Berry season is upon us. Berries are wonderful eaten fresh with their juice flowing down your chin. You can make preserves, add them to just about anything for breakfast or create a wonderful dessert. But the season is over quickly so why not freeze some for later when berries are a mere memory of a season past.
Freezing strawberries is super simple. (As well are many caneberries, such as Raspberries, Marionberries, Boysenberries etc.) Start with freshly picked berries. Ripe strawberries (or caneberries) from your yard or garden are perfect. Or find a local u-pick farm, farm stand or farmers market. Organically grown is best as commercially grown strawberries (and caneberries) are heavily sprayed with a variety of chemicals. Their seasons are short so don’t delay.
No need for any fancy equipment. I bet you have most everything you need right in your home. Freshly picked berries; a clean sink with cold water (for strawberries, not delicate caneberries); a colander of some sort to drain the berries; an old bath towel to absorb the last droplets or remove any debris; a teaspoon for removing any stray caps; a cookie sheet for freezing the berries on; zip-loc freezer bags or containers & a freezer.
Pick the berries. With or without caps is fine.
Carefully rinse a few boxes at a time in a sink of cold water. Swish about gently. (I only rinse strawberries as they sometimes come in contact with the soil. Caneberries are usually clean straight from the canes.)
Place clean berries in a colander to drain excess water. (Strawberries only)
Gently pour berries out onto a clean old bath towel. For strawberries this is to blot off the last droplets of water. For caneberries this step will allow any stems, leaves or stray bugs to be removed.
Remove any stray caps & place berries on a heavy cookie sheet.
When the sheet is filled place in the freezer for several hours to freeze hard.
Remove berries from the cookie sheet and place in freezer bags or containers.
Back in the freezer they go and you are done.
No mess, no fuss, no juicy smashed berries!
6 pint boxes of strawberries or caneberries will make approximately 1 gallon bag of frozen whole berries.