Strawberry picking has been one of the most fun family activities I have done since moving to the south.
The whole family loves it from start to finish. Probably because the rewards are pretty sweet!
This past week we went on our second annual strawberry farm visit and had a ball. This year we opted to try a new farm. We ventured out to Page Farms, Raleigh location.
The berry field was huge and there was no shortage of space to get out and pick and not be in the way of other strawberry pickers.
Last year when we went after we got home, I kept some of the berries out to snack on and froze the rest. And by froze I mean I just put them in a ziplock bag and stuck them in the freezer. I thought there has to be a better way.
And there is!
So I am going to share with you the right way to freeze them, so you don’t have a hunk of berries to chop away at when you are ready to use them.
But first I’ll share a couple tips for getting the best, sweetest, juiciest berries when you go.
Tips For Strawberry Picking
Color is Important
The best berries are the ones that a full bright red color. Those that have green or white spots are not fully ripened. And once picked they will not ripe further.
Contrarily, those that are too red, like a deep dark red, are over ripened. These will usually be mushy in texture and less firm.
Let’s Talk Texture
So this is important too. If a berry is red but feels mushy, you don’t want it. It is over ripened and when eaten or used in recipes it may change the overall composure of it.
You want a medium berry. Those that are too small may have too many seeds and this that are larger may be more hollow. Meaning they appear to give you more on the outside but not so on the inside.
Cleaning After You Have Gone Strawberry Picking
You don't want to come home and rinse all the berries. Actually, you don’t want to rinse until you are ready to eat or use the berries. And rinse with the stem on.
Remove the stem after you have rinsed.
When you come home you can put the berries in the fridge. If you are not planning to use them in the first day or so, you may opt to freeze them.
How To Freeze Your Fresh Picked Strawberries
Don’t be like me. Don’t just lump them up and freeze them. The juice from the berries will freeze and essentially mold them together.
Instead, lay the strawberries out on sheet pans and freeze them.
After they are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer safe container and freeze.
When you are ready to use them, you can thaw and eat or use them as you normally would. Noting that the texture will have changed slightly from being frozen.