Fresh strawberries are nature’s treat. With strawberry season upon us, many of us are taking advantage of lower prices on strawberries. If you’re stocking up on fresh strawberries for jam making, remember to get some extra berries for eating fresh or freezing to enjoy later in the year. Strawberry season only lasts a few weeks, and then it’s gone!
But when it comes to eating fresh strawberries as a snack or dessert, how many berries are a serving? And when you pick your own strawberries by the pint, how many will you need for your favourite strawberry recipes? 24 Carrot Diet is here to help! Read on for more information about individual serving sizes, and to learn how to convert between pints, pounds and berries.
How Many Fresh Strawberries are in a Serving?
Eating fresh berries with a meal is one of the great pleasures of summer. Whether you’re adding berries to yogurt or oatmeal, eating them as a dessert, or tossing them into a salad, keep portion size in mind.
According to Canada’s Food Guide, a serving of berries is 1/2 cup or 125 ml. This is one serving of fruits and vegetables. Depending on your age and sex, you may need anywhere between 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruits each day. For your kids, up to and including age 13, the servings range from 4-6. You can check this table to learn how many servings each family member needs to meet their nutritional needs.
The Food Guide doesn’t specify whether the half-cup portion is measured in whole or sliced strawberries. But since it’s a pretty small volume, the difference probably isn’t big enough to worry about. Where other nutrition experts discuss portion size, they usually say a 1/2-cup serving of fresh strawberries is equivalent to 4 large berries. So start with 4 large strawberries per person, and you ought to be fine.
Using Fresh Strawberries in Recipes
What about when it comes to cooking with strawberries? Some recipes will call for whole strawberries. Others will calculate the amount of sliced berries. Some recipes measure fresh strawberries in cups or pints. Others will call for a specific number of ounces, pounds, or even grams.
Is your head spinning yet? I know I’ve always found it frustrating when recipes measure a weight when I’m measuring in volume, or when I’m using a fresh ingredient instead of a frozen or canned food. But it is possible to convert your strawberry recipes so they’re easier for you to use.
Here are some guidelines for measuring fresh strawberries for your jams, baked goods, and other recipes.
Fresh Strawberries by the Pint
A pint is a measurement of volume. You can measure a dry pint, as when you buy fresh strawberries. A pint can also measure liquid, as when you buy cream at the grocery store (or when you order a pint of beer at the pub.)
The pint is an Imperial measurement, so if you only learned the metric system in school you might not have used it very often. In the UK, a pint (liquid or dry) is defined as slightly more than 568 ml. But in Canada, it’s likely your recipes and measuring cups use US measurements. So a US dry pint is a little less: around 551 ml.
In both systems, a pint is defined as half of a quart. So a pint of fresh strawberries is roughly 2 cups of berries. Whole berries and sliced berries take up differing amounts of space.
Whole berries will take up more volume than sliced berries. Keep that in mind if your recipe is measuring sliced berries, instead of whole. It’s less important with smaller quantities. But when you’re preparing a recipe that calls for many cups of berries, that difference will start to add up. In these cases, pick up more berries than you think you need for a recipe. You’ll be sure to find plenty of uses, should you have leftover berries!
Fresh Strawberries by the Pound
A lot of grocery stores and even farmers are now selling fresh strawberries by the pound. When you measure berries by weight, it doesn’t matter whether they’re whole or cut. The only reason the weight would change is if you’re trimming a fair amount when you hull your strawberries. So if your recipe calls for a pound of strawberries, a pound container of fresh strawberries should do you just fine.
In cooking, a pound is often taken as the equivalent of 2 cups. But the density of a food and the amount of space between individual pieces – say, beans or berries – has its own impact on the conversion. According to The Spruce, a pound of fresh strawberries is about 3-3/4 cups whole strawberries or 2-3/4 cups sliced berries.
Substituting Dried or Frozen Strawberries for Fresh Strawberries
Canada’s Food Guide treats fresh and frozen fruits the same, so if you’re using frozen strawberries instead of fresh, just substitute them volume for volume. A single serving is still 1/2 cup or 125 ml. If you’re using frozen strawberries to make a smoothie or a strawberry parfait, just use the same amount you would if you were using fresh strawberries.
Dried fruit, on the other hand, is more concentrated because much of its water content has been evaporated away. Because of this, the serving size for dried fruit is half the size compared to fresh fruit. So if you’re munching on oven-baked strawberries or adding dried strawberries to your trail mix or granola, just use 1/4 cup or 60 ml. That’s one serving for dried fruit.
Fun Facts About Strawberries
Here are some interesting factoids to check out while you enjoy your fresh strawberries this summer.
- Strawberries are packed with vitamin C. A half-cup serving of strawberries supplies 49 g, or just under 82% of your daily requirement. That’s even more than an orange!
- Strawberries are members of the rose family. Other edible members of the family include apples, plums, cherries, raspberries, and even almonds.
- Botanically speaking, fresh strawberries aren’t actually berries! Strawberries are “aggregate fruits,” meaning they come from a single flower that contains multiple ovaries. Other examples of aggregate fruits are blackberries and raspberries. Tomatoes, pumpkins, bananas, and kiwi fruit, on the other hand, are all berries.
Want to use your fresh strawberries to make strawberry roses? Check out the video below! (I know it looks like it won’t play, but it’s working for me. Please let me know if it won’t play for you.)
Want to pin this post for later? Feel free to use the graphic below:
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Original content © 2018 Kyla Matton Osborne, aka #RubyWriter
Public domain images by Pixabay users Larisa-K, Trixpaule, HelgaKa, ponce_photography, and AnyBid
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