Storing and Preserving Strawberries

Fresh Strawberries are delicious just about anyway you serve them, but after the season has passed they’re gone till next year. Supermarket strawberries just can’t compare. Preserving Strawberries from your own gardens bounty is one way of saving a wee bit of the summer flavors till the calendar rolls over again.

With Preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam. 

Super Simple Strawberry Preserves

3 qt. whole strawberries 1/3 cups sugar 

3 tbsp. lemon juice 

Place ripe berries in saucepan. Sift the 1/3 cup sugar over berries. Add lemon juice. 

Simmer on a low setting for about 10 minutes. Generally a tad longer on electric stoves, less on gas.

Let them set overnight. That’s it!

Freezer Strawberry Preserves

4 Cups whole strawberries

4 Cups Sugar

Add 2 cups sugar to the berriesBoil 5 minutes

Add the remaining 2 cups &boil; 2 more minutes. Be sure it reaches a steady rolling boil.

Stir frequently over a 3 day period (3 or 4 times daily). Do not reheat but pour it into mason jars and seal with beeswax, or paraffin.

Strawberry Preserves & Balsamic Vinegar

2 cups Strawberries Stemmed & Quartered

1 1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar 

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cracked Black Pepper

In a small heavy saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring,and skimming the surface. 

Simmer mixture, stirring and skimming foam occasionally, 15 minutes, or until thickened and translucent. 

Remove pan from heat and cool preserves completely. Keep Preserves covered and chilled, 1 month.

Preserving Strawberries By Freezing

Freezing strawberries whole. Wash and hull the strawberries. Pack into plastic containers or bags. Strawberries can be frozen for several months using them method, actually much longer but the flavor begins to dissipate after about 3 months. I generally cut the green tops and a very small section of the berry off the top . You can also use a cookie sheet lined with wax paper {Not Aluminum Foil}. Stand the strawberries on their bases , don’t let them touch . Put the strawberries in the freezer, when frozen remove them from the cookie tray and Pack into plastic containers or bags.

Freezing Strawberries in syrup. Boil together 1 part sugar to 4 parts water to make the syrup. Place the washed, hulled and drained strawberries into a plastic container and pour the syrup over the strawberries. Using this method, the strawberries can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Freezing puréed strawberries. Wash and hull the strawberries. Purée using a blender or mashing device. Pour the purée into plastic containers or individual ice-cube trays or whatever suitable container your little heart desires. Pureed Strawberries can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Freezing sugared strawberries. Wash, hull and drain the strawberries. Sprinkle with fine sugar , I prefer confectioners sugar. Pack the berries into plastic containers or bags. Strawberries frozen this way can be stored for up to 6 months.

Preserving Strawberries by Dehydrating

Drying strawberries at home is easy and has several benefits as a method of food preservation. Unlike frozen strawberries, dried strawberries can be stored at room temperature .

When selecting Strawberries for dehydrating choose only high-quality ripe strawberries. Wash the strawberries with white vinegar and rinse thoroughly with water. Remove any bad spots and remove the green tops as well a very small section of the berry off the top. Cut the strawberries into uniform 1/2 inch slices. This will help them to dry evenly. Spread them out for evenly on trays allowing space for air to circulate freely around the strawberries during the drying process.

There are several methods of drying fruits and vegetables. If the weather permits you can use the sun to dry your berries. Sun, or air drying requires a warm day with temperatures in the 90s and very little humidity. Place the strawberries in a sunny window, or outside covered with screening to keep the bugs away. You can also dry them in an oven. Place the strawberries in the oven at 130 degrees. Check them periodically. Strawberries should be almost crisp but remain pliable. 

Pack your strawberries in a moisture-proof container. Label the strawberries with the date of preservation. Store in a cool dry place. Strawberries should be used within a year.