Didn't make it out to pick your own strawberries like you hoped to this June? That doesn't have to stop you from freezing some strawberries for future use in those cold, berry-less months! Pies, smoothies... mmm.
I too meant to get out and pick a whole bunch of strawberries- I had glorious canning plans in mind for Strawberry Basil jam and some other amazing goodies, but alas, my schedule just did not permit a picking trip!
Luckily when I was in Columbus this weekend visiting the fam, I was able to stop by a farm stand and purchase 4 quarts of strawberries grown in Circleville, Ohio.
Because they're a few days old, I decided to freeze these berries, rather than canning them- I was worried I'd run out of time again and end up with gross rotted berries, which is definitely not an effective preservation method in my book.
If you've never frozen fruit at home, it's a breeze! All you need is strawberries, a flat freezable surface (lid, glass baking jar, etc.), a paring knife, and some plastic bags for storage.
1) Rinse berries well, esp. if commercially-grown
2) Using a small paring knife, cut tops off of berries. Set aside overly-brusied or rotten berries. Cut larger berries into halves or quarters
3) Spread cut berries onto a flat surface, and freeze for 30 minutes per tray
4) Once initial freezing is complete, pour berries into a freezer bag
5) Lay freezer bag flat and spread out berries evenly in bag. Set bag flat in the freezer to fully freeze
6) Once frozen, you can stack multiple bags of berries, or arrange any way you like in the freezer
Not too tough, huh? :)
Now you've preserved a sweet taste of summer!