Strawberries are sweet, delicious, and packed with healthy nutrients.
Despite all these outstanding properties, you’ve probably known that these glossy-looking fruits don’t last long in the fridge. It takes just a few days, from fresh and firm berries to moldy ones.
While it is convenient to pick up frozen fruits from supermarket shelves, you might want to try freezing strawberries at home.
Guess what, it is much easier than you think! It’s also an excellent way to preserve your bountiful harvest or take advantage of low prices during peak season.
Keep reading if you want to learn methods to freeze strawberries the right way!
Various Ways To Freeze Fresh Strawberries
Freezing strawberries significantly improves shelf life and allows you to reap their health benefits all year round.
They are perfect for a cold snack, healthy smoothies, on top of pancakes, and whatnot.
The best time to freeze strawberries is when they are in peak season. Find local berries at the farmer’s market. They are usually the freshest and taste the most delicious.
Depending on how you want to use them in the future, you can freeze them in multiple ways.
1. Unsweetened, dry pack
If you’re going to eat frozen strawberries as quick snacks, consider freezing them in whole. Sliced or crushed berries are best to use in salads, garnishes, smoothies, and baked goods.
2. Sweetened, in sugar and syrup pack
Sweetened strawberries are not a great option if you are limiting your calorie intake. These berries freeze incredibly well on their own.
How To Freeze Unsweetened Strawberries
Freezing strawberries on their own is much easier than you think. With only some simple steps, you can preserve their freshness and juicy flavor for months.
Check our step-by-step guide below to freeze strawberries properly, so you can enjoy them straight from the freezer.
- 1. Select good quality berries. Choose fresh, fully ripe, firm, with a deep red color. Discard any underripe and spoiled berries.
- 2. Wash them under running water. Don’t soak strawberries, or they’ll become soggy and lose their delicious flavor.
- 3. Drain off excess water and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
- 4. Cut and remove the stems and caps.
- 5. Decide whether to freeze whole berries, in slices or crushes—it’s all entirely up to you.
- 6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the berries in a single layer and spread evenly.
- 7. Flash freeze for a couple of hours until they are frozen solid. Pre-freezing lets the berries freeze individually and prevent them from sticking to each other.
- 8. Take individually frozen berries and pack them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
- 9. If using a freezer bag, lay the fruits flat and squeeze the excess air out.
- 10. Seal the container tightly and write the freezing date.
- 11. Freeze for long-term storage.
How To Freeze Sweetened Strawberries
If you have a sweet tooth, preserving strawberries in sugar or syrup packs can be your option.
Here is how you should do it.
- 1. Prepare the strawberries by following steps 1 to 4 above.
- 2. Make 50% syrup by dissolving sugar in lukewarm water and let the syrup cool.
- 3. Place the berries in a freezer-safe container and cover them with syrup. Make sure all berries are submerged in the syrup.
- 4. Leave appropriate headspace.
- 5. Seal tightly and freeze.
Alternatively, you can also substitute syrup with white sugar. Mix ¾ cup of sugar for every quart of berries in a container, stir to dissolve the sugar, leave headspace, seal, and freeze.
How To Thaw and Use Frozen Strawberries
Strawberries have been decently cleaned prior to freezing. They are also frozen individually. You can take as much as you need and can enjoy them straight out of the freezer.
Most of the time, frozen fruits can be eaten or processed while still frozen—no need to thaw. Even when you want to make jams, compote, or use them for baking, you can throw them right into the pan and let them thaw while cooking.
In case you still need to thaw them, you have a few options to do it.
If you need them ready in a few hours or the next day, place them in the refrigerator. Alternatively, submerge the frozen package in a cold water bath. Make sure the bag is tightly sealed and doesn’t leak.
If you are in a hurry, try the microwave. Use short intervals and keep your eyes on the machine because the berries get warm quickly. Microwave thawing is recommended if you want to cook them.
How Long Can You Freeze Strawberries?
The FDA suggests freezing strawberries for up to 8 to 12 months. It is possible to keep them longer. But, they are tastiest to eat within a year after freezing.
Prolong storage diminishes the flavor and texture, not to mention the risk of getting freezer burn.
Frozen fruits are as nutritious as fresh ones because freezing doesn’t necessarily destroy their nutrients. If you’re watching your sugar intake, make sure to check the label for commercially frozen fruits. Some fruits can be sweetened before freezing to preserve their texture and flavor. (*)
Yes, cut strawberries can be refrigerated for up to 1 to 3 days. Store them in a sealed, airtight container. Keep in mind that cutting fresh fruit significantly reduces their shelf life. So, it is best to cut them shortly before eating.
Some common indicators that strawberries have gone off are bruises, overly mushy and soft texture, molds appearance, and funny smells. If any of these signs are evident, don’t hesitate to throw them out.
Strawberries and other berries tend to harbor mold spores. They are also high in water content and tend to absorb moisture, making them get moldy pretty quickly.
Strawberries have a limited shelf life in the fridge. You can turn them into so many amazing things, from refreshing drinks (healthy smoothies, milkshakes, cocktails, sangria), cold desserts (ice cream, fruit salad, sorbet, granita), baked goods (cheesecake, pound cake, shortcake), or eaten with cereals and yogurt. If you have no plan to use them up anytime soon, freezing is your best bet.
At this point, you know that freezing strawberries is not a hard nut to crack on. You can freeze them unsweetened or in syrup and sugar packs – the choice is yours.
Buy the freshest ones and stash them in the freezer, so you can bring the taste of summer any time of the year.
Also check our guide on how to freeze blueberries.
*image by larisa.voyageur.gmail.com/depositphotos