|When processing strawberries, make sure you wash the berries first to remove dirt, leaves and other debris. A colander is really useful in the process.|
I wish I could say that the beautiful bowl of strawberries in the picture are ours, but they're not. I picked these up at the store over the weekend for a steal thinking we could freeze them or that I could make a strawberry pie for J. (his favorite).
Itching to bring out my canner for the first time this year, I tried to convince J. to let me make some jam with these but he really wanted to eat them whole. So we opted to freeze about 2/3 of them and leave the rest to be eaten. Freezing is easy - you just spread the berries out on a cookie tray so that they don't overlap and then stick them in the freezer for 24 hours. These berries were pretty tart, so we mixed them with a 1/2 cup sugar per quart before freezing.
But...did you know....there are several different ways to preserve strawberries? Me neither. But what yuou plan on using the berries for and how long you want to preserve them can dictate which method you choose. Also, be aware that most freezing methods will alter the color of the berries slightly (they'll be darker) and they will also be more mushy when thawed. That may not make a difference if you're putting them into smoothies or into a pie.
I hope you found this strawberry information useful - what I found the most interesting is that freezing them whole is really short-term. My grandparents had always done it this way and I thought they would last longer. But my grandfather was a notorious berry lover and, now that I think about it, they didn't stay in the freezer that long. :-)
Have a "berry" good day, everyone!