Monday, July 16, 2007

Freezing Strawberries

If you have ever wondered just how many Strawberries are in four flats, let me be the first to tell you there are alot! I know this from experience. I have just finished coring and slicing four full flats of Strawberries. Okay, maybe not four full flats, I am sure my children ate at least one quarter of a flat. However, it was alot of strawberries. But the point of this is to give you some insight on freezing strawberries.

The first thing I do is rinse them off very well and drain them. Then I pour them out of their container on to a flour sack kitchen rag. Either with a knife or a corer, I take off the stems and leaves and then slice them. A good quality egg slicer works amazingly well for slicing strawberries. Then I lay them out, in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place it, uncovered, in the freezer for at least one hour. After an hour I will remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and scrape the strawberries off the cookie sheet with a spatula or turner and into a plastic freezer bag. This prevents the strawberries from freezing together and becoming inseparable. Then I will return the strawberries, in their bag, to the freezer. There they will keep for up to a year.

Frozen Strawberries are great in smoothies, milkshakes or any frozen beverage. Thawed they will make yummy strawberry puree or strawberry syrup and are great in pancakes, muffins and bread. However, once frozen, strawberries cannot be thawed and expected to retain their shape or consistency and once thawed cannot be re-frozen.

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