Freezing softens and darkens strawberries, so they are best used in cooked (baking or jams) or pureed applications (smoothies).
Frozen Whole Berries
(Note: If these berries are destined for smoothies, you can skip the hulling stage if you have a high powered blender. For lower powered machines, you may want to halve or quarter larger berries before freezing.)
- Run a sinkful of cool water, add your berries and gently swirl them to remove any grit;
- Remove them quickly to a terrycloth towel to drain, and gently pat dry;
- Remove the green cap (hull);
- Place hulled berries cut-side down on waxed paper on a tray in the freezer overnight;
- Transfer the firmly frozen berries into a pre-labeled, dated zip-style freezer bag;
- Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, and return bags to the freezer as quickly as possible.
Dry Sugar-Packed Berries
Wash, hull and dry your berries, and slice or quarter into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar per quart of berries and stir gently to distribute and dissolve the sugar. Pack into a container, seal tightly and freeze.
Light Syrup-Packed Berries
Boil 4 parts water to 1 part sugar until dissolved, then chill. Wash, dry and hull your berries, and slice or quarter if desired. Place the berries into freezer containers and pour the chilled syrup over the berries to cover, then freeze.
Frozen Berry Puree
Wash, dry and hull your berries. Puree them in a blender. Pour the puree into the desired freezer container or ice cube tray and freeze. If freezing in ice cube trays, remove the frozen cubes the next day and store them in a resealable bag, with as much air as possible removed.