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Learning what foods can be frozen for later is a great basic cooking skill to have. You can cut down on waste and save money. So can you freeze strawberries for later use? Let’s find out.
Can You Freeze Strawberries for Later Use?
Freezing fresh strawberries from your garden or you found them on sale at the grocery store is a great way to save money when feeding your family. You can place them in your freezer to use later in the same ways you enjoy using fresh strawberries.
You can freeze strawberries at home for use in things such as smoothies and baking with wonderful results. When frozen, strawberries thaw really well and can be used in many ways after thawing.
How do you Prepare Strawberries for Freezing?
To make your strawberries last longer both in the refrigerator for everyday use and when you freeze them you need to remove any germs and mold spores. One quick and easy trick to do this is to wash them in a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar to 1/2 gallon water. This will keep them fresher longer in the refrigerator and help to slow the breakdown of your food in the freezer and after thawing as well.
Dry your strawberries after you have washed them. Once your fresh strawberries have dried, you will be able to cut them into your desired shape. Depending on the recipe you are using, you can either simply pit and freeze the strawberries whole, slice them in half, or even slice and dice the strawberries.
Choose strawberries that have no blemishes when you want to freeze and preserve them. If your strawberries have any issues be sure to trim away the less-than-perfect bits to make sure you are freezing only the best quality. Already spoiling strawberries will break down faster.
When you know what you want to do with them later on, this is great for saving time. Otherwise, halves are usually the best option for freezing strawberries.
What is the Easiest Way to Freeze Strawberries?
Place your prepared and cut strawberries on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Place your strawberries in a single layer. Freeze your trays for three to four hours to prevent them from sticking together when they freeze. This process will flash freeze them, preventing them from sticking together when they are stored.
Once the fresh strawberries have been frozen, it is important to store them in an airtight container. It is best to use a zippered freezer bag so that you can grab a handful at a time and store the rest for later use, particularly if you plan to add your frozen berries to things such as smoothies.
If you will be using the strawberries when cooking, you can measure out your fresh strawberries and freeze them in the portions you will need for your recipes. Using a vacuum sealer is a great way to prevent freezer burn and keep them fresh for longer periods of time.
If you are going to bake with your strawberries, dice or even mash them before placing them on a baking sheet in the freezer to make more room in the freezer, which will allow you to store more food.
Depending on what you are planning to do with the strawberries, you may want to coat them in sugar to help keep them more sweet and ready to munch right out of the freezer. This is a great way to add a bit of sweetness to a batch of strawberries that are generally bland at the early part of the season with everbearing varieties.
If you are interested in doing this after cutting your strawberries while they are still wet, simply roll the strawberries in sugar or sprinkle sugar on top depending on how much you want to add before flash-freezing them.
For more ideas on how to freeze foods and what foods you can freeze, check this out:
Thawing and using frozen strawberries
For most uses, you can use your strawberries frozen without thawing. Simply place the frozen strawberries into a blender or cooking pot.
When you need to thaw the strawberries, you can simply place them on the counter or place them in the refrigerator the night before. You can place a few in a bowl if you don’t need the entire container. This is because strawberries will release a lot of liquid when they thaw. Save this liquid for making a wonderful strawberry frosting or glaze.
It is also useful to start with frozen fruit so it stays cold during a hot summer cookout. Frozen strawberries are the perfect addition to your favorite fruit salad. Your frozen berries, after they have been thawed and mashed, can be used as a flavoring for a cake or to make a topping for cheesecake.
Strawberries are so tasty and versatile, check out these ways to use strawberries in a dish: