Whether you pick strawberries from your own garden or at a Pick-Your-Own farm, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Strawberries are easy to freeze using a dry-sugar or syrup pack. The dry-sugar pack is especially easy and gives the best flavor and color for sliced or crushed berries.
For whole frozen berries a syrup pack is recommended because it produces a plump, well-shaped berry after thawing. For special sugar-free diets, strawberries can be frozen unsweetened, but they will not be as high in quality as sugar- or syrup-packed berries.
Twelve pounds or eight quarts of fresh strawberries will yield approximately 13 pints of frozen berries. No matter which type of pack you choose, follow these general directions for preparing and packaging strawberries for freezing:
When packaging for freezing:
Dry Sugar Pack
Make a syrup using 1-1/4 cups water to each cup of sugar. Dissolve the sugar in either cold or hot water. If hot water is used, be sure to chill the syrup before using. Use about 1/2 to 1/3 cup of sugar for each pint container. Place whole or sliced berries in containers and cover with cold syrup. Package and freeze.
Pack whole, sliced or crushed berries in containers and cover with water or berry juice. For better color retention, add ascorbic acid to the water, berry juice, or crushed berries. Cover crushed berries with their own juice. Package and freeze as discussed earlier.
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