Preserving Strawberries {Not “Strawberry Preserves”}

finished

 

Aldi is the best.

They frequently have strawberries on sale for $1 for a pound.  I usually buy one pound, and eat it within two days.  Do you think my solution was to slow down my strawberry consumption?  Nah.  I just bought two pounds, and ate it within three or four days.

I would suggest using freezer bags rather than plain sandwich bags.  I only had sandwich bags and they are fine for short-term use.
I would suggest using freezer bags rather than plain sandwich bags. I only had sandwich bags and they are fine for short-term use.

Anyway, I have been making a lot of fruit smoothies lately.  In order to avoid using the frozen whole strawberries that cause my mini food processor to behave as if it is demon-possessed, I decided to stock up on fresh strawberries and freeze them myself.  Why go through the effort?

Strawberries drying, and the garbage pile.
Strawberries drying, and the garbage pile.
  1. It is cheaper.  A 1-lb bag of frozen strawberries costs $2.19.  Fresh strawberries were on sale for $1/lb.  That’s a lot of savings.
  2. I could slice the fresh strawberries before freezing them so that they do not fight with my food processor.  I fear the day that my food processor loses the battle.
  3. It tastes better!  I only froze the ripest strawberries, and I could definitely tell the difference in my morning’s smoothie.
  4. Efficiency in the morning.  By pre-measuring out 1 cup amounts and freezing it separately, I have one less thing to do in the morning to make my smoothie.

the set up

The process was pretty simple.  I soaked the strawberries in a cold water and vinegar bath for a few minutes, then drained, rinsed, and dried them.  I then cut off the tops of the strawberries and any bad spots.  Then I sliced the strawberries and dumped them into a 1-cup measuring cup.  When the cup was full, I dumped it into a Ziploc and sealed it after removing as much air as possible.  I then shook the bag to flatten the strawberries out smoothly, so that the bags would freeze in a thin, flat shape that fits better into my cramped freezer.  I froze approximately 3 pounds of strawberries.

Done!

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36 thoughts on “Preserving Strawberries {Not “Strawberry Preserves”}

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  3. I do the same thing. We go strawberry picking at an organic farm and I freeze them for those winter smoothies my girls love so much.

    1. I don’t measure the water and vinegar, But I fill the bowl with water until it just covers the fruit, and add approx. 1/8-1/4 cup vinegar. (It depends on the amount of fruit/how full the bowl is.) The vinegar supposedly kills/removes any mold spores and prevents the fruit from molding as easily. Consequently, the fruit lasts much longer that usual. I have tried it several times, and my fruit has lasted much longer. My strawberries generally keep for about 6 days (if I don’t eat them first!) while my roommate’s strawberries (that she does not wash) only last about 2 days. The same goes for blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
      Also, after looking it up, several sources sight a 4:1 water:vinegar ratio.
      Good luck!

        1. I tend to leave them for about 3-4 minutes. (Though, I have accidentally forgotten them and left them for more like 10-15 minutes, and it was just fine.) They have never tasted like vinegar. Rinsing them off is probably not necessary, but it is an extra precaution. However, with thinner-skinned, softer fruit (like raspberries, blackberries, etc.) I would not let it soak as long. Probably only 1-2 minutes.

          1. Thanks I appreciate you taking the time to reply. This is really good information to have, as I too like to store extra fruits for my smoothies, but I had never done anything other than just slice them and toss them in the freezer. Thanks for all the great info! 🙂

          2. Oh I am glad to help! There would not be much point to having a blog if I did not respond to people’s questions! Feel free to ask questions anytime–a large part of the reason I went into pharmacy was because I get to answer people’s questions and help them solve their health-related issues. This blog gives me the chance to discuss another area of interest for me: food. 🙂

  4. Awesome idea now that strawberries are in season! I totally agree with freezing smoothie ingredients too. It saves so much time in the morning and makes the smoothie nice and frosty! 🙂

  5. When you can’t get the fresh strawberries at that price, I would recommend Dollar Tree. They have a 12 oz. bag of sliced strawberries for $1. Love it myself. I also tried the pineapple chunks that they have and for some reason did not like them. I do also freeze my own strawberries, but lately haven’t been buying enough. The other day I price matched a $1 for a lb. of strawberries sale and bought 3 lbs. But the last one was eaten today, Sunday, and they were purchased Wednesday morning. I do love my strawberries and my son has been eating some, when normally he does not.

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure if there is a Dollar Tree around here, but maybe other Dollar stores will have them that cheap? Thanks for the tip! And now I almost don’t feel so bad about eating my strawberries so fast! 🙂

  6. It’s been a while since I shopped Aldi’s as I noticed their quality slipping big time. Glad to be in the summer season so fresh and local are finally available. Love that you freeze to enjoy later. Totally agree that you have to take advantage of the bounty when it’s here. Hoping our Aldi’s gets its act together again as you’re right, the prices can not be beat. The berries you have are gorgeous 🙂

    1. If I were you, I would ask an Aldi employee what day/time their truck comes in. See, I almost always do my grocery shopping on Sunday, and everything has been great. Well, twice recently I have gone on a Friday afternoon, and both times the produce was NOT in good condition. (In fact, that is how I got my overripe bananas for $0.10/lb to make the Almond Oat Bars!) I believe my store’s truck comes in on Saturday morning or something, because by Sunday afternoon, the produce selection is great again.

  7. This is so handy! You know here in Aus they cost almost 9 times as much! LOL A while ago on Pinterest I saw this cool method of dipping berries in yoghurt and honey mixture before freezing, for a cool healthy snack in summer! :d

    1. Oh my…I will appreciate my cheap strawberries even more now! Yes, I have seen the yogurt thing, and I want to try it, but I have so little room in my shared freezer that I don’t think I could fit a pan in there without it tipping and all the pieces running together and freezing into one monster yogurt-fruit mess, haha. Maybe one day I will be able to try it. 🙂

    1. I do not have any posted–it seems like I see a million repeat smoothie recipes on other blogs, so I have not bothered to post any recipes. One of my favourite smoothies has been: 1 c Almondmilk (plain milk would work too) + 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds + 1/8th of a cantaloupe + 1/2 c frozen blueberries + 1/2 banana. You could easily sub in frozen strawberries for the blueberries too.

      Would you be interested in seeing more smoothie recipes as posts in the future? [Don’t be afraid to say no, haha. I’m only curious if I was wrong to assume that people have already seen too many smoothie recipes on other blogs/sites.]

    1. Yay! I just love Aldi’s. The selection seems to have grown exponentially (especially with healthier options) in just the three years that I have been shopping there. As always, thanks for stopping by!

  8. I just did the same thing with raspberries. They were on sale at my local grocery store. I decided to freeze them on a pan first then when they were frozen put them in freezer bags. I use them like ice cubes in lemonade and cocktails.

  9. Good job! To make it easier on your food processor and actually use slices instead of frozen-together clumps, you might want to freeze the slices spread out on a cookie sheet before bagging next time. 🙂

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