How to Clean and Freeze Strawberries

Fresh Strawberries image by kodakgold,

In early summer, strawberry season comes on fast and furiously, and it can be hard to keep up. Here's a way to preserve the harvest and keep some berries to use later in the year for pies, muffins, smoothies and more.


Step 1

Choose berries that are fully ripe, sweet and juicy. High quality fresh berries are essential for high quality frozen berries. Berries grown locally and picked fresh and in season are far superior to berries shipped halfway across the world in the middle of winter. Due to their high water content, berries may contain high amounts of pesticide residue. To avoid pesticides, choose organic strawberries whenever possible.

Step 2

Inspect your strawberries and remove any moldy, damaged or bruised berries.

Step 3

Using a colander, gently rinse your berries under cool running water. Pat them dry.

Step 4

Slice the stems off of each strawberry, using a paring knife and cutting board. You should also cut away any green, under-ripe tips or small bruises or blemishes.

Step 5

Line a baking sheet with a single layer of strawberries, and freeze for 2 to 4 hours, until the berries are just starting to set up.

Step 6

Remove the berries from the baking sheet and transfer to a zip top freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air and seal tightly. Return the berries to the freezer.

Tips and Warnings

Remember to write the date on the zip top bag so that you remember when you froze the strawberries. Frozen strawberries are best used within six months, although they may last a year or more. If ice crystals begin to form, or if the berries start to look freezer burnt, use them immediately because the flavor will only continue to degenerate. Strawberries are best frozen whole, not sliced. If you need sliced strawberries for your recipe, allow the whole strawberries to thaw slightly, then slice while they are still half frozen. They will hold up better and be easier to work with than if you tried to slice fully defrosted strawberries.

Things You'll Need

Strawberries, Colander, Running water, Clean towel, Paring knife and cutting board, Baking sheet, Zip top freezer bags

About this Author

Heidi Almond worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn. In 2002, Heidi graduated cum laude from an environmental liberal arts college with a concentration in writing.

Photo by: kodakgold,

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