Strawberries are like nature’s candy, especially when they are fresh and in their prime. However, these fresh berries go from sweet and ripe to soft and spoiled in no time at all if you store them improperly. We’ll show you how to store strawberries using various methods for the short and long term.
Freshly picked strawberries are the best, whether they are from your garden or the farmer’s market. With scrumptious strawberry recipes like strawberry shortcake, strawberry cobbler, and strawberry pie, it’s easy to get overzealous when berry picking.
But, what should you do when you have more strawberries than are possible to eat in a day or two? Strawberries spoil very quickly, especially if some of them have blemishes or damage.
What looks firm and red today quickly turns brown and moldy tomorrow. Therefore, it’s essential to clean and store them using the right techniques to ensure they maintain freshness as long as possible.
- Cleaning and Storing Fresh Strawberries for Short and Long Term
- Best Way to Store Strawberries on the Counter
- Storing Strawberries in the Refrigerator
- How to Store Strawberries in the Fridge after Slicing
- Keeping Strawberries Fresh with a Vinegar Bath
- Storing Strawberries in the Freezer
- How to Freeze Sweetened Strawberry Slices
- Making and Freezing Strawberry Cubes
- Drying Strawberries in the Oven and Dehydrator
- Make Strawberry Jam for Refrigerator Storage
- How to Make and Store Strawberry Jelly
- Pickling Strawberries for Refrigerator Storage
- Making and Freezing Strawberry Ice Cream
- Making Sherbet with Frozen Strawberries
- Using Dried Strawberries to Make Cookies
- Making a Fruit Smoothie with Frozen Strawberries
Cleaning and Storing Fresh Strawberries for Short and Long Term
The key to keeping strawberries-fresh is to choose fruits without soft spots or discoloration, like when storing peaches and a variety of other fruits and vegetables.
Firm, healthy berries go a long way and are easier to store, whether you keep them on the countertop, in the fridge or freezer, or decide to make preserves.
Best Way to Store Strawberries on the Counter
It’s unnecessary to store fresh strawberries in the fridge if you plan on eating them within a day. Here is the best way to store strawberries at room temperature for quick and healthy snacking.
Begin by sorting through the berries and remove damaged or moldy strawberries from the bunch to prevent mold from spreading through them all. Do not wash them until you eat them and avoid touching them too much.
Place the good strawberries in a paper towel-lined bowl, rather than the container they came in. Set them on the countertop and snack on them whenever the urge strikes you.
Storing Strawberries in the Refrigerator
Storing strawberries in the fridge is ideal if you cannot eat them right away. The refrigerator keeps them fresh for up to seven days and is a great place to keep them for daily snacks or desserts.
Line a storage container with a paper towel and set it aside. Sort through the strawberries and discard any that are soft or moldy.
Place unwashed, whole berries in a colander without crowding them and place it on the refrigerator shelf. Do not cover them with plastic to prevent moisture buildup.
How to Store Strawberries in the Fridge after Slicing
Sliced strawberries are tasty tossed on ice cream and added to cereal. While they don’t last as long as whole berries, they keep for three or four days in this manner. Here is how to store strawberries in the fridge after slicing them.
Rinse the berries under cold water and slice them into desired pieces, while discarding the leafy stem cap. Pour the strawberries into a storage container and add sugar.
Stir them gently to evenly coat them, place the lid on the container, and keep it in the refrigerator for a few days.
You can also store cut watermelon in the fridge but there’s no need to add sugar. The watermelon is sweet enough on its own.
Keeping Strawberries Fresh with a Vinegar Bath
Vinegar has natural preservative qualities. Soaking your whole strawberries in a water/vinegar bath before storing them in the fridge helps the berries hold their firmness and texture for up to a week.
Combine water and vinegar in a bowl large enough to accommodate the fruit. Dunk the berries into the solution, drain them in a salad spinner, and pat them dry with paper toweling.
Line the inside of a storage container with a paper towel and insert the berries. Cover with a lid and refrigerate them away from other fruits and vegetables.
Storing Strawberries in the Freezer
When trying to determine where to store strawberries, the freezer is often an option that comes to mind, but can strawberries be frozen? Yes, these berries are easy to freeze whole and last up to one year.
Rinse the berries under cool water and cut the leafy caps off each one. Place them in a single layer, flat side down, on a baking sheet and set them in the freezer to flash freeze. Transfer the frozen strawberries to a storage container and return them to the freezer.
Thaw frozen strawberries in the refrigerator for several hours prior to use or use them frozen in a smoothie.
Freezing is the best way to store bananas, too, since they don’t last too long on the counter. It’s important to remove the peel prior to freezing as it is quite difficult to remove it after the banana is frozen.
How to Freeze Sweetened Strawberry Slices
Sweetened berry slices are delicious and make an excellent topping for everything from cake and ice cream to oatmeal and toast. Keeping a bunch on hand in the freezer allows you to enjoy sweet fruit for ten months or more.
Rinse the strawberries under cool water and slice off the leafy caps. Cut the berries into even slices, place them into a bowl, and add the sugar. Stir them gently to coat.
Let them sit for about ten minutes or so, and then scoop them into a freezer bag. Press as much air out as possible and close it tightly shut before placing it in the freezer.
Making and Freezing Strawberry Cubes
If you’re running out of ideas to store strawberries, consider making ice cubes. Frozen cubes of strawberries are great for adding to smoothies or tossing into your favorite beverage. They last three months in the freezer.
Cut the leafy tops off the strawberries, place the fruit in a blender, add lemon juice, and blend them until smooth. Pour the berry puree into an ice cube tray and freeze them until solid.
Pop the cubes from the tray, place them in a freezer bag, and press out the air before sealing it. Label the bag and set in the freezer.
Drying Strawberries in the Oven and Dehydrator
Drying fruits and veggies is an excellent way to prolong their shelf life, and they last up to two years stored in the pantry. Add dried strawberries to hot oatmeal and cold cereal, or eat them as a snack while on-the-go.
Remove the leafy tops off the berries and then cut the remaining fruit into eight-inch slices. Place them in a single layer on food dehydrator trays and dry them at 135°F for about six to seven hours.
If you do not have access to a dehydrator, spread the slices on a cookie pan and set it into an oven preheated to 350°F.
Immediately reduce the heat to 200°F and bake them, turning every 15 minutes until dry. Pour the dried berries into a storage container and keep it in a dark, cool kitchen or pantry area.
Make Strawberry Jam for Refrigerator Storage
If you’ve never had homemade strawberry jam, then you’re missing out. There’s nothing better than smothering a piece of toast with sweet jam full of strawberry chunks, and a jar lasts about one month in the refrigerator.
Place the berries into a bowl and crush them in batches until you have four cups of mashed strawberries. Combine them in a large pot with sugar and lemon juice and stir on low heat to dissolve the sugar.
Turn the temperature up to high and continue stirring until the mixture reaches 220°F. Pour the jam into canning jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace, seal them with lids, and place them in the fridge to eat right away.
How to Make and Store Strawberry Jelly
Unlike jam, jelly is clear and contained in its juice form. It’s easier to spread and a good choice if you do not like fruit pulp on your sandwiches. This basic recipe is easy to prepare and has a two-year shelf life.
Place the hulled berries into a large bowl and mash them until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large pot and add sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Turn the temperature to high while whisking the mixture to dissolve the sugar for about one minute.
Remove the large pot from the heat and use a spoon to skim off any foam. Place a wide-mouth funnel into each jar and pour in the hot jelly, leaving about a half-inch of headspace.
Secure the covers in place and set the jars in a boiling canning pot for ten minutes. Remove the canning jars and let them cool at room temperature for 24-hours before storing them in the pantry.
Pickling Strawberries for Refrigerator Storage
Yes, you read the title correctly. It does indeed say pickled strawberries. While your first reaction is probably to recoil with uncertainty, pickled berries are sweet and tangy and taste delicious on sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.
Pack the prepared strawberries into a quart jar and set it aside. Pour balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, and salt into a medium pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Pour the hot brine over the strawberries to cover them and allow them to cool at room temperature before sealing and storing them in the fridge.
Making and Freezing Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry is one of the top three favorite flavors of ice cream, and it’s easier to make than you think. It lasts about two months in the freezer and is great for making a sundae or a strawberry shake.
Combine the strawberries, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl and mash the berries for about ten minutes. Scoop half the berry mixture to a blender, add the heavy cream, and blend until smooth.
Scoop the puree into the bowl with the remaining strawberries and place it in the freezer for four hours before freezing it in an ice cream maker. Scoop the ice cream into a storage container and place it in the freezer to firm up.
Making Sherbet with Frozen Strawberries
Sweet, cold, and refreshing, sherbet is a frozen dessert made with sweetened fruit and a healthy treat for curbing a sweet tooth. This dessert recipe takes only five minutes to prepare and lasts up to three months in the freezer.
Place the cup of milk into the freezer for one hour to chill. Combine the frozen strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse to chop coarsely until almost a puree.
Continue running the machine while pouring the cold milk into the mixture until just blended. Spoon the strawberry sherbet into chilled dessert glasses and serve immediately or store it in the freezer for later.
Using Dried Strawberries to Make Cookies
If you have a container of dried berries in your cupboard just waiting for your next recipe, how about making a batch of cookies? Strawberry cookies taste heavenly warm from the oven and last several days at room temperature or in the fridge.
Cream the butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until mixed, and slowly add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Turn the mixer speed to low and incorporate the flour, followed by the strawberries and chocolate chips.
Scoop heaping teaspoons of the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and set it in an oven preheated to 350°F for about ten minutes, or until golden brown. Move the cookies to a cooling rack before eating and storing them.
Making a Fruit Smoothie with Frozen Strawberries
Fruit smoothies are delicious, simple to make, and perfect for giving your body a boost of vitamins and energy. This recipe calls for frozen strawberries, along with strawberry jam, and produces enough servings for four people.
Pour the milk and jam into a blender, and add the frozen strawberries. Set the lid in place and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Pour the smoothie into chilled glasses and serve immediately.
Bringing fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries home from the grocery store only to discover you have a basket full of moldy berries the next day is disappointing.
Strawberry season only lasts so long, and knowing how to store your berries is key to enjoying their sweet, fresh flavor.
Now that you learned how to store strawberries using various methods, why not share our strawberry storage tips and recipes with your family on Facebook and Pinterest?