Strawberry season is going strong in Central Florida and we have been out to pick a few times. I shared some tips with you for picking your own strawberries. This week I wanted to take a few minutes and share some tips on how to process strawberries. When we go we generally pick well over 30 quarts. This will last us for a bit but it does take some time to clean, cut, and freeze the strawberries for future use. I am going to share some tips with you in hopes that it will make strawberry season a bit easier on you.
How to Process Strawberries
I do process my strawberries different based on what I will be using them for. I will highlight the main things I typically do with strawberries.
For the Freezer
Fill your strawberry container with water.
This gives you the chance to rinse them well. It’s best to work on them right then. You don’t want your strawberries soaking in water for very long.
Cut off the tops.
I keep another bucket to the right of the pan for my strawberry tops.
For the smoothies and such that I typically make with strawberries, I prefer to have them quartered. It is easier to measure them out.
You have two options at the point.
Flash Freeze the strawberries.
This means that you will lay all of your strawberries on a cookie sheet and freeze them just long enough to get rid of some of the wetness. I would say about thirty minutes. This is to prevent them from sticking together in whatever freezer container you choose to store them in
Bag them up and freeze.
I find that my strawberries generally don’t stick together too badly. I will put them in a Ziploc bag and push out as much as possible. I prefer to freeze them with the bag laying flat. It saves space and it makes them easier to pull out when I am ready to use them.
For the Refrigerator
If you are planning to leave these in the refrigerator for eating it is important to do one thing to keep them from spoiling as quickly.
Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in your container.
Soak your strawberries for thirty seconds in the solution.
Rinse with water twice. – I like to do it twice because I don’t want any vinegar left over.
I tried this for the first time with this batch and it actually worked really well. Make sure you aren’t storing your berries in a deep dish as berries can mash sitting on top of each other.
Do you do something different? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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