Strawberries in December?

Strawberries in December?

Christeen asked a question concerning all my summer strawberries: 

"What do you do with all those strawberries? Can you freeze them? I ask b/c I just bought 3lbs of strawberries from the store for under $3.00 - a great deal but not as great as having your own plants. I wanted to know how to freeze my berries."




Great question! Thank you, Christeen, for your inquiry. My husband and I eat a lot of strawberries in the summer, but obviously not enough to keep up with production, so I freeze more than half of them. That way we can have almost-as-good-as-fresh berries all winter long!

Preparing the berries: It is so easy. Simply remove the stem and ( hull (core). I do not even wash them if they look clean as this causes the berries to begin to deteriorate. If they are in obvious need of being washed, I do that of course. (Wash the frozen berries just before using them - see below.) 

After removing the hull (see a video below about how to do this), place the berries in a single layer on a large baking sheet. (It helps to lay down some waxed paper on the baking sheet first, but this is optional.) No sugar is needed for freezing the berries. They are delicious just frozen whole.

Putting the berries in the freezer: Do not cover the berries. Lay the baking sheet with the berries as level as possible in your freezer and leave just long enough for the berries to freeze. Check them after several hours. If the berries go into the freezer in the evening it is fine to leave them overnight.

Packaging the berries: After the berries are frozen remove them to zipper freezer baggies, label with the date and put them back in the freezer.

Pleasing results: Take the berries out of the freezer and put in a freezer Ziploc bag of the appropriate size. Now, when you need some berries for a smoothie or other use, just remove as many as you need. Close the Zi[;oc baggie and return to freezer. 

Wash your berries and use for smoothies, fruit syrup for pancakes (I'll put up a post on how to make a healthy version of that in the next few days), for a yogurt topping or whatever else you can think of.

Watch this videos: As it turns out, I tried to find a video that uses my method to freeze strawberries, but none of the videos I looked at (probably 20 of them) actually removed the hull, they all just cut the green leafy top off the berry. I always hull my strawberries because the hull is bitter and interferes with the wonderful sweetness of the berry. 

About the hull: The hull is in the middle of the strawberry and is white and can be woody or crunchy to bite into. And like I said above, it is also bitter. Robert and I eat a lot of strawberries with cream. Sometimes he prepares our treat and sometimes I do. But when I prepare the berries, Robert always comments that mine are sweeter than his. It's because I hull the berries and he simply cuts the tops off leaving the hull inside the berry. 



Removing only the green stem was what every video showed too. So that you can get a visual of the process of removing the hull, watch the video above. And so you know what a strawberry hull looks like, see the photo below. I use a small paring knife to remove that hull, which is the one of the methods shown in the video.




Now, after all of that, may I offer my "berry" best wishes for you, Christeen, as you prepare to enjoy your strawberries in December!

Oh, and for a recipe for Strawberries and Cream, go here.

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Sharon Kaufman
Jesus Christ has been my Savior for 44 years. Robert, the wonderful man that God provided to love me has been my husband for 42 of those years. We have four children, all grown, several with children of their own. Of course that means that we have grandchildren - 10 to be exact, and three great granddaughters. I have been a stay-at-home mom, sometimes helping to supplement the income from within the home. Now I am a stay-at-home grandmother. Jesus Christ has been my guide and keeper and I have found, in all the trials, heartbreaks and good times that He just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter as the years roll by. My future is secure and I look forward to eternity in the presence of my Creator, Redeemer and King.
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