Everyone knows that strawberries are best enjoyed fresh, but if you have more of those berries than you know how to use them, freezing seems to be the best solution of that issue. If you would like to know how to freeze strawberries, this article covers few different methods of freezing. Interested? If so, read on!
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How to freeze strawberries
First things first. Wash strawberries and dry them. Discard any spoiled, soft or mushy ones. Now you need to hull them (remove the stems). If you wish, you can cut strawberries into halves or smaller chunks. That’s about it when it comes to prep.
Image used under Creative Commons from Fried Dough
Freezing whole strawberries
To make sure strawberries won’t freeze into one large clump, we need to pre-freeze them (this process is sometimes called fresh-freezing). Take a cookie sheet and transfer fruits onto it in a way they don’t touch one another. Put the cookie sheet into the freezer and keep it there until fruits are solid. Once they are frozen, you can transfer strawberries into a freezer bag, squeeze all the air out (to avoid freezer burn) and seal it. Label and date the bag and put it into the freezer when it can be kept for a couple of months without huge loss of quality.
One tip – if you would like to keep the strawberries for a little longer in the freezer or minimize the freezer burn effect, you can dust them with sugar before pre-freezing. That will help with freezing, but it’s a good trick only for people who are fine with the additional sugar and I know that quite a lot of people aren’t.
One important thing – instead of freezing strawberries in a freezer bag, you can vacuum seal them. If you have a vacuum sealer you can use it vacuum seal the strawberries and then freeze them, which works out much better than if the strawberries are frozen in a typical freezer bag. When it comes to vacuum sealing – make sure you discard soft berries before sealing, because they might be crushed by the vacuum sealer.
Freezing strawberries in syrup
First, we make the syrup. It’s a simple solution of water and sugar: 1 cup sugar per 4 cups water. You can dissolve sugar in either hot or cold water, but make sure the solution is cold when you’re using it for freezing. That’s why it’s better to prepare it beforehand and put into the fridge.
The procedure is pretty straightforward – put the strawberries into a jar or plastic airtight container and cover them with the syrup (make sure fruits are fully submerged in syrup). Seal the container tightly, date and label it and put into the freezer. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter.
This is a great way of freezing strawberries that are soft, mushy, or simply not-that-attractive. You can use it as a flavoring for pancakes, ice cream, etc. or enjoy it as-is. Best of all – it requires almost no work. Put the berries into a blender, add few drops of citrus juice and blend until smooth. If you find the sauce not sweet enough, add a tablespoon or two of sugar and stir. That should do the trick. Now you only need to pour the sauce into a container or jar, seal, date and label and put into the freezer. Make sure you leave some head-space in the container though. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter and use within few days after thawing.
As you can see freezing strawberries isn’t that difficult and you have a few options you can try out. I recommend trying out each one and deciding which one works best for you and in what circumstances.