Hopefully you all got out and stocked up on strawberries! Due to our rainy spring, our local patch did not have as many strawberries this year. So my freezer only has about 13 lbs of frozen strawberries compared to my usual 25-30 lbs. #strawberryhoarderI make a smoothie just about every morning for breakfast, so I go through a lot of fruit. There’s just something about a strawberry smoothie that gets my day started off right! Yum! So apparently this year I will be limiting my smoothies to 3-4 times a week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to load up on blueberries and raspberries this year to compensate for my weak strawberry stash. Mother Nature has her own plans. I’ll stop pouting now.So I’ve been picking & freezing 20+ lbs of strawberries each May/June for years now. It’s a lot of work, but worth it. I thought I’d share the easiest way I’ve found to get the strawberries ready to freeze.
First, crank up the music or turn on the latest episode of Married at First Sight that you have DVRed. Don’t tell me I’m the only one? I get sucked into that show every season. Don’t judge. Basically, you just need anything that will keep your mind off the boring task of de-leafing the strawberries. I bought this tool years ago, and it has worked great for taking the leaves off quick while taking the least amount of fruit with it. Depending on how many strawberries you have, this process will take the longest. I set up my station in an assembly-like fashion. Strawberries, bowl for scraps, and de-leafed strawberries in a strainer in the sink for easy washing. Have some freezer plastic bags out and ready to go.
Ready, set, get to it!Once you have a good amount, wash the strawberries under cold water. Drain as much of the water out as possible. Pour the strawberries straight into the bag. Fill the bag 2/3 of the way to the top, leaving enough room for the strawberries to spread out when you lay the bag flat. I then place the bag of strawberries in the freezer.
Yep, straight in the freezer. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, no cookie sheet needed. At this time, clean up your mess, compost your strawberry leaves, and binge watch another episode of your favorite show. After about an hour of the strawberries being in the freezer, go and shake all the bags. Move the strawberries around and break up any chunks. They should be partially frozen, but not frozen enough that they will be hard to break up. So still be gentle. A nice little strawberry massage if you will. Once they’re all relaxed, throw them back in the freezer and you’re done!
Breakfast time rolls around and my strawberries are ready to be made into a delicious fruit smoothie. And since I will be rationing them, I will easily be able to pull out 5 single strawberries to add to my blender.