Get More Out Of Strawberries With A Smarter Stem Technique

Wasting food can mean more than just throwing out leftovers. Considering the U.S. gets rid of about 80 billion pounds of food annually, more than any other country, every way we can keep food out of the garbage counts (via Recycle Track Systems). When it comes to strawberries, approximately 64% of the fruits are wasted every year, according to Perishable News. This isn't completely consumers' fault, as some of the discardings occur before they reach grocery store shelves. But when prepping strawberries at home, we typically throw away a significant part of each fruit.

Many of us were taught to cut off the tops of strawberries and throw them away. The little leaves are rougher and more bitter than the succulent red fruit, which is not ideal for a smooth no-bake strawberry cheesecake recipe. But you can put them to good use in quite a few ways, from making infused water and alcohol to blending them up in smoothies for a boost of leafy greens. If you can't bring yourself to eat strawberry heads, try this cutting technique to get rid of the stem without wasting as much of the fruit.

Use a paring knife to cut out the white bits of your strawberries

If you want to de-stem a strawberry while leaving as much of the fruit intact as possible, don't be so quick to use the knife just yet. Instead, simply twist and pluck the stem off with your hands. The top of the fruit, which should now be white, also needs to be discarded, as it has a more astringent taste than the rest of the berry. To do so without cutting into the rest of the strawberry, you can then bring in a paring knife and carefully section it out. It may take a few tries to get it right, but when you do, you'll be left with all the parts of the strawberry you want to eat and none you don't.

If messing with a paring knife seems too difficult, you can also try this easy trick: Insert a straw into the bottom of the strawberry, then push it all the way through the top until the leaves pop off. You will lose a little more fruit this way, but if you need to mass-prepare strawberries (potentially for a dessert like French strawberry pie), this method is quicker and easier. But if your main goal is to preserve as many berries as possible, stick with the twist-and-cut method.