Spring has sprung and it’s that time of year when sweet, fresh strawberries flow abundantly. Fresh, local strawberries are so sweet and delicious, nothing at all like the tasteless ones you find at the grocery store and lets not talk about frozen strawberries from the store. Bleck, I can’t even! I am fortunate to be part of a community garden with a huge established strawberry bed so maximizing the time we get to delight in fresh strawberries is a priority in my house. As they overflow from the field, the farmer’s market will also be offering great deals that you will undoubtedly want to take advantage of. Well go ahead and do it, I have great news! It’s crazy how well strawberries freeze if you do it correctly.
The key to success in freezing strawberries is in the process. It’s super easy but if you skip any of the steps you will have end up with a mushy, undesirable mound of frozen strawberries. Here we go!
1. Wash the berries.
2. Dry your berries very very well. I allow them to air dry and then also pat them dry (gently) with a paper towel. I also like to pull off the green tops as I dry them so there is less area to trap moisture and they are ready to use right out of the freezer.
3. Place dry berries on a flat, open area in the freezer for your initial freeze. I clear a shelf and put down parchment paper. Allow them to freeze for 2 to three hours and then you can transfer them to a container or bag in your freezer.
If you’ve never frozen berries before you will be shocked at how plump and fresh they are when you defrost them later. Following this process results in each berry being fully frozen with as little moisture as possible. Frozen berries will actually keep for 10 to 12 months. Imagine that, you can delight your family with a spring fresh strawberry pie on a chilly fall day. If you plan to eat them fresh (uncooked) their texture and taste will be best if they are enjoyed within a few months though.