Freezing Strawberries

2 May

We love smoothies in our house, but the cost of berries during the winter months is way too pricey for this tight budget family.  So, this time of year when berries are cheap is the perfect time to stock up and freeze them to use later.  Last year, I stocked up on both strawberries and blueberries, and they got us through until now, when berries are coming back in season.  Strawberries have been pretty cheap, about $1.25 for 1 pound, so I have bought some at the store, and then Bountiful Baskets had an 8 pounds for $11, so I bought those as well.

Last year, when I bought the berries, I washed and dried them, then hulled the strawberries.  I lined some baking sheets with parchment paper, then spread the berries in a single layer on the baking sheet.  I put the baking sheets in the freezer and left them there until they were frozen.  I stored them in 1-gallon sized zipper bags.  The reason for freezing them in a single layer like that is to prevent them from sticking together while freezing.  Since I was putting them in larger sized storage bags and would only use a handful at a time, I wanted to try to prevent the sticking.  It worked out well for me.  Also, I didn’t have the FoodSaver then, so I removed as much air as I could from the zipper bags by zipping the bag almost all the way, leaving a small opening at the end to put in a drinking straw, then sucking out as much air as I could by mouth.  It’s not a perfect method, but will help remove more of the air out of the bag.

This year, since I have the FoodSaver and the rolls of bags to create your own size bag, I decided to prepare the strawberries, then put an amount in the bags that would be 1 time use for me.  So, to start, I hulled the strawberries using a strawberry hulling tool I bought at the store after last year’s strawberry experience.  It’s a simple,  little tool.  You position it over the leaves and area you want to remove, twist, and pull it out.

It then leaves a dome-shaped indent at the top of the strawberry.  I like this over cutting off the entire top because then I don’t lost as much of the strawberry.

I ended up putting about 1/2 pound of strawberries in each bag, then put the open bags in the freezer.  Once the strawberries had frozen, I vacuum sealed the bags.  The reason for freezing first is that I was worried about the moisture content of the fresh strawberries.  In the vacuum process, I didn’t want liquid to escape the top of the bag, potentially damaging the FoodSaver.  So, I now have 12 bags of strawberries in my freezer, and I’m debating on adding more, although my freezer is rather full at this point!

4 Responses to “Freezing Strawberries”

  1. Jenn May 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    I’m assuming that when they thaw they’re rather soggy? I guess you could use them for smoothies, etc. I wish there was a way to freeze them and have them the same consistancy as if they were just fresh out of the carton. What do you use them for most?

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    • Jenny May 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

      Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a good way to freeze them to still have them the same as fresh. In fact, most fruits and veggies I freeze will go in some kind of dish, they won’t be “fresh” again. Strawberries, I mostly use straight from the freezer into smoothies. Since the strawberries are frozen, I don’t have to add ice, I just put milk and frozen strawberries, sometimes frozen blueberries too.

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  2. Madeleine Margaret May 10, 2017 at 9:44 am #

    Hi, sorry to bother, I was wondering if by any chance you know what brand the strawberry huller is? I’ve been looking for this specific one.

    Thank you so much

    Like

    • Jenny June 8, 2017 at 8:01 am #

      Unfortunately, I don’t. I have had this one for years, and don’t remember the brand or even where I got it. It doesn’t have brand markings either. I will keep an eye out though to see if I find it again.

      Like

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