Strawberries are a very soft fruit and they can spoil quickly if they are not looked after carefully. If you haven’t gobbled all your strawberries up on the way home, it may be that you are supposed to save them to share with others, or you might want to save them for a special recipe. Either way, to get the best life out of your strawberries we suggest the following:
We understand it is tempting to just throw the strawberries into a freezer bag, which can be done. However, frozen this way, strawberries tend to freeze together into one solid brick. This can make things difficult when you need just a few cups for a smoothie or want the strawberries to fit nicely into a pie crust or trifle.
Can fresh strawberries be frozen without blanching? Yes, definitely. Putting the berries in boiling water for a few seconds will sterilize the berries, but it is not necessary.
How long will frozen strawberries keep? Once frozen, strawberries will normally keep for up to one year.
Are there other freezing methods? Yes, you can use a dry-sugar or a syrup pack method. Some people feel the dry-sugar pack gives good flavour and colour to sliced or crushed berries and a syrup pack gives leaves frozen berries plump and well-shaped after thawing. However, we prefer the simple, fresh approach.
Halve, slice or crush the strawberries and place in a shallow pan. Sprinkle sugar over the berries using 1/3 to 3/4 cup of sugar for each kilogram of fruit. Gently turn the berries over and over until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Package and freeze.
Make a syrup using 250mls of water to each cup of sugar. Dissolve the sugar and chill. Place the whole or sliced berries in containers and cover with the cold syrup and freeze. Use about ½ to 1/3 cup of syrup for each 500ml container.
Pack whole, sliced or crushed berries in containers and cover with water or berry juice. For better colour retention, you can add ascorbic acid to the water, berry juice, or crushed berries. Cover berries with juice, package and freeze.
Looking for some great strawberry eating ideas? We have included some of our favourite recipes for drinks, nibbles and salads that all use strawberries. Healthy, tasty strawberry recipes that you, your family and guests are bound to love and demand again and again.