One of the best and by far the simplest ways to preserve fresh strawberries is to freeze them and store them in your freezer. Freezing strawberries is an easy method for extending their shelf life and enabling you to savor the fresh strawberries’ fruity, sweet flavor throughout the year.
Here’s a step by step process to freeze strawberries the right way:
1. Clean the Strawberries
If you are stashing strawberries in the fridge to eat within a couple of days, hang on to washing them until just before you decide to use them. But if you plan to freeze them, go ahead and rinse them as soon as you get home, or as soon as you see them starting to shrivel in cold water. Then spread them to dry them gently on paper towels or a kitchen cloth.
2. Hull the Strawberries
You don’t want to waste any of it after putting in the effort to procure the best berries. Hull the berries more carefully by inserting a paring knife at an angle into the stem end, rather than simply slicing off the tip. Cut in a small circle around the green stem, then pop the greenery off and discard it.
3. Slice the Strawberries
The majority of fresh strawberries – pie, cobbler, or crisp, compote – recipes will probably tell you to halve or quarter the fruit. Halved berries, in case you’re just thinking with smoothies and/or milkshakes, are even easier on your blender. Since slicing frozen berries is exponentially harder, go ahead and do that now. Slice them that way if you like thinly sliced berries in a pie. Otherwise, depending on their size, halve or quarter them and then spread them out in a single layer on a sheet tray that will fit in your freezer. Using several trays, or stack them by putting a piece of parchment paper on top of the first layer, creating a second layer of berries on top, if you have many berries that they won’t all fit in a single layer. Repeat according to need. Just make sure the sliced berries don’t touch each other.
4. Freeze the Strawberries
Put the berries in your freezer for at least an hour or up to four hours. The more layers you have on your tray, the longer it will take them to harden fully.
5. Store the Strawberries
When the berries are fully frozen, scoop them into freezer bags made of silicone or plastic. Squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible, seal them tightly, and place them in the back of the freezer. Try to avoid putting them in the freezer door, where the temperature can fluctuate and cause ice crystals to shape the berries as they pass from slightly frozen to fully frozen and back over time. Use your frozen berries within six months for the optimum taste.
Additionally, to help kill any bacteria or pesticide residue, you can easily soak strawberries in either a vinegar solution or a saltwater solution. The ratios are listed below for each of these solutions. You can even soak them in a combined mixture of vinegar and salt.
- In a big mixing bowl, simply rinse the vinegar or salt, add the strawberries to the mix and stir/soak for about a minute. After this, you can rinse the berries again, but you can skip this step if you want a salty or tangy aftertaste!
- With Vinegar: 1 cup of water with 3 cups of vinegar. Vinegar has a low pH, which can help kill bacteria and pesticides. It is acidic.
- With Salt: 1/4 cup of salt, mix to dissolve the salt for every 4 cups of water. Saltwater can help to eliminate pesticides that are on the fruit’s outer surface.
We hope our article helped you know how to freeze strawberries ideally so that you can use them later for delicious desserts!