Who hasn’t bought more strawberries than it’s possible to eat in a few days? We confess we’ve been guilty of that ourselves. They’re so delicious, after all!
If you’ve ended up hoarding these summer treats, and now you don’t know what to do with them, you’ll be glad to know that freezing fruit is one of the easiest and quickest ways to preserve it.
To freeze strawberries you have to prepare them, flash-freeze them, transfer them to a freezer bag and store them to use later.
Keep reading if you want to know the details on how you can have fresh berries available all year round!
Picking 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.
If you want to go a step further in ensuring maximum flavor and texture, select your strawberries when they’re in peak season and buy them at your local farmers market, or plan a fun weekend and pick them fresh yourself!
Flash-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’re going to need for your recipe.
Your strawberries are now good to be stored in your freezer for months until you’re ready to use them! For optimal freshness and flavor, you should eat them within six months of freezing.
Freeze-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’re light and crispy, but sweet and full of flavor.
To 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 ¼ inch (0.6 cm) thick, so they can dry evenly.
There 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.
Before we start, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure you use the device properly.
Now 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.
You can still dry your berries without any fancy equipment by simply popping them into the oven. Granted, this technique won’t freeze them, but it’s still a good substitute.
And that’s it! Now you have a delicious and nutritious snack you can add to yogurts and oatmeal, or simply eat as is.
Frozen strawberries are quite versatile, as you can simply reach into the freezer, thaw them, and include them in any of these treats:
This will depend entirely on what you’re using them for. For example, smoothies and certain baked goods don’t require thawed strawberries, so you can just toss them into the blender or bowl frozen.
Learning 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’re using them for later. They won’t take too much space in your freezer, and you’ll have them readily available whenever you’re craving a bit of fresh summer sweetness.
As with any other fruit you’re freezing, the key lies in the careful selection of each piece and correct preparation. Hopefully, you’ll find the instructions and tips we’ve provided in this piece useful to that end!
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