Joanna Gaines' Simple Method For De-Stemming Strawberries

Joanna Gaines tends to eat nutritious meals and traditionally prepares dishes for her family, which feature fresh fruit and veggies from their family garden. Strawberries, in particular, are a family favorite. However, the stem, or the hull, doesn't necessarily make for good eating and would be unpleasant to find in a pie or jam. 

So, in most cases, you want to remove the tops before using them. While you could spend time meticulously cutting each stem out individually with a paring knife, it can be a messy and lengthy process. Instead, do as Gaines does on her Instagram page and use a straw to remove the stem and core in one quick maneuver. 

It's a simple process that leaves you with an intact fruit. After washing your strawberries, grab a straw and place it at the bottom of the berry. As you gently push upward, the straw will take out the core and pop the stem off. You're left with a whole strawberry that's ready for eating, baking, or making homemade strawberry jam. No need for knives or wasting more fruit than necessary.

Using a straw to hull your strawberries reduces waste

This chef-approved way of hulling strawberries is super efficient and less messy than using a knife. It's also economical — it's better to remove just a small part of the berry than to slice off the top in service of removing the stem. Don't be so quick to toss the tops in the compost as you can save your strawberry tops. 

They're super useful, especially if you're aiming for zero waste in the kitchen. Liven up your water by letting the tops infuse for an hour. You can also infuse them with vinegar to change up your vinaigrette game — red or white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar work well. To add a summery touch to your cocktails, let the tops soak in gin, vodka, or white rum for two days before straining and using.

If you're on the lookout for berries at your local market, there are a few things you should check when choosing the best strawberries. Look for the smaller, more red and shiny berries with even coloring — these will be sweet. Green or white spots on the berry mean it's not ripe yet and will be bitter. Unfortunately, strawberries don't continue to ripen off the vine. Don't forget to turn the box over to check the other berries for color and mold.