Who hasn\u2019t bought more strawberries than it\u2019s possible to eat in a few days? We confess we\u2019ve been guilty of that ourselves. They\u2019re so delicious, after all!\n\n\n\nIf you\u2019ve ended up hoarding these summer treats, and now you don\u2019t know what to do with them, you\u2019ll be glad to know that freezing fruit is one of the easiest and quickest ways to preserve it.\n\n\n\nTo freeze strawberries you have to prepare them, flash-freeze them, transfer them to a freezer bag and store them to use later.\n\n\n\nKeep reading if you want to know the details on how you can have fresh berries available all year round!\n\n\n\nHow to Select the Best Strawberries for Freezing\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nPicking your strawberries carefully is a key factor in achieving the best results when freezing. Overripe strawberries will become mushy after thawing them, for example. For this reason, you should avoid berries that are a deep red color or that have green or white streaks, and go for those that have a bright red color, look shiny and glossy, have fresh-looking green caps instead.\n\n\n\nIf you want to go a step further in ensuring maximum flavor and texture, select your strawberries when they\u2019re in peak season and buy them at your local farmers market, or plan a fun weekend and pick them fresh yourself!\n\n\n\nHow to Freeze Fresh Strawberries Step-by-Step\n\n\n\nPrepare Your Strawberries\n\n\n\nRinse the berries gently with cool water. Don\u2019t soak them, otherwise they\u2019ll lose quality, flavor and nutrients.Pat them down softly with a kitchen or paper towel to remove the excess moisture.Let them air dry on a kitchen towel, in a single layer, for about 30 minutes.Hull the strawberries. There are several ways to do this, the most common ones being simply slicing off the top or using a strawberry huller. However, we prefer saving as much of the fruit as we possibly can by inserting a paring knife at an angle into the stem end to cut around the stem, and remove it.Depending on the size, slice the berries in half or quarters, or keep them whole if you want! Bear in mind that most recipes that call for fresh strawberries will instruct you to halve or quarter the fruit. Moreover, halved berries are easier on your blender if you\u2019re planning on making smoothies or milkshakes.\n\n\n\nFlash-Freeze\n\n\n\nFlash-freezing involves freezing your strawberries, or any other kind of food for that matter, flat, and separated from other pieces to keep them from fusing together during freezing. It also allows you to thaw evenly and use just the amount you\u2019re going to need for your recipe.\n\n\n\nLay your berries out in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper that will fit in your freezer. If you\u2019ve sliced your berries, place the cut side down. You need to make sure that the berries aren\u2019t touching each other, so use multiple trays if needed, or place a piece of parchment paper on top of the first layer and stack a second one on top.Place the sheet tray in your freezer for about 2 to 3 hours until they are frozen solid. If you\u2019ve stacked several layers of strawberries, they\u2019ll take longer to freeze.\n\n\n\nStore in the Freezer\n\n\n\nOnce the strawberries are frozen solid, transfer them to a silicone or plastic freezer bag or container.Squeeze the air out of the bag as much as possible to reduce the formation of ice crystals and avoid freezer burn. You can also use a straw to remove it.Label the bags or containers by indicating the date and place them in the back of your freezer.\n\n\n\nYour strawberries are now good to be stored in your freezer for months until you\u2019re ready to use them! For optimal freshness and flavor, you should eat them within six months of freezing.\n\n\n\nHow to Freeze-Dry Strawberries\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFreeze-drying is a process in which the water is removed from food to keep it from spoiling and reduce its total weight. Freeze-dried strawberries are among the most popular freeze-dried fruits because they\u2019re light and crispy, but sweet and full of flavor.\n\n\n\nTo make this tasty addition to breakfast and midday snacks, you should start by rinsing the strawberries, blotting them dry, and hulling them. Then, cut the berries vertically into thin slices. The recommendation is that they be no more \u00bc inch (0.6 cm) thick, so they can dry evenly.\n\n\n\nThere are two ways to go about freeze-drying strawberries, using a freeze dryer, a machine designed specifically for this purpose, or drying them in the oven.\n\n\n\nFreeze Dryer\n\n\n\nBefore we start, make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure you use the device properly.\n\n\n\nLine the trays that came with the freeze dryer with parchment paper so the strawberries don\u2019t stick to the metal.Arrange the berries on a single layer, without any of them overlapping.Place the trays into the machine, and close the door.Replace the insulated cap on the outside by spinning it clockwise. Double-check the manufacturer\u2019s instructions to ensure you\u2019ve done it correctly.Lock the door and start the machine.\n\n\n\nNow let the freeze dryer do its magic. It should freeze them for about 9 hours and then dry them for 12 hours, sometimes a bit longer. Remember to let your device defrost after the drying process is over, and to place the drain over a bucket or sink to keep the water from spilling out over your countertops.\n\n\n\nOven\n\n\n\nYou can still dry your berries without any fancy equipment by simply popping them into the oven. Granted, this technique won\u2019t freeze them, but it\u2019s still a good substitute.\n\n\n\nThe berries are going to lose a bit of flavor during the process, so you\u2019ll have to mix 2 tbsp (30 g) of sugar per 1 lb (0.5 kg) of strawberries in a large bowl.Let them sit for approximately 30 minutes.Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil and spread the berries in a single layer on top of it. Make sure they don\u2019t overlap so they dry evenly.Cook the berries at the lowest setting for about 3 hours. It\u2019s important that you rotate the tray every 30 minutes to ensure that the berries dry completely. You might want to set a timer for this, so you don\u2019t forget.Once the 3 hours have passed, check the strawberries to make sure they\u2019re adequately dry. They should look dark in color, and the outside should be dry. If this is not the case, put them back in the oven for an extra 10 minutes.Remove the tray from the oven and let the berries cool down.\n\n\n\nAnd that\u2019s it! Now you have a delicious and nutritious snack you can add to yogurts and oatmeal, or simply eat as is.\n\n\n\nFrequently Asked Questions\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nHow long does it take to freeze strawberries?\n\n\n\nPreparing your strawberries shouldn\u2019t take you longer than an hour, and freezing them solid requires a minimum of 2 hours. All in all, the whole process should take about 3-3.5 hours.\n\n\n\nHow can I use frozen strawberries?\n\n\n\nFrozen strawberries are quite versatile, as you can simply reach into the freezer, thaw them, and include them in any of these treats:\n\n\n\nDesserts like strawberry cheesecake, cobbler, crumble, pie, and compote;Smoothies, milkshakes daiquiris, and margaritas;Fillings and sauces.Preserves or jam.\n\n\n\nDo I need to thaw my strawberries before using them?\n\n\n\nThis will depend entirely on what you\u2019re using them for. For example, smoothies and certain baked goods don\u2019t require thawed strawberries, so you can just toss them into the blender or bowl frozen.\n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\n\nLearning how to freeze strawberries is incredibly easy, and the best part is that you can choose between freezing them in halves, slices, or whole depending on what you\u2019re using them for later. They won\u2019t take too much space in your freezer, and you\u2019ll have them readily available whenever you\u2019re craving a bit of fresh summer sweetness.\n\n\n\nAs with any other fruit you\u2019re freezing, the key lies in the careful selection of each piece and correct preparation. Hopefully, you\u2019ll find the instructions and tips we\u2019ve provided in this piece useful to that end!