Strawberry farming produces a crop that should be enjoyed all year! During the “off-season,” however, access to good berries dwindles—this is when frozen berries become a great option. From field to freezer, strawberries have a specific timeline they should follow if they are to maintain fresh flavor and nutrients even after being frozen. With frozen strawberries on hand, you’ll be able to enjoy this scrumptious fruit in countless different dishes, year-round!
Here are some tips and tricks for freezing strawberries:
First: Picking the Right Strawberries
To make sure that your frozen strawberries will remain tasty after being frozen, choose tasty strawberries to begin with. When browsing your grocery store’s strawberry selection, look for strawberries that have a shine to them. They should also be a vibrant red color and have grass-green caps.
Whether you choose organic or non-organic strawberries does not matter. As long as your strawberries are clear of bruises, mushy areas, and mold, you have chosen a great batch to freeze.
Second: Washing Your Strawberries
Washing your strawberries may feel like a redundant part of strawberry freezing. When you wash them properly, it can make all the difference in how well they stay preserved in your freezer. There are various methods of washing strawberries, including the following:
- let them soak in a water and salt combination
- soak them in a solution of 50% water and 50% apple cider vinegar
- simply rinse off your strawberries to get rid of any debris
You can wash strawberries while they are still in their containers or by putting them into a colander or bowl. Once your strawberries are rinsed off, blot each strawberry softly to make sure it is cleaned well and not damaged.
Third: Freezing Your Strawberries
Once your strawberries are nice and clean, it is time to prep them for the freezer. Here are the basic steps to follow for freezing your strawberries:
- Cut the green stem off of each berry
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper
- Set the strawberries cut side down on the baking sheet
- Place the strawberries uncovered in your freezer for about 24 hours
- Move the strawberries to a container of your choice
Freezing the strawberries on a pan before putting them in a bag helps prevent them from clumping together. Frozen strawberries can remain in the freezer for several months. An airtight container or well-sealed bag will help prevent freezer burn.
Should I Freeze My Strawberries Cut or Whole?
You can freeze your strawberries in any form you choose. It all depends on how you are planning to use your strawberries later. If you are using them for smoothies or milkshakes, a cut frozen strawberry is easier to blend. Choose the form that will be easiest to use in the recipes you plan on making.
How Can I Use Frozen Strawberries?
There are several ways to eat your frozen strawberries because they are equally as nutritious frozen as they are fresh. Here are a few different ways to enjoy frozen strawberries:
- Ice pops
- Ice cream
- Frozen margaritas
Fresh Versus Frozen
There is a common misconception when it comes to fresh versus frozen fruits and vegetables: whether you freeze your own strawberries, or pick up a frozen pack at your grocery store, the nutritional value does not change.
To be sure that there are no additives to your store-bought frozen strawberries check the label. Some companies may add sugar to enhance the sweetness of the strawberries. To avoid unnecessary additives, freeze your own strawberries with the directions given above.
As long as your strawberries are frozen at the peak of their freshness, you will get the same nutritional value from them. The nutritional value of strawberries may help reduce the risk of some cancers, help reduce the symptoms of type two diabetes, and can assist in improving the health of the brain and heart.
From Strawberry Farming To Freezing Strawberries
With these tips and tricks for freezing strawberries, you are prepared to begin freezing your fresh berries! A quality frozen strawberry starts with a quality strawberry farming process. Frozen or fresh, strawberries are a wonderful ingredient in any recipe and a fantastic treat on their own— enjoy them any time or all the time and reap the delicious, nutritious benefits!