Strawberries as a berry are a nutritious, healthy snack that even their leaves and stems pack a powerful nutritional punch, carrying many health benefits. But, people commonly cut and discard strawberry tops. That is wrong practice as there are numerous sustainable — and tasty! — ways to put them to good use.
Strawberry tops can be repurposed in various creative ways as they contain numerous health benefits like the rest of the fruit. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, strawberry leaves are high in vitamin C, iron, and calcium. They contain tannins, which help with digestion, nausea, and stomach cramps.
Strawberry tops infused water with berries and mint.
Infusing water with the leafy tops of strawberries adds flavor and helps to use up those leftover pieces that are headed to the compost bin. This works especially well if too much of that precious strawberry meat has been cut with the top. Place your cleaned strawberry tops into a lidded container and lid with water. Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, and sip or strain. Ten to twenty tops should be enough to do the trick.
Bottle of strawberry vinegar made with strawberry tops
Fruit-scrap-infused vinegar recipes are popping up everywhere. Strawberry vinegar made from strawberry tops is delicious, drizzled on a salad, mixed into a BBQ sauce (or any vinegar-based sauce), or added to a cocktail. To make, cover strawberry tops with vinegar of choice (white, apple cider, red wine, or balsamic). Cover, and allow it to steep for about a week in the cupboard. Then, strain the mixture and use the strawberry-infused vinegar as a regular vinegar.
Strawberry syrup poured over vanilla ice cream strawberry tops
Discarded strawberry tops can be turned into treasure by making scrumptious strawberry syrup. Perfect for pouring over ice cream, pancakes, waffles, and other food. It can also be added as syrup to flavor lemonade, home-brewed kombucha, iced tea, or smoothies.
Cup of the wild strawberry top tea
Wild strawberries and their leaves make an excellent, healing tea.
Strawberry leaves have a long history of being used as an herbal remedy. Wild strawberries have more condensed healing properties, but conventional ones will get the job done. Strawberry leaves, like other leaves and herbs, can be used to make a healing tea to treat diarrhea, aid in digestion, combat nausea, and settle an upset stomach. One cup of strawberry leaf tea contains enough tannins to ease symptoms.
Use the whole berry when making smoothies!
Leafy greens are often tossed into smoothies for an additional nutritional boost but don’t stop at spinach or kale—toss in your leftover strawberry tops as well. They’ll give your smoothie an extra boost of nutrients. Then, simply drop the whole berry, top, and all (or saved tops) right into your blender. You can also freeze the tops after they have been hulled, saving them for smoothies down the road—making it easy to grab a handful when needed.