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4 Ways To Preserve Strawberries

A few posts back I talked entirely about strawberries. This time of the year, strawberries are incredibly abundant and affordable. I challenged many of you to head out to your nearest U-Pick to get a bucket of strawberries and if you are like me, you “accidentally” picked many more than you could ever hoped to eat fresh. I for one, hardly expected to end up with 20 plus pounds of strawberries this year.

That being said, I know many of you are using your strawberries for baking and fresh eating, but what if you still have too many left that could over ripen any day? Sometimes you have to get a little creative. Here are four of my favorite ways to preserve excess strawberries.

1. Jelly

You can never have to much jelly. In most households, if someone is really desperate for a meal they will reach for the peanut butter and jelly to make a quick sandwich. Even the cooking impaired generally have the ability to do SOMETHING with jelly. You could make the standard plain strawberry batch, or even make something as unique as strawberry-habanero jelly. If you own a water bath caner, make a large batch and can the extra for use later in the year. We generally use the Ball Canning Recipe when making our jelly, but there are tons of recipes out on the internet.

2. Dehydrated

If you own a dehydrator, you may be inclined to use it on your strawberries. This is a pretty unique way of preserving berries, but it’s incredibly easy. What I do is wash the berries first, followed by the removal of their green tops. Next slice them into halves or quarters. Place these on your dehydrator trays with the outer flesh facing downward. This will help keep the juice from dripping down onto all the others below. I placed mine on 135 degrees and left it to dry for about 15 hours. The end result is a leathery, chip like, dried strawberry. Use these in things like cereal, granola, or combined with nuts like a trail mix.

3. Freeze

One of the easiest ways to preserve, not only strawberries, but most other types of berries, would be to freeze them. With strawberries I will wash them and remove their green tops before I slice them either in half or in quarters. You could leave them whole if you really wanted to.

These can then be placed into a freezer bag and put in your freezer. That’s it, you’re done! What is great about this is that any time of the year, you can take out a few berries and use them in things like yogurt, oatmeal, or even baking. It’s a bit of spring all year round.

4. Wine

My favorite way to preserve excess strawberries is to make wine with them. This takes the most amount of effort and the longest amount of time, but is worth it. To make a single gallon of strawberry wine, you’ll need at least 3 and 1/2 pounds (I generally like to go with 4 pounds per gallon if possible) of strawberries. When I first began making strawberry wine, I found a pretty solid recipe on Jack Keller’s wine making site (http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques5.asp) and have had some really nice results. Since that first batch, I have tweaked this recipe in my own way, but I highly recommend giving wine making a shot and his recipe is a good starting point. One tip, if you freeze the berries first before you start the wine batch, it should bring out more of the strawberry flavor in the wine than if you used them fresh.

Well, those are my four favorite ways of preserving extra strawberries at the moment. Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite ways are! I’m always up for trying new things.


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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

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