How to Freeze Strawberries

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Strawberry season means it’s time to stock up and learning how to freeze strawberries is the perfect way to preserve fresh berries.  Warmer temperatures bring on the cool season fruits and vegetables and this week I’ve gotten my hands on some fresh strawberries.  

The local schools were selling strawberry flats as a fundraiser and since I currently don’t have my own plants, I purchased fresh berries from them.

We’ve always purchased frozen fruits from the local big box store.  Some day we will be growing our own strawberries.  Until then, it’s great to be able to support our local schools.

2 cups of fresh strawberries getting ready to freeze.

Step by Step-  How to Freeze Strawberries

Strawberries are probably one of the easiest fruits to put in the freezer.  Today since I’m in the process of doing so, I thought you might like to learn how.

2 pints of fresh strawberries in a box

Strawberries come in these cute little bowls that are 1 quart each.  Each container weighs about 1.5 – 2 lbs. or 4 cups of berries, depending on their size.  Many of these berries today are pretty large, but this doesn’t matter when freezing.

RELATED:  Quick Start Guide to Freezing Foods at Home

Preparing strawberries for freezing

3 large strawberries laying on a wood surface
Fresh Strawberries

The very first thing you need to do is gently pour the berries into a strainer and wash them.  Let them drain for about 10 minutes or so. I put my strainer inside my sink and use the sprayer. If you don’t have a sprayer, just run cool water over them to wash them.  Make sure to get any dirt or trash off them.

How to Keep Frozen Strawberries from Becoming Mushy

Never soak your berries in a pool of water.  They quickly become soggy and will immediately lose their flavor.

Strawberries in a white bowl

Once they’ve drained for a few minutes, use a knife to remove the green stems and any blemishes on the berry.  The stems make a great addition to your compost pile too.

Stems from cutting strawberries

After removing the stem, if it’s a large berry, I’ll slice it into halves or quarters.  The smaller ones, I leave whole and just toss them onto a cookie sheet or a dehydrator tray or any flat surface that fits in the freezer.

How to Keep Frozen Strawberries from Sticking Together?

Be sure to lay them out individually.  Don’t allow them to stack or touch each other.  The idea is to freeze them individually – also known as flash freezing.   After you have filled your flat container, slide it into the freezer and leave them 2-3 hours to allow them to freeze.

If you like the idea of flash freezing, broccoli freezes this way easily as well.

Sliced strawberries on a tray ready to go into freezer for freezing
Slice and ready for the freezer

Doesn’t Matter if Strawberries are Sliced or Whole when Freezing

Tray of strawberries in the freezer

You can see from the picture some are sliced and others are left whole.  We like them small so we can grab them out of the freezer easily.  No matter if we put them in a smoothie or shakes, they are small and in bite-size pieces.  This choice is up to you.

After they’ve been in the freezer for a couple of hours, remove the pan and work quickly to toss them into a freezer bag.  I use Ziploc quart size bags this size just works well for us.

A couple of hints, 1) use a sharpie and write the date and item in the bag.  So 6 months from now you will know what it is, don’t trust your memory.  2) Be sure to remove as much air as possible from your bag.  Air is the enemy in the freezer.

Fill the bag and place it into the freezer for long-term storage.

Red frozen strawberries in a Ziploc Bag

They will store for up to 2 years safely.    How do you freeze your strawberries?

Sliced strawberries in the freezer. Freeze Strawberries.

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