To freeze strawberries is one of the easiest, least time-consuming and most convenient methods to conserve them for winter time. This will allow you to enjoy them whenever you want, even Christmas strawberries for the holidays.
During the season you can get them everywhere and at a quite cheap price. Maybe you even grow your own little patch in your garden.
If you have more berries than you can eat, you can make jam or freeze the them to conserve them for winter time.
Freezing strawberries does not sterilize them, but the cold prevents the growth of microorganisms that are the cause for food spoilage.
Therefore a correct freezing and the usage of high quality freezer containers is important for the quality of the fruits.
Properly frozen berries contain most of their taste and nutritional value. However, after defrosting, they don't have the same fresh aspect, but look darker and the texture will be "mushy".
There are several ways to freeze strawberries: with sugar or syrup and unsweetened or dry.
The sugar is not necessary for the freezing process, however, most people think, they taste better being frozen with sugar or syrup.
I personally prefer to freeze them whole without sugar.
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The best suited berries to be frozen are dark red, firm and fully ripe.
Remove stem and caps. Sort, wash and drain the fruit carefully. Do not soak in water, or they will lose flavor and nutrients.
Do not add sugar.
Freeze strawberries individually in a single layer on cookie sheets. After completely frozen (about 24h) place into freezer containers or flexible freezer bags.
Clean strawberries same as above.
Use either whole berries or slice or crush them.
Place in freezer containers, allowing 1/2-inch headspace and cover with syrup. Seal tightly.
Preferably is Pectin Syrup, but you can also use Basic Syrup .
Pectin Syrup Recipe
Dissolve 1 box powdered pectin (or gelatin) in 1 cup of water. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is boiling and boil for one minute.
Remove from heat and add two more cups of water. Let cool down. If desired you can add more water to make the pectin syrup thinner.
Basic Syrup Recipe
Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water. For easier dissolving you can use hot water, but be sure to let cool down the syrup before using.
Use about 1/2 cup of sugar for each pint of strawberries.
This freezing method is especially easy:
Halve or slice strawberries into a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over each quart of berries.
Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Be careful not to damage them.
Pack into freezer container, seal tightly and freeze.
Pack whole, sliced or crushed strawberries in freezer containers and cover with water or strawberry juice.
Seal tightly and freeze.
Add ascorbic acid for better color conservation.
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