When the first strawberries of spring appear, I load our vehicle with my largest tin bowl, the grey totes I inherited from my mum, small buckets, little boxes and whatever else I can scrounge up. The strawberries are on, I aim to get my share of the harvest!
There’s a quiet, little U-pick farm about 10 miles from the Mountain Cottage. The owners are wonderful people who try to grow their produce as naturally as possible. This farm is one of my favorite places to go in the spring!
The plunk! plunk! plunking sound of strawberries softens as my pail fills up. The ripest and reddest berries, I pop into my mouth, savoring the sweet burst of flavor. If only I could save that deliciousness for a later date!
Seeing how that isn’t possible, I just have to choose the next best thing: frozen fruit. Strawberries are very easy to preserve in this manner. Let me give you a quick, run-through of how to freeze fresh strawberries!
Freezing Strawberries for Later Use
Because I’m a busy lady in the summer, I do anything special with my fresh strawberries. After preparing them (like I outlined below), I simply pop them in the freezer. And that’s where they sit until other harvesting slows and I have to make winter jams, pies and smoothies. Here’s a fast and simple way to put your strawberries up!
Step 1: Start With Quality, Freshly Harvest Berries
For the best flavor profile and longest freezer life, use firm, just-harvested strawberries. June bearing varieties have better flavor than ever bearing, so try to hit the first strawberry harvest of the year.
These berries are fragile, so don’t let them sit on your counter for a day or two. Process them immediately!
Step 2: Rinse Your Strawberries
Wipe out your sink, pop the plug in place and then add strawberries until they fill half the bowl. Add cold water until the red fruits are floating. Immediately begin removing the stem on each one.
Step 3: Remove the Strawberry Stems
Some folks take time to pare out the tiny, stubby stem from each berry, along with it’s green top. This girl? I actually leave the stem on and remove the green top with my fingertips.
I find I don’t notice the tiny stem in my baked or home canned goods. So why bother?
Step 4: Drain Your Strawberries
If you like, you can toss your clean berries directly into a freezer bag. Just know that water on your fruit usually leads to clumping. I recommend placing a large colander in the second bowl of your sink where you can let prepared berries drain as you continue to work.
Step 5: Bag Your Berries in Measure Amounts
When you’re done cleaning the first sink of berries, it’s time to bag them up. I usually choose 1 gallon zip locs bags. Some folks like to measure their fruit, so they know exactly how many cups are in each bag. Your choice!
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Step 6: Freeze Your Strawberries
Unlike raspberries and other soft fruit, well drained strawberries don’t usually freeze into a solid mass. If you’re particular about this, you can spread freshly rinsed fruit out on cutting boards or baking sheets, flash freeze and then bag the frozen berries in the quantities desired.
Just remember this won’t work if you have loads of berries to process. Unless of course, you have an intricate freezing rack on hand!
That’s How You Freeze Fresh Strawberries!
When frozen, strawberries will keep for months! In the dead of winter, you can pull them out and make strawberry smoothies, strawberries tarts and of course, strawberry rhubarb pie. Wanna know how to freeze rhubarb? You can go here to quickly read up on the simple procedure!
Really, that’s all there is to it! Now you know how to freeze fresh strawberries. At least, you know how this girl freezes them! No hassle. No paring, slicing or dicing. Whole berries, awaiting your homemade, delicious creations!