Come and take a look at the right way to freeze strawberries in order to preserve the beautiful red color, the quality and the flavor of this delicate berry.
Would you be surprised if I told you that I went strawberry picking and I came back with 16 liters of strawberries?
Yup! I did it again… every year, it’s the same story…
But in my defense, strawberry season doesn’t last very long and if you’ve ever had a Quebec strawberry, you know they are super sweet and delicious. If you love strawberries as much as I do, I am sure you can understand how easy it is to go a little overboard when picking fresh strawberries.
You may argue (and rightly so) that strawberries are available year round. But, as I always say, there is nothing better than local fruits and vegetables.
There is however one good thing about picking too many strawberries – I get to share a few of my favorite ways to preserve them and some of my favorite ways to use them with all of you.
But today, let’s talk about another method -how to preserve fresh strawberries in your freezer.
Can you freeze strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the easiest and simplest fruits to freeze. Always try to use the freshest and firmest strawberries for the best result. They can be frozen whole, halved or quartered.
Although there are several ways to freeze strawberries, this is one of my favourites.
Which strawberries are best to freeze:
Always chose strawberries that are entirely bright red and glossy looking in order to get great tasting and sweet strawberries once they are thawed. There should be no green or white streaks. Do not freeze strawberries that have a deep red color as they are probably overripe and will result in an extremely mushy texture once the strawberry is thawed.
The best time of the year to freeze strawberries is when they are in peak season and available at your farmers market or freshly picked. This will ensure the flavor and texture of the strawberry is at its maximum.
How to freeze strawberries:
- Place the strawberries in a colander and rinse under cold running water;
- Allow the water to drain;
- Gently transfer the strawberries to a tea towel and spread them out;
- Pat them down with another tea towel to remove the excess moisture. Never soak these delicate berries as they quickly begin to lose their quality… they become soggy and lose their flavor
- Allow to air dry for 30-60 minutes
- Remove the hulls from each strawberry -simply pinch out the little green stem. You can use a knife or one of those gadgets to facilitate this process. It is important to remove the hulls after you have rinsed the strawberries otherwise you risk getting soggy strawberries. The hulls are great to add to your compost pile.
- Slice the larger berries in half or quarters, keep the smaller ones intact;
- Place the strawberries on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Since we don’t want clumps of strawberries sticking together, make sure the strawberries do not touch each other when placing them on the parchment paper. Individually frozen strawberries will allow you the flexibility to thaw them out individually based on your specific needs. Remember to use a baking sheet that fits in your freezer;
- Place the baking sheet of strawberries in your freezer for about 2-3 hours.
- Transfer the individual partially frozen strawberries in resealable freezer bags. Use a straw or a sealer to remove as much as the air as possible as this will reduce the formation of ice crystals.
- Properly label your bags by indicating the date and place your bag in the freezer.
You now have the versatility of using one strawberry at a time (if you wanted) to make some of your favorite strawberry treats.
How to use frozen strawberries throughout the year:
In the long run, it’s a lot cheaper to freeze your own locally picked strawberries rather than buying them in the middle of the winter from the frozen section of your big box store. Plus, you’ll love the convenience of just reaching into your freezer and using the exact amount you need to make some of these delicious treats:
- Desserts like strawberry cheesecake and Italian Jam Crostata (Italian Jam Tart);
- Smoothies and milkshakes:
- Frozen treats like strawberry kiwi granita;
- Fillings and sauces;
- Preserves or strawberry jam.
Frozen strawberries are also convenient when making summer drinks. Dawn over at Girl Heart Food shares her recipe for Frozen Strawberry Mango Margarita. Doesn’t it look good?
How long to keep frozen strawberries:
It has been my experience that frozen strawberries can be kept in the freezer between 4-6 months. They are more likely to experience freezer burn the longer they stay in the freezer. Needless to say the quality is affected.
How to defrost strawberries:
Strawberries are best thawed overnight in the fridge. Make sure to cover them or place them in a sealable container. In this way, they retain their shape when bringing them back to room temperature before using them.
Freezing strawberries not only preserves the beautiful red color, but when done right, the quality and the flavor of this delicate berry is preserved.
Is there anything better than thawing out the exact amount of perfectly frozen strawberries in the middle of winter from your freezer to make your favorite strawberry dessert?
So if you go strawberry picking and come back with a little bit more then you planned for, why not freeze them?
I would love to hear about how you are planning to use your frozen strawberries!
Thanks for dropping by,
Ciao for now!
PS: Have you tried this diy project?
If you have, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
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