3 Low-Sugar Methods for Preserving Strawberries

| 6/10/2016 8:51:00 AM

Tags: strawberries, berries, canning, dehydrating, freezing, food preservation, fruit, Eric Reuter, Missouri,

Fresh Strawberries From Garden 

Strawberries are a core component of our annual diet, as they’re one of the easiest fruits to grow and preserve. Many guidelines for strawberry preservation call for extraordinary amounts of added sugar, which we’ve found quite unnecessary for the fresh, sweet, high-quality berries we grow.

We’ve also found it quite effective to combine multiple preservation methods to make the processing work more efficient. Here are the three main ways we handle our fresh berries.

Using Sugar in Strawberry Preservation

While it’s possible to freeze strawberries without any sugar at all, a little sugar can be beneficial. In our experience, lightly sweetened berries last long and have better flavor than unsweetened berries.

Sugar’s ability to draw out some juices creates a protective syrup that seems to reduce freezer burn, and certainly increases the space efficiency of preservation by allowing berries to be crushed into a solid mass rather than packed loosely with air around them.

In our experience, ¼ cup sugar per quart of berries is ample for freezing and canning; we don’t use any sugar for dehydrating berries.

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