Who doesn’t like strawberries? There is an amazing number of different things you can make with strawberries:
During the strawberry season, you can enjoy, strawberry milk, strawberry ice cream, strawberry cheesecake – the list of strawberry recipes goes on and on.
The best thing is: you can eat these delicious recipes any time of the year, even in the dead of winter when fresh strawberries are not available.
But what do you do if strawberries go out of season and their prices skyrocket? Freeze them! Yes, freeze strawberries.
But can you freeze strawberries without ruining them?
Yes, freezing strawberries is easy. Let me tell you how!
But first thing first.
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How to Pick Good Strawberries?
Before you even think about freezing strawberries you need to make sure to get good ones. If the strawberries are ripe enough they won’t turn into mush when you thaw them out and you’ll be able to enjoy them in their original state.
Follow these tips to pick the best strawberries!
1. Check the strawberries carefully for mold, bad spots, and other imperfections.
2. Determine if the berries are ripe enough for your purposes.
3. Take them home immediately after purchase to keep them fresh longer.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Strawberries?
Strawberries are not only delicious and refreshing, they’re also healthy:
- They contain vitamin C, 20.8 mg, or 30% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults
- They contain several antioxidants that can help prevent cancer.
- They can help improve memory and cognitive functions.
One cup of strawberries contains the following:
- 46 calories
- 12 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.3 grams of protein
- 0.7 gram of fat
- Fiber – 4 g, which is 16% of the RDI for adults
- Manganese – .3 mg, or 14% of the RDI for adults
How Can You Tell Which Strawberries are Sweet?
The color of the fresh strawberries is a good indicator, but not a catch-all. The best way is to smell them. If they don’t smell like anything, they’re not ripe enough and if you try eating them they’ll taste terrible.
A bright red strawberry is a sign that it’s ripening and will be sweet. However, a white strawberry is not necessarily sour. If it smells like a berry, you can make a judgment call based on scent.
If they smell sweet and a little bit like strawberries, they’re ripe enough for eating or freezing.
Now you know how to pick good strawberries! Now it’s time to learn how to freeze the fresh strawberries that you picked. If you try to do this straight from the farmer’s market, you’ll have a great time.
If you buy strawberries from the grocery store, you might not have such a great experience because grocery stores aren’t known for selling fresh and tasty food.
Once you learn how to pick good strawberries, we can move on to freezing them! But can strawberries be frozen?
How to Freeze Fresh Strawberries the Right Way?
Freezing strawberries is easy and very rewarding. You can enjoy fresh strawberries year-round; whenever you want!
If you freeze them right they’ll stay good for up to nine months!
First Step – Hull the Sweet Strawberries or Not?
Whether or not you hull your ripe strawberries depends on what you plan to use them for.
If you’re making organic strawberries jam, pie, or something similar where the hulls don’t matter, then go ahead and hull the strawberries.
If you’re planning on using them for smoothies or milkshakes, then leave the hulls on. The inside of the hull and the white sugar glands inside of it make a great base for smoothies.
So, whether you hull them or not – it’s up to you and depends on what you plan to use them for.
Second Step – Wash the Strawberries or Not?
Whether or not you wash the strawberries before freezing depends on if they’re organic or conventional. If they’re conventional, then go ahead and clean strawberries. If they’re organic, don’t wash them because you’ll lose a lot of the nutrients.
Third Step – How to Freeze Strawberries?
Strawberries can be frozen in many different ways, depending on what you want to do with them.
If you just want to keep strawberries fresh for a few days, go ahead and freeze strawberries in their original packaging. This method works best if you plan on eating the frozen strawberries within a week or so of freezing them.
1. Remove the green leaves from your fruit. Place the strawberries in a single layer on a paper towel in your freezer.
2. Once frozen solid transfer the berries to plastic bags or containers with tight-fitting lids. Then return them to the freezer immediately.
Do not let the strawberries sit at room temperature before putting them in the freezer. This could cause condensation to form and result in your fruit becoming mushy when thawed later.
3: If you don’t like the idea of running around trying to find paper towels, you can also lay the fruit flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
If you are planning on freezing strawberries long-term, it is best to wash and dry them before putting them in the freezer.
Freeze Strawberries for a Longer in Freezer Storage
Freezing them in their original packaging will help you keep fresh strawberries for up to a week. If you want to keep the frozen berries for longer, you need to follow a different process.
Follow the method discussed below!
1. Rinse the strawberries with fresh water and drain them on paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
2. Pat dry. Remove leaves and green stem.
3. Slice them in half or leave to freeze strawberries whole. If you’re planning on eating them frozen, it’s best to slice them before putting them in the freezer. If you’re planning on thawing and eating them, whole berries are preferable because they retain their flavor and texture better.
4. Pour them into a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and stick them in the freezer containers overnight to freeze solid.
5. Transfer the frozen berries to a freezer bag, a container with a tight-fitting lid, or plastic wrap.
6. Preserve strawberries in the freezer containers until ready to use.
How to Store Strawberries?
Strawberries with high water content tend to spoil easily, so make sure that when storing strawberries, they are completely dry before putting them in the fridge. Store them in the crisper drawer. Also, make sure that they are not touching each other.
How to Thaw and freeze Strawberries?
Frozen berries thaw in just a few minutes, though it might take longer if you store them in the freezer for an extended time. You can place them on your countertop or microwave them to defrost them if you don’t have time to wait.
Do Frozen Berries Taste Good?
Strawberries taste deliciously frozen and thawed. You’ll find that the flavor is slightly different than fresh strawberries, but you will literally be able to feel the taste on your tongue when you eat them.
The freezer process actually enhances strawberry flavors making them stand out more than if they were fresh.
How Long do Frozen Strawberries Last?
If the strawberries were frozen in their original packaging (as we mentioned above), you can keep them fresh for up to a week. If they were frozen after being washed and dried, they can be kept in the freezer for up to four months.
If strawberries are frozen in a freezer bag, a container with a tight-fitting lid, or plastic wrap, they can be kept in the freezer for even more than 4 months.
If you decide to use strawberries that have been frozen for 4 months or more, you’ll notice the color will be slightly duller than fresh strawberries. However, the flavor will remain the same, so you won’t have to worry about taste being compromised.
How Do You Defrost Strawberries?
While there are many different ways to thaw frozen strawberries, it is best to put the strawberries in their original packaging on a plate and let them thaw at room temperature.
If you put them in the microwave to defrost, they will come out soggy with extra water around them (but microwaves are great for defrosting them quickly).
Does Freezing Strawberries Change the Texture?
When you freeze strawberries, it will not affect the strawberry’s texture. When thawed, the texture will be similar to fresh strawberries. Also, once thawed, strawberries are best eaten within 5-6 days.
Now you everything about picking, freezing, and storing strawberries. No matter which method you choose to freeze them, simply make sure that they are clean and completely dry before putting them in the freezer.
Let’s talk about how can you eat frozen strawberries.
Ways to Eat Frozen Strawberries?
There are many different ways to use frozen strawberries like baking goods, coffee cake, or using for the home cook. We will discuss a few of them below.
Frozen Strawberries for Smoothies
One of the most popular ways to use frozen strawberries without strawberries season is in making smoothies.
By adding some frozen strawberries to your smoothie, you are ensuring that it will not be watered down by ice cubes. You can also make a strawberry-banana smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit, depending on what you have on hand.
Strawberry Jam Recipe
You can use frozen strawberries in a strawberry jam recipe. This is great when you have an overabundance of berries and you want to preserve fresh strawberries to enjoy at a later date.
When making strawberry jam, you can use either fresh or frozen strawberries and adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet your strawberries are.
Freezing Strawberries for Pancakes and Waffles
To top pancakes and waffles with individually frozen strawberries, you need to wait until just before serving them because that’s when they will be at their most flavorful and juicy.
However, if you want to serve pancakes or waffles with a mix of fruit—strawberry, and banana, for example—frozen strawberries are the way to go.
The addition of frozen strawberries will ensure that your fruit mix remains flavorful and that there are no soggy-bottomed pancakes!
One of the easiest ideas for using frozen strawberries is making frozen strawberry cocktails. Simply mix 1/2 cup (75 g) of sugar, 3/4 cup (180 ml) of water, 6 cups (450 g) of frozen strawberries, and 1/2 to 2/3 cup (150 to 175 g) of vodka together in a blender until the mixture is smooth. Serve over ice for a refreshing strawberry cocktail!
Frozen Strawberries for Ice Cream
Another delicious way to use frozen strawberries is in ice cream. Set aside a few minutes before you take your ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften slightly, then add some strawberries to the ice cream.
Stir them in thoroughly and return the ice cream to the freezer for about an hour. You will have delicious strawberry-swirled ice cream!
Frozen Strawberry Toppings
Another way you can use frozen strawberries is as a topping. When placing fresh strawberries on top of a cake, for example, place them in the fridge first to maintain their freshness and color.
When you are ready to serve the cake, take the strawberries out of the fridge and add them to your cake while they’re still cold but not frozen.
This way, any leftover strawberries can be stored in the freezer for another time.
One of the best ways to eat frozen strawberries is right from the freezer. They are perfect for eating with your hands while watching TV, or for giving to the kids after school because they’re like ice cream!
If you like strawberries, but don’t need them at their freshest, freezing them is a great way to enjoy the taste of fresh strawberries all year long. Once you try them frozen—in smoothies, pancakes, ice cream, or on their own—you’ll never go back to fresh strawberries again!
Now you know how to use frozen strawberries.
Thanks for reading this article, and don’t forget to share it with your friends if you learned something new from it.
CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLE: How To Freeze Fresh Herbs
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About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and adults. Angela has also taught cooking classes and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Instant Pot Table. Follow her on Pinterest!