Did you know that strawberries may be frozen with or without sugar? Do not add sugar beforehand to strawberries that you plan to make jelly or jam with. If freezing strawberries with sugar, rinse the berries, remove the stems and slice if desired. Place four to five cups of berries in a large bowl. In another bowl, place one-half to three-fourths cup sugar. If desired, one teaspoon ascorbic acid mixture may be added to the sugar to help the strawberries retain their bright red color. Sprinkle the sugar over the berries and gently mix until coated. Let stand for about ten minutes to allow the berries to make juice. Pour the berries and juice into freezer bags or containers, leaving one inch headspace in the bags.
If freezing without sugar, rinse the berries and remove the caps. Place the whole berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze just until firm. Pack the frozen berries in freezer bags or containers.
Photo: Jessica McVea
Strawberry Bread, (RRR IV, Warm Welcomes, Pg 116)
Creamy Strawberry Spread:
- 1 (20 ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
For the spread: drain the strawberries, reserving the juice and strawberries. Process the reserved juice and cream cheese in a food processor until creamy. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until serving time.
For the bread: mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the reserved strawberries, oil and eggs to the well and stir until combined. Spoon the batter into two 4×8 loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until the loaves test done. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with the spread. Makes two loaves.
*this bread can be frozen for up to six months.