Strawberries are popular with adults and children. They are an integral part of the summer kitchen and refine sweet dishes as well as savory. You can use fresh berries in cakes, desserts, juices and sauces, or simply snack on the healthy fruit. When strawberries ripen in summer, it can happen that you can’t eat the fruit fast enough. If you don’t want to make jam from them, you can simply freeze the fruit to preserve it. However, you should pay attention to a few things when doing so!
Important to know: Frozen strawberries always become mushy when thawed. Although you can preserve the fruit longer in this way, they are then no longer suitable for cake decoration. Depending on the intended use of the strawberries, there are different methods for freezing, and also for thawing.
Freezing strawberries properly at a glance:
- Sort strawberries, sort out mushy ones
- Carefully wash the berries and pat dry
- Remove the stalk
- Place berries side by side on a plate or board
- Blast freeze the strawberries for two hours in the freezer.
- Then put the precooled strawberries into a freezer bag or can
- Refrigerate for another eight hours
- Frozen strawberries will keep for eight to twelve months
Prepare strawberries for freezing
Only fresh, whole and undamaged fruit should be used for freezing. Rotten berries or specimens with bruises are not suitable for freezing. Sort the strawberries and wash them briefly in standing water. Then carefully pat them dry. Only remove the green stalk after washing. Strawberries should be frozen as fresh as possible. Therefore, do not store the berries for too long after harvesting. After two days at the latest, the fruit should go into the freezer.
What is the best way to freeze strawberries?
Depending on the purpose for which you freeze the berries, there are different methods available. The easiest way is to put the strawberries in a freezer bag and place it directly in the freezer with as little air in it as possible. With this method of freezing strawberries, the berries in the bag usually stick together tightly and crumble easily when frozen.
Advantage: this method is the fastest. However, it is only suitable if the berries are to be processed into purée or jam after thawing anyway.
If the strawberries are to remain as undamaged as possible, they should be pre-frozen. To do this, lay out the dry strawberries individually on a plate or board that fits in the freezer so that they do not touch each other. Thus, the berries are pushed into the freezer and pre-frozen for two hours. Later, you can put the fruit together in a freezer bag. Following this, the strawberries should be frozen again for at least eight hours. Label the bag with the freezing date and weight. This will make further processing easier later.
What is the shelf life of frozen strawberries?
Freshly frozen strawberries can be kept in the freezer for just over half a year. After that, they lose flavor and take on the classic refrigerator taste. If you want to process the berry fruit into purée or jam later, you can sugar the fruit before freezing. This extends the shelf life to about one year. To do this, sugar is boiled with a little water. The syrup is poured over the cleaned strawberries before freezing. Stir well so that all the fruit is wetted, and let cool completely. The sugar keeps the frozen fruit fresh longer.
Caution: When processing, be careful not to over-sweeten the already sugared strawberries.
Freeze strawberries as purée
If you don’t necessarily need the strawberries whole, you can also freeze the fruit as a fruit purée to save space. The strawberries are cut into small pieces, sweetened as desired with powdered sugar, sweetener or stevia and ground into a purée with a hand blender. This strawberry purée can now be frozen in one piece either in bags or plastic boxes, or portioned into ice cube trays. Strawberry ice cubes are a nifty alternative for cooling soft drinks and cocktails or in a champagne glass.
How to thaw frozen strawberries?
The best way to defrost frozen strawberries also depends on the intended use. If the fruits are to remain as whole as possible, for example for a dessert, the individual strawberries are thawed slowly overnight in the refrigerator. A sheet of kitchen roll placed underneath will catch any moisture that may escape. If the frozen strawberries are used for jam, simply place the frozen berries directly into the pot. There they are heated slowly over medium heat with a small dash of water while stirring. Frozen fruit can also be defrosted in the microwave. The gentlest way to do this is with the defroster function. Do not set the microwave too hot, otherwise the fruit will get too hot and explode easily.
Other uses for frozen strawberries
Ice-cold strawberries from the freezer are perfect for making frozen yogurt or cold smoothies. To do this, defrost the strawberries only halfway and process while still very cold. Whole frozen strawberries are a delicious snack and replace the ice cube in the water glass.