You could easily set your heart out on the ruby jewels when the season of strawberry arrives, and there is nothing wrong in going overboard with them. There is nothing like the comfort of digging into a bowl of whipped cream or yogurt with slices of these succulent berries.
But the season falls short when it comes to enjoying them fresh from the gardens. Strawberries are very delicate when exposed to extreme heat or cold, so they require delicate handling. You can now easily freeze strawberries for your summer smoothies, milkshakes, pie fillings, and many more recipes.
Editor’s Recommendation: Quick Hacks Freeze and Preserve Raspberries at Home
Can You Freeze Fresh Strawberries?
This is one of the most common questions for all strawberry lovers, that can they preserve and freeze strawberry so that it lasts longer? Definitely a YES! And it is a lot easier than you think. You can preserve the garden fresh strawberries, sliced, mashed, or whole, any way you like them at home. The strawberries stay fresh and safe to eat up to a year.
But it is best to use them up in six-nine months, as they start losing their rich color and texture. However, the flavor and the taste remain intact. But chances are, that your freezing strawberries may end up soft, develop freezer burns and their quality may deteriorate, after the six months mark.
Setting up the Table to Freeze the Juicy Strawberries
- Select the strawberries and discard the ones which have discolorations and molds. Check for unripe or overripe, already mushy berries. You do not want to store anything that is nothing but ripe, juicy, and, red,
- The touch must be firm when you touch them.
- After selecting, wash them properly under the running water. Never preserve any fruits without properly washing as freezing does not kill any germs or bacteria.
- Now, remove the stem, cap, and leaves from the top and allow them to air dry.
- You may preserve the whole strawberry without removing the stem and the leaves, but it becomes difficult to remove once you thaw it.
- If freezing them whole, lay the hulled strawberries on a single layer on a paper towel for drying before freezing them.
- You may also chop/slice them, especially if you wish to freeze them with sugar.
Kitchen Hack: Never soak your strawberries, you might end up losing the flavor and the nutrients.
4 Different Ways to Freeze and Preserve Strawberries at Home Easily
1. Freezing Whole Strawberries without Sugar
- Once the strawberries are properly washed and clean, arrange them on a baking sheet, without them touching one another.
- Make sure that the strawberries are dry before you pop them into the freezer to flash freeze them for two hours approximately. This is necessary, as it will prevent them from sticking to each other.
- Check if the fruits are solid or not. Now as the fruits solidify, it is time to transfer the strawberries in a zipper-lock bag, or an airtight container and put it back into the freezer.
- Make sure you don’t fill the zipper bags more than three-quarters of the whole and gently press out any extra air in the packet after filling them with strawberries.
- Dig in whenever you have your delicious strawberry cravings.
2. Freezing Whole Strawberries the Dry Sugar Method
- Place the freshly prepared dry strawberries in a bowl. Sprinkle half a cup of sugar for every quart of strawberries, and mix well until the sugar dissolves and coats every berry.
- Transfer the sugar coating strawberries into zip lock bags or airtight containers and place them into the freezer.
3. Freezing Strawberries with a Light Sugar Syrup
This is a tried and tested method. This method itself is a delicacy. You can gorge into a bowl of strawberries along with the syrup as it is. You can use jars of individual airtight containers for freezing.
- Begin by preparing the simple sugar syrup. To make the syrup, add one cup of sugar to every four cups of water. Make sure the water is in the room temperature. If the water is hot when you are dissolving the sugar, chill the syrup before using it.
- Pour the cold syrup into the jars or containers where you are going to freeze them. Use about half a cup to one-third cup of syrup for every pint of strawberries.
- Pack and freeze.
Kitchen tip: never immerse the jars or containers in hot water to thaw them. Use the fridge or simply place them on the kitchen counter.
3. How to Freeze Strawberries without Getting Mushy
- Place the strawberries in a metal bowl and crush a block of dry ice to mix in.
- Now transfer the bowl into a cooler, with the lid open to allow the pressure to escape.
- Let it sit for twenty minutes. It is advisable to place a folded towel to preserve the cooler. Dry ice has the potential to damage plastic by turning it fragile or cracking it, hence ruining the cooler completely.
- Now place the frozen strawberries in zip lock bags and place in the freezer.
- Using this method will ensure that the strawberries are whole and intact and not mushy when thawed.
Kitchen tip: This applies to all the methods when storing in a ziplock bag make sure to remove as much as air possible before sealing it. This ensures that the strawberries stay fresh for a long time. And, never fill the whole bag up, fill one-third of the bag.
How to Thaw the Strawberries?
Thawing is the act of unfreezing or defrosting fruits or vegetables which are refrigerated for long. This can be accomplished by leaving something out at room temperature to naturally thaw.
Take out as much preserved strawberries as your heart desires and on the kitchen countertop at room temperature. After a while, your strawberries are ready to consume in any way you want.
The Different Ways to Use Frozen Strawberries
The strawberries do not become sweet while they are freezing. So if you are planning to consume them as a snack, preserve them with sugar. With the temperature rising outdoors during summer, use them directly into your milkshake, smoothie, and yogurt. You can also make treats for children at home like popsicles and sherbets. Indulge yourself with a slice of freshly baked pie from the oven with a strawberry filling.
I hope these quick tips to store seasonal strawberries for long, helps you enjoy your delicacies in off-seasons too. Share your feedback in the comment section below.