it to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours, sip it (you can strain it, if that’s how you like it). You should be good to go with ten to twenty at most, but the amount is something you can play around with depending on how potent you want the flavor to be. Infused strawberry water is equally delicious when combined with the peels of cucumbers or some fresh mint.
2. Make Strawberry Vinegar
Recipes for vinegar that has been infused with fruit scraps are appearing everywhere. If you save the tops of your strawberries, you may make a delightful strawberry vinegar that can be used to dress salads, add to barbecue sauce or any other condiment that uses vinegar, or even incorporate into a cocktail. To create, simply cover the tops of your strawberries with the vinegar of your choosing, whether it be white, apple cider, red wine, or balsamic. Put a lid on it, and put it away in the pantry for approximately a week while it steeps. After straining the mixture, you can use the vinegar that has been infused with strawberry in any way that you would typically use vinegar. Delicious!
3. Go Sweet With Strawberry Syrup
By producing delectable strawberry syrup from the strawberry tops that you toss, you may turn trash into treasure. Ideal for dousing ice cream, pancakes, waffles, or anything else you can think of; the possibilities are endless. In addition to flavoring lemonade, home-brewed kombucha, iced tea, and smoothies, this syrup can also be used.
In order to create this, take the tops off of two quarts of strawberries and blend them with one cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of lemon juice in a bowl. After stirring, covering, and storing in the refrigerator for the night, the contents can be allowed to soften. After blending the ingredients until they are completely smooth, pass them through a metal sieve and scrape the sides of the strainer with a rubber spatula to ensure that you obtain every last delectable strawberry. This recipe yields around two to three cups of syrup, which can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for a longer period of time.
4. Blend Them into a Nutritious Smoothie
It is common practice to use leafy greens such as spinach or kale in smoothies in order to increase the overall nutrient density of the beverage. However, if you want to take your smoothie to the next level, you should also include any leftover strawberry tops. They will provide your smoothie with an additional nutritional boost. Simply place the entire fruit, stem and all, as well as any tops that you have saved, into your blender. You may also save the tops for later use in smoothies by freezing them once the hulls have been removed. This makes it simple to grab a handful of the tops whenever you need them.
5. “Lift” Your Spirits
Put a little extra kick into your favorite mixed drinks! In the same way that you may use strawberry tops to flavor water, you can also use them to flavor your preferred spirit, such as rum, vodka, or gin, by infusing them with the fruit. Place the tops in a bowl or mason jar that has a lid, fill the bowl or jar with the spirit of your choosing, and allow the mixture to sit for about two days. After straining, use the liquid to make a fresh summertime cocktail.
6. Make A Healing Tea
Strawberry leaves have a long history of use as a medicinal plant, particularly in European countries. The healing powers of wild strawberries are more concentrated than those of ordinary strawberries, although either type will do the job. Tea made from strawberry leaves, like tea made from other leaves and herbs, can be used to treat diarrhea, aid in digestion, combat nausea, and settle an upset stomach. Other leaves and herbs can also be used to make tea. The tannins found in only one cup of tea made from strawberry leaves are adequate to alleviate symptoms.
You can save the strawberry tops for later use by drying them in an oven or a food dehydrator. This will allow you to use them whenever you need to in the future. Put three to five fresh or dried strawberry tops in your cup of tea. Strawberries are optional. You have the option of using one teaspoon of any additional fresh or dry herbs that you want, such as mint, verbena, rosemary, lavender, or basil. After pouring water that has been brought to a boil over the tops, let the mixture sit for five to ten minutes. Include a few drops of lemon juice and your preferred sweetener in the dish. Tea that has been allowed to cool can also be used to skin that has been sunburned or otherwise irritated.
7. Clean and Whiten Teeth
Strawberry leaves are an efficient method for cleaning teeth and gums, but you shouldn’t expect your dentist to let you in on this little known fact. Tannins have a potent astringent effect, which helps combat plaque and maintain healthy gums. Tannins can be found in tea and coffee. You may also try dipping the top of a strawberry into baking soda and rubbing it on your teeth to brighten your smile. After the mixture has had time to sit on your teeth for a few minutes, clean your teeth as you normally would.
8. Add Them To These Yummy Recipes
Basil is not the only ingredient that can be used in pesto. Strawberry tips are only one of the many ingredients that can be transformed into pesto. You may use them on their own or combine them with other pesto greens to make this sauce, which does not require cooking. One scrumptious and nutritious method to utilize strawberry tops is to combine them with parsley and then add either garlic or ramps to the mix. You could also make a nice salad dressing out of your strawberry top pesto by diluting it with additional oil and lemon juice and using it to season salad greens. Alternately, you may try adding some fresh strawberry leaves to your salad greens. The strawberry leaves are little, so they provide a wonderful contrast to the larger leaves of the salad greens.
9. Make An Itch-Relieving Bath
Strawberry leaves are useful to your health in many ways, including the fact that they are nourishing to the inside of your body as well as the outside. This anti-inflammatory activity is also helpful in lowering inflammation of the skin, which can help ease symptoms of rashes, eczema, and even acne. Additionally good for mature skin are the high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants that may be found in the tops. Simply place some strawberry tops inside of a tea bag or tea ball, and then put it into the water with you when you take a bath. Your four-legged, furry pals will also enjoy a strawberry top bath, which is especially beneficial for pets whose skin is dry and itchy. Strawberry top baths can be found here
10. Livestock Treats
Give these delectable crumbs to the animals that you keep on your farm. Animals as diverse as chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, pigs, and horses can all benefit from a treat of strawberry tips. It not only helps recycle your scraps but also earns the love and trust of your flock in the process.