Who knew there was a ‘right way’ to go about freezing strawberries? I certainly didn’t.
Two years ago as I was complaining about my berries going bad to my grandmother and that I didn’t want them to go to waste. My grandmother said, passively “Just freeze them!” What did I do? I threw them in the freezer. Whole. In the package they came in. Oops.
Needless to say those berries weren’t good for much after that besides the odd smoothie here and there.
The next summer I decided to do a little research and learn the right way to freeze berries. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Wash and Hull all the Berries
It’s very important to make sure all of the berries are washed properly and all of the hulls removed. Washing the strawberries prior to freezing has multiple benefits. Did you know that strawberries are on the top of the list of the Environmental Working Group’s ‘dirty dozen’ for pesticide use? Yeah, let that sink in. Washing strawberries is of the utmost importance and buying organic, when possible, is the best choice. Don’t be fooled by assuming that your local producers don’t use harmful pesticides, when in doubt, give them a call and ask!
For more information about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, check out the EWG’s website here.
Removing the hulls of the berries makes it quick and easy to use the strawberries while they’re still frozen. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut a frozen hull off the top of a berry!
For Freezing Whole Strawberries (Smoothies)
The main issue I had with freezing strawberries a few years ago is that they were all on top of each other, all froze to each other and froze inconsistently due to the large piles of them. This caused the berries in the middle of the piles to freeze slower and lose a lot of flavour.
The best way to counteract this is to first freeze them on a flat baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, then transfer them to a baggie or container. When frozen, berries lose their texture and colour and this is normal. For that reason, frozen berries are best meant for smoothies and baked-in dishes like muffins, cookies and pancakes.
For Freezing Cut up Berries (Baking)
The easiest way to freeze cut-up berries is with a freezer bag. You could also freeze them on a baking sheet like the whole berries but transferring them to a container or bag after the fact would be tedious as the juices would likely freeze to the pan.
Place the cut-up berries in a freezer bag and pat the bag flat, removing any air in the bag and store flat in the freezer.
Frozen Strawberry Recipes
There you have it, the best ways to freeze your berries and the best recipes to use them in!