freeze strawberries

Can You Freeze Strawberries?

The containers of frozen strawberries in your grocery store’s frozen section may have already given this answer away, but how about freezing leftover fresh strawberries you have at home? 

These juicy bite-sized fruits are seasonal, which means that in-season prices are low and availability plenty.

Since they’re small and don’t last very long, being able to freeze them is a fantastic solution to save on money by buying bulk in-season and saving on food waste if you cannot finish your stash before they go bad.

There are different ways in which you can preserve strawberries in the freezer. Read on for a full guide to freezing strawberries.

Types of Strawberries

Strawberries are versatile little fruits with their sweet taste and a bright red exterior. 

Although there are many different types of strawberries grown across the world, they are easily recognizable by their shape, exterior skin appearance, and color. Wild strawberries are smaller than cultivated strawberries and not as easy to find in grocery stores.

Strawberries can be eaten plain as a snack, served with breakfast cereal or oatmeal, mixed into a fruit salad, used in a tart or cake topping, blended into a smoothie or sorbet, juiced, cooked into a compote or jam, and even tossed into a green salad.

Can Strawberries Be Frozen?

Yes, fresh strawberries can be frozen whole or chopped. Once frozen, strawberries won’t be suitable to eat as is since they will lose their plump, firm texture and become softer. They will, however, be perfect for use in smoothies, pies and tarts, compotes, toppings, sauces, and dressings.

Strawberries nearing their expiry or showing signs of spoilage should not be frozen since the quality once defrosted won’t be pleasant. It is important to protect strawberries from contact with air and moisture on freezing as this may cause freezer burn and quality deterioration.


How To Freeze Strawberries

Here’s how to freeze fresh strawberries:

Step 1: Sort and Clean

Sort through the strawberries and remove any damaged ones which have developed mushy patches. These should be discarded, or you can cut away the mushy part and use the part of the strawberry that is still in good shape.

Clean the strawberries by rinsing them in a colander under running water as soaking them may cause some flavor loss.

Step 2: Cut

Lightly dry the washed strawberries with a clean kitchen towel as excess moisture will cause textural damage on freezing. Cut the stems off the top and discard them. Cut the strawberries in halves or smaller chunks depending on how you wish to use them after freezing.

Step 3: Sugar Coat (optional)

To preserve the flavor and texture, you can optionally coat the strawberries in granulated sugar. Place the strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Give them a light stir until the sugar starts to dissolve around the strawberries.

Step 4: Flash Freeze

Spread the strawberries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place them in the freezer just until fully frozen. This quick-freeze process prevents the berries from sticking together in a big clump, allowing you to remove just as much as you need from the freezer at a time.

Step 5: Pack

Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and pack the strawberries into resealable freezer bags. Press out any remaining air before closing the bag.

Step 6: Label and Freeze

Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer.


How To Thaw Frozen Strawberries

Strawberries can be blended into smoothies without thawing, adding a lovely sweet icy element to the drink. If you are cooking the strawberries into a sauce or compote, you can also add them to the saucepan frozen.

Strawberries will leak juices when thawing so you may need to add a bit of thickener when cooking a sauce or pie filling from frozen berries.

Alternatively, strawberries can be thawed using the below methods.

Refrigerator: Place the packet of frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.

Water bath: Place the sealed bag of frozen strawberries in a bowl of water to defrost quickly.

Microwave: Although using the microwave is not the best choice for thawing strawberries, you can use the defrost setting as a last-minute option. Microwave and check the strawberries at 30-60-second intervals giving them a slight stir until defrosted.


FAQs

Conclusion

Whether you need a waffle topping, cake filling, or nutritious smoothie, frozen strawberries can add a great fruity burst of flavor in an instant.

Due to their high water content, strawberries lose their firm texture once thawed, however, this does not influence the flavor making them suitable for use in a variety of dishes and drinks. 

It is vital to protect strawberries from contact with air and moisture when freezing as this will result in faster deterioration of their quality.

Go ahead and make use of in-season strawberry specials buying the sweetest produce at the best price. Not only will you get the best quality products, but freezing it allows you to enjoy strawberry treats all year round.

See more: Can You Freeze Cherries?

*Image by depositphotos.com/zoldatoff

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