Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: We’re re-running one of our favorite summertime, zero-waste kitchen tips. Don’t toss those strawberry tops: Turn them into a sweet, refreshing infused water.
When it comes to trimming and hulling your strawberries, it’s important to be exacting. If you slice off too much top, you’re essentially wadding up five-dollar bills and pulverizing them in your garbage disposal. Strawberries are expensive, and throwing out too much of their flesh feels both wasteful and sad.
More: Before you buy a punnet (or four) of berries, read these links.
But strawberry season—that warming time between spring and summer when you want to run barefoot through a field while waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care—isn’t a time to be type A. It’s a time to be carefree! So, if you’ve been a little nonchalant with your berries and lopped off too much top, here’s a way to use them up instead of throwing them out.
Just take your strawberry tops—which you’ve already rinsed, right?—and dump them into a large jar. Fill it with water, then let it sit for an hour or so. It will create a softly infused, fruity water—a rounder, sweeter version of the cucumber stuff that you’re used to drinking at fancy spas, as you sit next to strangers in robes and jam out to Enya. It will keep you refreshed all summer, and it will make your strawberry budget stretch a little farther.
Now breathe easy, chill out, and go run through that field.
Tell us: Do you know of any other uses for strawberry tops?
Photos by James Ransom
This article was originally published in 2015.