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Macerated Strawberries

Patricia Reitz

I love when fresh strawberries are in season.  I don't know about you, but I buy a lot of them.  Inevitably, we sometimes end up with a few berries that don't get eaten as quickly as I'd like.  I'm sure that happens to you too so I'm going to show you how to turn less than appealing strawberries into uber yummy strawberries, and we'll extend their life by a day or two in the process.  It's a win-win!

Alright, remove and discard the stems from your sad looking strawberries and cut them into bite-size pieces.

If your neighbor has chickens, save those trimmings for them.

Place the berries in a bowl and sprinkle on a little granulated sugar.  I use 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for a pint of strawberries, depending on how sweet they are to begin with.  

If you want to be a little fancier, use vanilla sugar.  

I make my own vanilla sugar by saving all my vanilla bean pods and placing them into a large jar filled with sugar. Just rinse the pods, let them dry, then add them to the jar.  Top off with more sugar as needed.  My batch of vanilla sugar is well over 10 years old... maybe close to 20 - and I bet there are 30 vanilla beans in there.  

Ok, back to the strawberries.

Stir the berries and sugar together well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to 24 hours.   They can last up to 48 hours, but they're really best eaten within 24.  

And here you are after 24 hours.  The technical name for this process is MACERATE, but whatever you call it, can you believe how enticing those sad strawberries look now?  

Use them to make strawberry shortcake, or old-fashioned hot milk cake, make these amazing strawberry muffins, spoon them over ice cream, or put them in a bowl and drizzle a little cream on top.  However you decide to use them, I promise, your family and friends are going to love them.... and you'll love that you didn't have to throw those sad looking strawberries away.  You're welcome.

Macerated Strawberries

makes 1 pint

Printable Recipe


  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or vanilla sugar)


  1. Place cut strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and stir well. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but up to 48 (berries are best eaten within 24 hours).