How To Freeze Strawberries

Strawberry season is short and sweet. Within a matter of weeks, the sweet red berries turn dark and extra-sweet, slowly turning mushy and bitter. After that, fresh strawberries won’t be nearly as tasty, as they lose a lot of their flavor as they are shipped over borders into the country. So gather up all the fresh strawberries you can find, and freeze them to enjoy until the next strawberry season rolls around.

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You have three freezing methods to choose from:

Method 1: Sliced and Sweetened

This is my method of choice this summer. Not because I have a sweet tooth (though I do), but because the sugar helps bring out the flavor of the fruit. I’ve found that fruit can get a little tart over time in the freezer, but the sugar helps preserve the expected strawberry flavor.

Wash the strawberries in cold running water and set aside to drain a bit. Cut off the green and tough tops, or the hulls, then cut the fruit into thin slices. Spread the slices out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Try not to allow them to lay on top of each other, or they won’t freeze evenly.

Sprinkle the strawberries with a little sugar. The key word: little. I only use about 1 teaspoon per pint or quart. They don’t need to be swimming in sugar!

Freeze the strawberries for at least 4 hours, until they are frozen completely through. Transfer to a freezer bag or container and return to the freezer until ready to use. If you are using a bag, be sure to squeeze out all the air as you seal it. If you are using a container, leave as little empty air space available as possible. The more air you have with the strawberries, the easier it will be for your strawberries to get freezer burn. Ouch!

Use this method if… you want to defrost and eat the strawberries plain on top of a breakfast crisp or mixed into yogurt.

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Method 2: Sliced and Unsweetened

Same as Method 1, but skip the sugar step.

Use this method if… you want to bake with the strawberries or put them in pancakes, where the sweetness will be provided by the other ingredients.

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Method 3: Whole and Unsweetened

Wash the strawberries and set aside to drain. Cut off the hulls, then spread the fruit out on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Freeze the strawberries for at least 6 hours, or until they are completely frozen. Transfer to a freezer bag or container, leaving as little air space as possible, and return to the freezer.

Use this method if… you plan to use the strawberries in smoothies.


Hurry up and freeze your strawberries, then get ready for cherry season!

Comments

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      You should… will save you some money once we aren’t in strawberry season anymore!

  1. says

    great tips! i have big plans to try new freezing methods with all kinds of fruits and veggies this year, but we’ve got to get a freezer first!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Us too. Our regular freezer is filling up FAST, so we need a chest freezer ASAP. Just scouting for the best deal right now!

  2. Tom Whelan says

    Sounds like great tips. Unfortunately, our freezer is vertical and narrow, so baking sheets won’t fit. I wonder if freezing them in a single layer inside the freezer bag would work?

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Our’s is vertical and narrow too. You can freeze them on a half-sized cookie sheet or in cake pans. You could do them in a single layer in the freezer bags, but don’t squeeze all the air out and seal the bags until after they are frozen!

  3. says

    i froze strawberries last summer for the first time. it was such a great idea; i had delicious strawberries until february!

    i froze mine cut in half and unsweetened. i used them mainly on top of my oatmeal, which is sweetened by a very ripe banana every morning! 🙂

  4. says

    I freeze blueberries and raspberries but never strawberries, maybe something to try. Looking forward to see what you do with cherries (I love cherries)

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      They really do! I’m also excited to freeze cherries because frozen cherries are PRICEY