Is it safe to cook with over-ripe strawberries?
March 14, 2008 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Is it safe to cook with over-ripe strawberries?

I bought some strawberries the other night and we haven't eaten all of them yet. They're quite ripe, and a few are soft and have those super mushy areas strawberries get. None of them are moldy or anything.

I was thinking I'd use them up by making banana bread with the strawberries instead of bananas. My husband worries I may give us all food poisoning or that it may not be safe to eat them now. Is he right and I should just throw them away?
posted by joannemerriam to Food & Drink (15 answers total)
They'll be totally fine. Enjoy!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 2:55 PM on March 14, 2008

As long as there's no mold I'd say you're fine. Be really sure though. After all, strawberries arent that expensive to replace. Use them right away however. Mmmmm, strawberry pancakes. Or bread. Mmmmm.
posted by elendil71 at 2:56 PM on March 14, 2008

Mushy is fine. What do you think jams are made out of? Perfectly ripe, non-mushy berries? Not by a long shot . . .

Use them and enjoy!
posted by 6:1 at 2:56 PM on March 14, 2008

They'll be fine, if there's no mold. How about banana and strawberry bread? Mmm.
posted by goo at 3:13 PM on March 14, 2008

If they smelled bad, I'd worry. But just being smushy is ok.
posted by chairface at 3:41 PM on March 14, 2008

Even if there was a bacterial presence, you'd commit genocide on the little bastards when you throw whatever concoction you come up with in the oven. ;-)

You're fine. In fact, what you're doing is probably the best way to get rid of overripe fruits.
posted by hylaride at 3:49 PM on March 14, 2008

Yep, they're fine to use. We've used squishy strawberries like that in smoothies, and had no ill effects.

The bread idea sounds yummy!
posted by sarcasticah at 4:18 PM on March 14, 2008

It's tough to food poison yourself on something you BAKE, unless you then leave it sitting around for a week.

I second the bananas AND strawberries bread.
posted by rokusan at 4:25 PM on March 14, 2008

The nose knows.
posted by poppo at 4:43 PM on March 14, 2008

The nose knows where my strawberry goes, and nobody nose---like poppo.

Ya, eat 'em. OR, add a buncha sugar, airlock them in a glass carboy, and stick them in a closet for a couple months. MMmmm...strawberry brandy.
posted by TomMelee at 6:07 PM on March 14, 2008

Hey, I'm the husband. I guess my problem with everything is not that I thought the actual bacteria would kill us - the heat would kill all of them, of course. However, my issue is what's left over from the bacteria...Botulinum toxin comes to mind, but with something more food-borne.

I'm glad to hear that most say its no issue, but I wanted to say something so I didn't look like a crazy worry-wart. :)
posted by plaidrabbit at 6:41 PM on March 14, 2008

You still kinda look like a crazy worry-wart; why would there be botulin toxin in a bunch of strawberries? The number of people who die from botulism per year in the entire united states can be counted on ONE HAND with fingers to spare.

Eat the strawberries!
posted by Justinian at 7:18 PM on March 14, 2008

Do taste a few first though - sometimes overripe strawberries can be sour.
posted by Caviar at 7:22 PM on March 14, 2008

Botulin generally only grows in stuff that is air and acid free (improperly canned items mainly) stuff like fresh berries are not the right environment for it to grow.
posted by estronaut at 12:17 PM on March 15, 2008

Sounds horrible to me. Strawberries are full of water, so if you bake with them, you'll have to account for that. Bananas have a totally different consistency. Plus, the whole overripe thing sounds awful. If you try it, let us know how it turns out. Hope I'm wrong for your sake.
posted by stonefruit at 5:57 PM on March 18, 2008

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