How to Freeze Fresh Strawberries

| June 28, 2009 | 6 Comments

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One of my goals for this year is to extend our local eating for as long into the winter as we can. I’ve done this hear and there in the past, putting up jams and relishes and freezing pestos and sauces, but this year I want a more comprehensive effort. As fruits and vegetables hit their peak, the kids and I will be gathering them, making some for the family to eat now and processing the rest to be stored for the winter months. First up: strawberries.

After picking strawberries last weekend, I quickly set about to use all the berries we brought home. When you pick as much as I did (somewhere between 10-12 lbs of berries … mmmm!), you have to do something with them quickly so that they don’t go to waste.

I immediately started work on jam for the winter (and a little for the summer too), which is a two-day process for my favorite canned version. About 12 cups of strawberries went into jam making using two recipes — four half-pints of my favorite fresh strawberry jam recipe and about a cup of fresh strawberry jam using a Cooking Light recipe. The Cooking Light recipe cooked way faster than it was supposed to, so that came out much thicker than I anticipated. But it’s still very tasty.

Next came some strawberry sauce, which we’ve been eating on pancakes and waffles all week. In fact, the picture above is the kids eating waffles with strawberry sauce on the front porch. Mmm.

Finally, I froze about eight cups of berries for the winter months. Locally grown strawberries taste so much better than the ones you buy in the store, so freezing local berries means that we can have fantastic tasting berries all year wrong … and not settle for what’s available. At first blush, I questioned whether this would be enough berries to last through the winter — and truth be told, I am still playing with the idea of picking some more — but I realized that we will also be storing peaches, apples, raspberries, blueberries and more (if all goes according to plan!), so we will have a big variety to eat from and don’t necessarily need tons of one type of fruit.

What do you think? Would you store more than eight cups of strawberries, given the opportunity?

strawberries

How to Freeze Fresh Strawberries

1. Wash and hull the strawberries.

2. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, making sure that the waxy side is facing up. Place the strawberries hulled side down on the baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure that the berries don’t touch.

3. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let freeze overnight. Transfer frozen berries to a resealable plastic bag and return to the freezer for storage. Make sure to label the bag with the date and contents.

Recipes for Fresh Strawberries

Tags:

Category: Eating Locally, Homecooking, Gardening, Farm Fresh, pick your own, preserving/canning

About the Author ()

Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.

Comments (6)

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  1. Josephine says:

    thanks for all the strawberry recipes! we have lots that we have been picking everyday!

  2. Lisa Spector says:

    We froze about 7 lbs. We make smoothies non-stop. And they were organic, which I can’t even find at the store. My friend got 30 lbs, yes 3-0. :) I wanted to go back and get more, but our season in VA is over :(

  3. patsyk says:

    If you are going to be storing all of those other fruits, I think 8 cups should be a good amount of strawberries. If you were only storing the berries and 1 other fruit, I’d think you would need more. Love that you made jam, I really do need to give that a try!

  4. First, happy belated birthday! As far as how many strawberries to freeze, I think it depends on what you’re going to do with them. For example, if it’s just to eat them out of hand, then I think that’s plenty, but if you’re going to be cooking or baking with them, I’d freeze more because in recipes, they go quick! Mmm, strawberry bread…

  5. Angelmary says:

    The kids look just adorable in this picture!

  6. Nana5341 says:

    I would definitely freeze more than 8 cups of strawberries! Actually, more like as much as I could get my hands on and have time to process! Love all the fruits, but strawberries are in a class of their own!

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