In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to preserve strawberries” and discuss the methods used to preserve strawberries.
How to preserve strawberries
Strawberries can be preserved by:
- Making jams and sauces
- Making strawberry fruit leather
Strawberries are best when they are eaten fresh. Freshly harvested strawberries must be eaten within 3 days. Strawberries do not preserve at room temperature and they must be refrigerated or frozen to preserve freshness. They can also be preserved using other methods such as dehydration and making jam.
How to preserve strawberries by refrigerating
Refrigerating will preserve strawberries for about 1 week.
To refrigerate strawberries:
- Sort through the strawberries and remove bruised and moldy ones.
- Wash in running water and dry well using a paper towel.
- Trim off the stems.
- Place the strawberries in an airtight container, label and refrigerate.
How to preserve strawberries by freezing
Freezing is the best method to preserve strawberries in their original flavor. Frozen strawberries will last for about 8 to 12 months. There are different methods to freeze strawberries.
- Freezing whole strawberries: Place whole strawberries with the stem trimmed off in a ziplock bag. Frozen whole strawberries are best when used within 2 months. After that, they may begin to lose flavor.
- Freezing cut-up strawberries in sugar: Wash strawberries, trim the stems and cut them in half and mix with sugar. Freezing strawberries in sugar will preserve them for 8 – 12 months.
- Freezing pureed strawberries: Wash strawberries, trim the stems and hull the strawberries. Blend the strawberries with lemon juice and sugar. Freeze the puree in airtight containers or freezer bags. Frozen strawberry puree must be used within 6 months.
When frozen strawberries are thawed, they will lose their texture and become mushy. This is caused by the water inside the cells expanding during freezing and damaging the cell wall. Frozen strawberries are best used in pies, smoothies and baking recipes.
How to preserve strawberries by dehydrating
Strawberries can be dehydrated in several ways such as by using a food dehydrator, oven, and sun-drying. Dehydrated strawberries can be enjoyed as a healthy snack on their own or added to trail mix or cereals.
After dehydration, the strawberries must be stored in an airtight container. Dehydrated strawberries can also be frozen after dehydration to extend their shelf-life. Frozen dehydrated strawberries will retain their flavor for about 2 years.
How to preserve strawberries by making jams and sauces
Strawberry jams and sauces are delicious and can be eaten with waffles, bread, pancakes.
Strawberries can be made into both jams and sauces. Both strawberry jams and sauces can be homemade and require few ingredients. Partly bruised and damaged strawberries can also be used when making jam or sauce after the bruised part is discarded.
- Strawberry jam: There are various recipes for strawberry jam. Jams can be made using just strawberries or by combining with another berry such as raspberry or blueberry. Home-made strawberry jam can be preserved for about 1 year at room temperature if it is canned into sterile jars. The jam must be refrigerated once it is opened.
This recipe explains how to make strawberry jam from just 3 ingredients, strawberries, granulated sugar and lemon juice.
- Strawberry sauce: Strawberry sauce is made by cooking strawberries in a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, water, vanilla and cornstarch.
Strawberry sauce can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about 1 week. The strawberry sauce can also be canned for long term preservation.
How to preserve strawberries by making strawberry fruit leather
Fruit leather is a fruit roll made by drying or baking pureed fruit. Strawberry fruit leather is made by blending hulled strawberries with sugar and lemon juice and then baking the mixture at 170 degrees for about 3 hours until the stickiness is gone.
Strawberry fruit leather will preserve for about 2 weeks when refrigerated.
Extending the shelf-life of strawberries
The below methods will help to extend the shelf-life of strawberries regardless of the preservation method used.
- Sorting through and removing spoiled strawberries: Mold spreads very quickly in strawberries. It is important to sort through and discard any moldy and spoiled strawberries before preserving them.
- Removing moisture: Moisture will cause spoilage in refrigerated and frozen strawberries. If strawberries are washed, they must be wiped down with a paper towel before storage.
- Spraying with vinegar water: Spraying fresh strawberries with vinegar water (1 part vinegar and 2 parts water) will remove the microbes on the surface of the strawberries and preserve them for longer. However, they must be properly dried with a paper towel after washing.
- Chop off the stem: Removing the stem will make both refrigerated and frozen strawberries last longer.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve strawberries” and discussed in depth the main methods used to preserve strawberries.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.