Christeen asked a question concerning all my strawberries:
"What do you do with all those strawberries? Can you freeze them? I ask b/c I just bought 3lbs of straw- berries 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 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 rinsed, of course I do that. (Wash the frozen berries just before using them -see below.) After removing the core, 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 this process. The berries are delicious just frozen whole.
Putting the berries in the freezer: Do not cover the berries. Lay the baking sheet with the berries 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: You can now remove just as many berries as you need. Wash them 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. As it turns out, I visited a blog just this morning that put up a post about freezing berries. Rather than post a photo here, I'll send you over to the other blog (click here) so you can get a visual of the process.
And may I offer my "berry" best wishes for you, Christeen, as you prepare to enjoy your strawberries in December!