If you have a sweet tooth like me, you probably love strawberries and want to store them for as long as possible so that you can have access to them even when the season is gone. So how do you store them correctly, knowing they go bad very quickly? Let’s find out.
It is a fact that strawberries don't freeze well as they lose their shape and texture while defrosting. It is because they contain water, and freezing causes them to expand, which ruins their structure. However, there's no other way of storing them for a long time. As a result, many methods have been introduced to avoid the negative effects of freezing strawberries.
In this article, I am going to talk about this topic more vividly as there are still several techniques and tips for freezing strawberries that'll be helpful to you. I will not only talk about how freezing affects the strawberries but will also focus on providing you with some ways of defrosting them that will give you the best possible chances of preserving their taste and texture.
Do Strawberries Freeze Well?
Strawberries are considered to be the candies of nature, but they go bad quickly at room temperature. To keep them well, you can freeze them. Freezing can stop bacteria and other microorganisms from growing. Their growth causes spoilage, and the strawberries lose their nutrients and flavor.
However, freezing strawberries creates a big problem. There is water in the strawberries that expand when we freeze them. This ruptures the walls of the cells of strawberries. That's why when you defrost them, they become soft and can't hold their shape. So, the short answer to the question of whether strawberries freeze well is no; they don't.
There are some ways around this. You can defrost them slowly using cold running water on them for an hour or move them from the freezer to the refrigerator and keep them there for six to eight hours to thaw slowly. You can also cook the frozen ones or eat them frozen straight out of the freezing bag. As long as they are frozen or partially frozen, at least, they won't feel soft or soggy (Source: Live Strong).
Should Strawberries Be Washed Before Freezing Them?
Yes, it would help if you washed strawberries before freezing them. Wash them right before you plan to freeze them. Rinse them in cool, running water. Be careful not to soak them in water. They might lose their flavor if you do so. After rinsing them, you have to dry them. You can spread them on a kitchen cloth or paper towel to let them dry gently.
Ensure you dry them properly because if you freeze strawberries with too much moisture in them, they will get soft and mushy when defrosted (Source: Epicurious)
The hull is the green stem of the strawberry. Hulling the strawberries is also essential. Instead of slicing the top off, you should hull them by inserting a knife at an angle to the stem of the berry to cut around the green stem in a circle. Then you pull it off and throw it away.
Can You Freeze Macerated Strawberries?
Macerating strawberries means to soften and sweeten them by soaking them in a water-like liquor, balsamic vinegar, or sugar. It's a very simple process. It is mostly done with ripe strawberries to add flavor to them.
So, can you freeze them when macerated? Yes, you can. It's often a practice to macerate strawberries before freezing them. If you buy frozen strawberries from the supermarket, you'll see that they are available in both macerated and unsweetened forms. You can macerate strawberries by following these steps:
Soak and dry the strawberries in a strainer. Also, hull the strawberries. You can use a strawberry huller, which is available in supermarkets. It will make the task easy.
Slice the strawberries into a bowl and add two tablespoons of sugar for every 16 ounces of berries. Let them rest for half an hour before eating as they take time to set.
Then cover the bowl and store them in a refrigerator for one day if you want to eat them the next day.
Now, fill zip lock bags with the strawberries but make sure to keep some space in the bags. Place a straw inside the bag to suck the air out and zip it as much as possible with the inserted straw. Then date and label the bags. You can now have these strawberries anytime within a year (Source: Cheery Kitchen)
How Do You Defrost Strawberries Without Making Them Soggy?
A major challenge for defrosting any frozen fruit is not to make them soggy. The same goes for strawberries.
It helps if you take the strawberries out of the bag and place them into a bowl. Then place the bowl in the refrigerator to defrost overnight or at least for a couple of hours. If you defrost them gradually, it will help them keep their firmness, which is not the case if you quickly defrost them. Thus, they won't get much soggy.
After defrosting the strawberries, you can cook them, add them to desserts or eat them raw. This process works well when you want to have the strawberries raw. If you're going to cook them, add them to your cooking pan directly from the freezer bag (Source: Berry World)
Are Frozen Strawberries Just As Good As Fresh?
Fresh and frozen strawberries are both excellent sources of nutrients. They are considered to be healthy for your diet plan. However, the health value is dependent on the type of strawberry you select. Primarily, the same nutrients of fresh strawberries are provided by frozen strawberries. Though macerated or sweetened ones are very heavy in sugar.
A cup of fresh or unsweetened and thawed strawberries carries zero fat and 77 calories. However, sweetened strawberries provide up to 199 calories per cup. Strawberries also provide folate, manganese, and vitamin K. They can be a great alternative to candy or chips. Be that as it may, keep in mind that the calorie total of the sweetened strawberries is very high.
Unsweetened and sweetened strawberries provide fiber of five grams each thawed cup. Fiber helps to avoid constipation, colon problems, and high cholesterol.
Unsweetened strawberries consist of 10 grams of natural sugar per cup. Whereas sweetened strawberries consist of sugar of 47 grams per cup. So, there is a massive increase in sugar content, which can be harmful to many people, including patients who suffer from heart disease and diabetes (Source: Live Strong)
How Long Do Fresh Strawberries Last In The Freezer?
Fresh strawberries can be kept in the freezer for 10 to 12 months if properly stored. They may even last longer. They last for one or two days at room temperature and 3 to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Freezing the strawberries will allow them to last much longer than storing them in the fridge. In fact, if the strawberries are frozen at 0°F, they can be kept indefinitely (Source: Stilltasty)
Do Frozen Strawberries Go Bad?
Fresh strawberries go bad fast. Sometimes a day. However, properly stored and frozen ones can last up to a year. If they are stored for more than a year, they may lose their quality. They can turn bad. Often, they turn bad because they were not stored properly. There are several ways you can tell if your strawberries have gone bad:
● They become moldy. White or grey molds on the surface mean the strawberry is spoiled.
● They become bruised, soft, or mushy. These strawberries are past their prime, and it's best to throw them out.
● They lose color. If you see that your strawberries are losing their candy red color, it's best to throw them out.
● They have a weird smell. If the strawberries have an odd or weird smell coming from them, you should throw them out.
You can prevent the strawberries from going bad too quickly by storing and freezing them properly. Follow these steps to increase the shelf-life of your frozen strawberries.
Get rid of moldy ones if you find any. Mold spreads quickly among all fruits. So, get rid of these moldy ones as soon as you notice molds.
If you are going to consume them the same day you bought them, leave them as-is for as long as possible. Wash and hull them only right before you plan on eating them. The same goes for freezing or macerating them.
Wherever you keep them, make sure they don't get crushed. Strawberries are very soft and can puncture and squeeze easily.
Before freezing them, first prep them properly. Hull them, wash them, and let them dry properly. You can use paper towels to dry them thoroughly.
Flash freeze the strawberries. Lay the strawberries on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer. Leave the baking sheet in the freezer overnight.
After flash freezing them, put them in a freezing bag and keep the bags in the freezer until you are ready to eat the strawberries.
Following these steps, you can store and freeze strawberries for a year and retain their best quality (Source: Does it go bad)
In this article, I have tried to answer the question, “Can You Freeze Strawberries?” in great detail. I have discussed the problems that arise when you freeze strawberries and how to avoid the sogginess that takes place after defrosting them.
Besides these, I have also tried to provide you with other related miscellaneous information regarding the topic at hand. I hope this article was of help to you and wish you the best of luck in keeping your tasty snack fresh and fruity.