Strawberries are a sweet and healthful fruit cherished globally. They are abundant and inexpensive during their peak season. But how about when they are out of season? Thankfully, multiple storage methods can be employed to relish strawberries for a prolonged period post-harvest.
Keep Them in the Refrigerator
The simplest technique to extend the shelf-life of strawberries is by refrigeration. This process starts by gently washing the strawberries under cold water, then blotting them dry with a paper towel. Arrange the strawberries in a single layer in a container or a tray padded with paper towels. Encase the container or tray with a plastic wrap or a lid, then refrigerate it. By using this method, strawberries can stay fresh for up to a week.
Prolong Their Shelf Life by Freezing
Storing strawberries in the freezer is another effective way to enjoy them for an extended period. Start by rinsing the strawberries under cold water and patting them dry. Discard the stems and segment the strawberries. Arrange the strawberry pieces on a parchment paper-lined tray and freeze for about 1-2 hours. After they’re frozen, relocate the strawberries to a container or bag safe for freezer use, and remember to date it. Freezing can preserve strawberries for as long as 8 months.
Extend Their Shelf Life Through Dehydration
For an even more prolonged storage duration, dehydrating strawberries is the way to go. Begin by washing the strawberries under cold water and patting them dry. Remove the stems and thinly slice the strawberries. Arrange the strawberry slices on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate them following the manufacturer’s guidance. After dehydration, store the strawberries in an airtight container in a cool and dry location. Dehydrated strawberries can be kept for up to a year.
Preserve Them in Jars for Long-Term Storage
One more storage option for strawberries is preserving them in jars. This method involves rinsing the strawberries in cool water, patting them dry, and removing the stems. The strawberries are then cut into quarters and cooked with sugar and lemon juice until they soften and the liquid thickens. The cooked strawberries are transferred to sterilized jars and processed following the canning equipment’s instructions. Jars of preserved strawberries can also last for up to a year.
In-depth Guide on Preserving Strawberries in Jars
Preserving strawberries in jars allows us to relish the flavors of summer all year round. However, ensure you follow correct canning procedures and safety guidelines to preserve your strawberries properly and safely.
- Rinse the strawberries under cool water and pat them dry.
- Remove the stems and quarter the strawberries.
- Mix the strawberries with sugar and lemon juice in a pot. The quantity of sugar and lemon juice depends on the amount of strawberries, but generally, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice are used for every 4 cups of strawberries.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are soft, and the liquid thickens. This can take about 10-20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
- During this cooling period, sterilize your jars and lids as per your canning equipment’s instructions.
- Transfer the strawberry mixture into the sterilized jars, ensuring to leave around 1/2 inch of headspace.
- Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess mixture.
- Place the lids on the jars and fasten the rings until they are snug.
- Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting the time if you’re at high altitude. Always adhere to your canning equipment’s instructions.
- After processing, let the jars cool on a towel or rack. The jars should produce a “pop” sound, indicating they’ve sealed.
- Verify the jars’ seals by pressing down on the lid centers. If the lids are stationary, they’re sealed correctly.
- Label the jars with the date and store them in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
By following these instructions, you can preserve strawberries in jars and enjoy this delicious fruit throughout the year.