Strawberries are extremely versatile – they can be a sweet dish, a savoury delight or even a refreshing drink! Here are our top tips for selecting, storing and freezing this fabulous fruit.
Size plays no part in determining the perfect strawberry. In fact, small strawberries are equally as sweet and juicy as large ones. The perfect strawberry should be fully coloured, firm, bright, plump and shiny. Make sure the cap (calyx) is attached, green and fresh-looking.
The moisture content of strawberries is high, so always remove fruit from punnets and place in a large container lined with absorbent paper. Strawberries are best stored at 4°C, either uncovered or loosely covered. Serve at room temperature. Only remove their caps after washing and just prior to use.
Are you disappointed when the strawberry season comes to a close? You’re not the only one! But there’s really no need to say goodbye to the berry – freeze some strawberries for winter instead!
Freezing strawberries is easy – the key is to remember to freeze them individually as this will ensure maximum firmness once they’re defrosted. You can safely keep strawberries frozen for up to one year, which gives you plenty of time to turn them into jams, sauces and desserts or to use them in smoothies and other delicious drinks like daiquiris or punch.
Pick plump, ripe berries to freeze, then rinse them in iced water and drain well. Next, hull the strawberries before laying them out on a tray in a single layer. This is so the strawberries freeze individually and don’t clump together. Place the strawberries in the freezer until frozen, then transfer them to containers or freezer bags to store. If you opt for the freezer bag, expel as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn. Note down the use by date as one year away – but knowing strawberries lovers, they’ll soon be long gone!
Victorian Strawberry Season
Victorian strawberries are at their best from November until late May.
Please visit www.vicstrawberry.com.au for more information.