You should learn how to freeze strawberries if you grow a lot of berry plants. Freezing berries is best if you harvest too many at once as they will keep just a few days in the fridge. After a few days, they start getting soft and moldy.
My grandmother, Elvina Yorgensen, used to freeze cherries and strawberries in the summer and I would help her back in Poughkeepsie, New York. They will keep in the freezer for a good six months. Make sure that you freeze your berries on the same day or the day after you pick them or they will lose their freshness and flavor. This same process is good for raspberries and blackberries as well. If you freeze cherries, you will need to cut them open and remove the pits first.
Here is how to freeze strawberries:
You will need:
Fresh, ripe strawberries,
Clean dish towels
Wax paper or parchment paper
Freezer storage bags--I use ZipLock quart sized bags
First remove the stems from every strawberry and then wash them all in the sink to remove all dirt, leaves, and anything else that might have gotten mixed in with your berries when you harvested them.
Lay the washed berries out on the clean, dry dish towels and pat the tops dry. It is best for your berries to be dry or the excess water will form ice crystals on them in the freezer.
Line your cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Put a single layer of dry berries on the paper on each cookie sheet.
Place the cookie sheets in the freezer for four to six hours, until they are frozen. If you have a small freezer, you may be able to fit just one cookie sheet in at a time.
Remove one cookie sheet at a time from the freezer.
Place the frozen berries from the cookie sheet into quart-sized freezer bags, such as ZipLock bags, because they seal well so your berries will not get freezer burn. Place the bags in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
Defrost your berries and use them in recipes or just to enjoy in a bowl with some whipped cream. You will find the consistency will be soft and juicy, instead of plump and firm but they will still taste delicious.
My grandmother would defrost them in a bowl, add some sugar, stir and let them sit for an hour or so and then serve them in dessert bowls with Cool Whip after dinner. She would also serve them on top of ice cream or use them in Strawberry Shortcake! Yum!
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