Many hostesses are waiting for the height of summer or the beginning of autumn in order to take up the harvesting of berries and fruits for the winter. But you need to stock up on berries at the beginning of summer. After all, it is exactly when the tasty and fragrant strawberries ripen!
But it is famous not only for its taste. Strawberries are an excellent dietary and prophylactic agent for heart, kidney and liver disease. This berry is rich in vitamin C, potassium, iron and other beneficial trace elements.
But when cooking jam or compote, some vitamins and nutrients are destroyed, so the best option to keep strawberries fresh is to freeze.
How to prepare strawberries for freezing
For freezing the best fit strawberry medium size. It should not be overripe, because then such a berry after defrosting will turn into a mash. But green strawberries won't work either. Because freezing will add more acid to the sour berry. But strawberries, like strawberries, freeze well.
Strawberries are harvested in dry weather, preferably in the afternoon, when the heat subsides. Strawberries are torn from sepals and neatly piled on trays or trays.
Berries need to try to quickly prepare to freeze, as the strawberries picked from the bushes quickly lose their freshness and begin to sour.
Many people think that strawberries do not need to be washed. But unlike jams, where strawberries are cooked, many microbes remain in frozen strawberries. Therefore, for health it is still better to wash strawberries. Strawberries are washed with sepals, so that juice does not flow out before time. Berries are placed in small batches in a colander and washed under running cold water with a shower or dipping a colander with berries into a basin with cold water several times.
Then the berries spread on a sieve or colander to glass the water.
After that, the berries are sorted, laying aside crumpled and crushed, and the spoiled ones are immediately thrown away.
How to freeze strawberries without sugar
Whole berries are frozen with and without the sepals.
Berries with sepals better retain their shape during freezing and thawing.
If the sepals are removed, then do it very carefully, so as not to mash the berries.
Prepared berries spread on a cloth or paper towels to dry. But it is impossible to keep them that way for a long time (maximum of an hour), as they will soon begin to release juice and become wet.
Then the berries are laid out on a tray covered with film so that they do not touch each other, and put in the freezer for the initial freezing.
After 2-3 hours, when the berries become hard, they are laid out in plastic containers, covered with lids and put into the freezer.
You can also pack frozen berries in small plastic bags for food storage. But the bags must be strong enough so that they do not break during storage of the berries.
Frozen berries are stored separately from meat products, or at least sealed.
How to freeze strawberries with sugar
Strawberries with sugar freeze without sepals.
The berries are washed and spread on a sieve or in a colander. After all the water is drained, strawberries are laid out in plastic containers, sprinkled with sugar in layers. Cover tightly with lids and place in the freezer.
You can also fold the strawberries, sprinkled with sugar, into small, dense plastic bags with a clasp, give them a flat rectangular shape without pressing down on the strawberries, and put them in the freezer.
If the strawberry is very large, then it must be cut into several pieces and pour in sugar. Then spread out in containers and put in the freezer. By the way, it is better not to freeze whole large strawberries. Firstly, it freezes for a long time, and secondly, after thawing it softens and turns into a “porridge”.
Berries need to be put in bags or containers in exactly the quantity you may need at one time. After all, frozen berries can not be re-frozen.
How to freeze strawberry puree with sugar
For this method of freezing suitable any berries, including crumpled (but not spoiled!)
The berries are ground in a blender or using ordinary tolkushki, adding sugar to taste. In this case, there is no strict dosage for sugar, therefore each housewife is guided by her own taste.
Then the puree is poured into plastic containers, small plastic bottles with lockable lids and put into the freezer. But it must be remembered that all liquids expand during freezing; therefore, it is necessary to fill the containers only by two thirds of the height. Such mashed potatoes after defrosting have the same taste as fresh strawberries.
How to freeze strawberries in syrup
To do this, you must first boil the syrup at the rate of 300 grams of sugar per 1 liter of water, adding lemon juice or citric acid to taste. Cool it down.
The washed berries should be folded in containers suitable for freezing and poured over with syrup. Large berries must be pre-cut into several pieces. Berries stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours, then hermetically sealed with lids and put into the freezer.
How to defrost strawberries
If the strawberries are subjected to quick defrosting, then in the end you can get an unsightly mess. Therefore, frozen berries are transferred directly in the container from the freezer to the refrigerator, in which they defrost naturally.