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View Full Version : Strawberry freezing advice wanted



SaintLouieWoman
03-05-2011, 11:05 AM
The Plant City (Florida) strawberries are in season now and are both heavenly tasting and super cheap.

I got the idea of freezing them so we can enjoy them later. I don't want to freeze them with sugar, as I never sugar any fruits.

Is there some super secret to freezing them so they maintain the taste? Any help would be appreciated.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 11:09 AM
The Plant City (Florida) strawberries are in season now and are both heavenly tasting and super cheap.

I got the idea of freezing them so we can enjoy them later. I don't want to freeze them with sugar, as I never sugar any fruits.

Is there some super secret to freezing them so they maintain the taste? Any help would be appreciated.

Use Fruit Fresh on them and they will retain their color and flavor better and vacuum seal bags with the little hand held pump are a must, you can add a little apple juice with them when you freeze them too.

SaintLouieWoman
03-05-2011, 12:30 PM
Use Fruit Fresh on them and they will retain their color and flavor better and vacuum seal bags with the little hand held pump are a must, you can add a little apple juice with them when you freeze them too.

I don't have a hand held pump. Do you think if I try to squeeze the air out of a regular freezer bag it will work?

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 02:05 PM
I don't have a hand held pump. Do you think if I try to squeeze the air out of a regular freezer bag it will work?

Regular bags don't last half as long in the freezer. You can buy the pump for ten bucks with three bags at walmart, the bags are thee dollars a dozen. both Zip-lock and Reynolds makes them and they are interchangeable with both brands systems.

Novaheart
03-05-2011, 03:08 PM
The Plant City (Florida) strawberries are in season now and are both heavenly tasting and super cheap.

I got the idea of freezing them so we can enjoy them later. I don't want to freeze them with sugar, as I never sugar any fruits.

Is there some super secret to freezing them so they maintain the taste? Any help would be appreciated.

Don't re-invent the wheel. Frozen strawberries from the grocery store appear to me to be the ones which are already too ripe to ship fresh. They are cheap and sweet.

This year's Florida fresh crop is disappointing to me. The berries are huge, fibrous, and bland like California's Frankenstrawberries. They look fabulous dipped in a hard chocolate shell , but for just plain eating I like the ones in a bag from the grocery store.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 03:10 PM
Don't re-invent the wheel. Frozen strawberries from the grocery store appear to me to be the ones which are already too ripe to ship fresh. They are cheap and sweet.

This year's Florida fresh crop is disappointing to me. The berries are huge, fibrous, and bland like California's Frankenstrawberries. They look fabulous dipped in a hard chocolate shell , but for just plain eating I like the ones in a bag from the grocery store.

It depends on the variety of strawberries, the bland ones you are referring too are likely cardinals.

SaintLouieWoman
03-05-2011, 04:41 PM
Don't re-invent the wheel. Frozen strawberries from the grocery store appear to me to be the ones which are already too ripe to ship fresh. They are cheap and sweet.

This year's Florida fresh crop is disappointing to me. The berries are huge, fibrous, and bland like California's Frankenstrawberries. They look fabulous dipped in a hard chocolate shell , but for just plain eating I like the ones in a bag from the grocery store.

This is my first year in Florida, so guess I don't have a good basis of comparison. The ones that I get at the Amish fruit and veggie places taste better than the ones from the grocery store.

Just got some more today from Detwiler's, a thriving Amish establishment a bit out of the heart of the Amish community. That place is always busy. The produce is fresher and about half the price of Publix.

Also went to Yoder's on Bahia Vista Street today. Now that area is really Amish. There were those 3 wheel bikes all around. I had to be really careful backing up, as there were swarms of folks out today.

It's a different world there. The women still wear dresses that look like something out of Little House on the Prairie, along with the caps or little lace scarves on the top of their heads. There's a RV park right across from Yoder's Restaurant, Fruit and Veggie Store, and now Deli. Today was the grand opening.

I can't imagine vacationing across the street from a restaurant and veggie stand, but the formerly empty lots (in the summer off season) are filled with vacationing Amish.

They're having a price war with an upstart little veggie place on the same side of the street as the RV area and Yoder's, which has been there for years.

Novaheart
03-05-2011, 06:05 PM
This is my first year in Florida, so guess I don't have a good basis of comparison. The ones that I get at the Amish fruit and veggie places taste better than the ones from the grocery store.

Just got some more today from Detwiler's, a thriving Amish establishment a bit out of the heart of the Amish community. That place is always busy. The produce is fresher and about half the price of Publix.

Also went to Yoder's on Bahia Vista Street today. Now that area is really Amish. There were those 3 wheel bikes all around. I had to be really careful backing up, as there were swarms of folks out today.

It's a different world there. The women still wear dresses that look like something out of Little House on the Prairie, along with the caps or little lace scarves on the top of their heads. There's a RV park right across from Yoder's Restaurant, Fruit and Veggie Store, and now Deli. Today was the grand opening.

I can't imagine vacationing across the street from a restaurant and veggie stand, but the formerly empty lots (in the summer off season) are filled with vacationing Amish.

They're having a price war with an upstart little veggie place on the same side of the street as the RV area and Yoder's, which has been there for years.


The Amish/Mennonite trailerpark cracks me up.

Yeah, those are probably the good strawberries you are getting. I noticed last night that the ones at Spiro's (greek deli and produce) looked better than the grocery store. Their tomatoes are better than the grocery store too.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 06:25 PM
We used to raise them and sell them and it seemed that the larger varieties had less flavor. They were always left to ripen on the plant too.

Gingersnap
03-05-2011, 07:20 PM
I've frozen strawberries without using a vacuum seal. I've never really had a significant loss of taste but the texture changes, obviously. Depending on what you want to do with them later, you could do what we've done from time to time - puree them.

If you are going to use them in smoothies, fruit soups, baking, or things like that just puree them in recipe batches. You can also add whatever other fruits you want in puree-form if you want mixed flavors.

I've found the puree is fine for up to 4 or 5 months and the sliced sugar-pack (or plain) strawberries are fine for a couple of months. The vacuum seal would extend that, obviously.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 07:27 PM
I've frozen strawberries without using a vacuum seal. I've never really had a significant loss of taste but the texture changes, obviously. Depending on what you want to do with them later, you could do what we've done from time to time - puree them.

If you are going to use them in smoothies, fruit soups, baking, or things like that just puree them in recipe batches. You can also add whatever other fruits you want in puree-form if you want mixed flavors.

I've found the puree is fine for up to 4 or 5 months and the sliced sugar-pack (or plain) strawberries are fine for a couple of months. The vacuum seal would extend that, obviously.

I personally like to use some apple juice, it does impart another flavor but if your freezing whole berries they stay in better shape because it fill the voids between berries. Maltodextrose also preserves the quality and is less sweet than sugar.

Gingersnap
03-05-2011, 07:45 PM
I personally like to use some apple juice, it does impart another flavor but if your freezing whole berries they stay in better shape because it fill the voids between berries. Maltodextrose also preserves the quality and is less sweet than sugar.

I'm no sugar monster but I use sugar to dry-pack the slices. A person could always rinse them off, I guess. Most fruit is already pure starch and sugar anyway so I figure, what's a little more?

I've heard about the apple juice trick but never tried it. I just don't like most fruit juices and I especially loath apple juice unless it's pretty hard.

Another thing to do with excess strawberries is to make fruit leather (if you like that kind of thing) or dehydrate them. They make a nice addition to muesli or trail mix in that form or just as a snack.

(Pro-tip: don't try to rehydrate them. This method is a one-way street.)

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 07:54 PM
I'm no sugar monster but I use sugar to dry-pack the slices. A person could always rinse them off, I guess. Most fruit is already pure starch and sugar anyway so I figure, what's a little more?

I've heard about the apple juice trick but never tried it. I just don't like most fruit juices and I especially loath apple juice unless it's pretty hard.

Another thing to do with excess strawberries is to make fruit leather (if you like that kind of thing) or dehydrate them. They make a nice addition to muesli or trail mix in that form or just as a snack.

(Pro-tip: don't try to rehydrate them. This method is a one-way street.)

The fruit leather is excellent but it turns brown on me even with fruit fresh, I eat it anyway, it doesn't change the taste.

I wonder how white grape juice would work instead of apple juice?

Gingersnap
03-05-2011, 08:34 PM
The fruit leather is excellent but it turns brown on me even with fruit fresh, I eat it anyway, it doesn't change the taste.

I wonder how white grape juice would work instead of apple juice?

I might find that a bit better (or cranberry juice? :confused:). Do you use citric acid with your fruit leather? It helps a lot with the color.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 08:41 PM
I might find that a bit better (or cranberry juice? :confused:). Do you use citric acid with your fruit leather? It helps a lot with the color.

Fruit fresh has some.

Ingredients
Dextrose, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Silicon Dioxide (Anti-Caking).
I have some pure citric acid, I might try adding more.

Gingersnap
03-05-2011, 09:20 PM
Fruit fresh has some.

I have some pure citric acid, I might try adding more.

I use it (I keep it around for sourdough, if it needs it). You will have to experiment. I like the tangy part; some people will want to add sugar (or something) to level it out.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 09:21 PM
I use it (I keep it around for sourdough, if it needs it). You will have to experiment. I like the tangy part; some people will want to add sugar (or something) to level it out.

I always use some type of sugar, it's a preservative from way back.

SaintLouieWoman
03-05-2011, 10:32 PM
I was asking because I overdid it buying strawberries. I have about 6 pounds here. We've had fresh strawberries mixed with a little cool whip (SR loves it) and fresh blueberries every night. Tomorrow I'm making waffles with strawberries cut into the batter. They'll be covered with what else, fresh strawberries. :D

I'm afraid SR will rebel with the excessive amount of strawberries. He's been good about drinking all the fresh orange juice I've been making from the orange tree in the back yard. The tree produces Valencia juice oranges. I have a small electric juicer. So far this season I've made almost 4 gallons of orange juice. No matter what happens, we'll be in juice for some time to come. :p

The smaller tree produces blood oranges, which are delicious eating oranges. Sadly there were only about 10 on the entire tree. I'd rather have more of them than all those juice oranges.

Articulate_Ape
03-06-2011, 12:26 PM
I don't have a hand held pump. Do you think if I try to squeeze the air out of a regular freezer bag it will work?

Regular freezer bags are fine unless you are planning on keeping them for more than 12 months. If you don't want to bother with vacuum bags, dipping the filled bags in a deep bowl or tub of water will compress most of the air out. Dip them up to the ziplock strip then seal them. Voila!

SaintLouieWoman
03-06-2011, 03:43 PM
Regular freezer bags are fine unless you are planning on keeping them for more than 12 months. If you don't want to bother with vacuum bags, dipping the filled bags in a deep bowl or tub of water will compress most of the air out. Dip them up to the ziplock strip then seal them. Voila!

Thanks, this sounds like the easiest. I don't want to have to buy a lot of stuff for about $5 worth of strawberries. I just got carried away with the sales on strawberries and wanted to preserve some of them for a short time. :)

RobJohnson
03-14-2011, 12:56 AM
I scored good on frozen berries at Costco in Las Vegas...they ended up being about two bucks a lb...

Blueberries, Strawberries & a mixture.....

They are great to throw in a blender with my healthy shake that I have once a day... Or I just thaw a few and eat with a little whipped topping or with organic high culture yogurt.