There are two ways (that I know of) to freeze strawberries. The first option is to freeze them whole. Hull the berries (by cutting off the leafy top), rinse them well with water, drain them well, place them on a cookie sheet (not touching each other) and then put the cookie sheets in the freezer. Once frozen, take the strawberries off the sheets and put them into containers to be kept in the freezer until you're ready to use them.
I tried this method the first year we had enough strawberries to squirrel some away. I didn't like it. As the berries thaw they get mushy and don't retain their vibrant color well. To be honest, I didn't know how to use them. I guess I thought I would make pies, but I'm spoiled and prefer fresh strawberry pie, so the thought of making pie out of these soft, dull-looking berries did not appeal to me one bit. (Now, if you have had great experience freezing your strawberries whole, I welcome your input in the comments section below.)
I head-over-heels prefer the second option- freezing crushed strawberries. There are countless uses for the crushed version and while some people may suggest adding lemon juice (to prevent browning) and/or sugar (for flavor), I use neither. The color remains vibrant, even after thawing, and sugar? Strawberries do not need sugar. At least that's what I think.
Putting them up this way is a cinch to do and is a great way to get your kids involved in preserving. Later in the summer when so much is done over a hot stove and canner, you may not want your little ones close by. Get them involved wherever you can- this is a great place to start.
Freezing Crushed Strawberries
Start by hulling the fresh, ripe strawberries. Also trim out any bad spots.
I like to then place them in a colander in my sink. Once your colander is full, rinse the berries really well, shaking them around a bit, so they all get a good washing. Don't worry about bruising them- you're going to crush them, remember?
Place the washed, hulled strawberries in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, or a fork, crush those berries. It's up to you how much crushing you (or a little person- here's where you bring in the kids!) will do. You can choose to crush them just a bit, leaving large pieces of strawberry, or crush them to smithereens which will lead to more of a strawberry sauce.
Ladle the crushed strawberries into containers, making sure to leave 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of head space (room at the top), so when they freeze they won't heave the lids off. Cover with lids and freeze.
To use, simply thaw and spoon over plain baked oatmeal, granola, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, Strawberry Brunch Souffle, etc. Or add to Tishy Fuloo, smoothies/popsicles, Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, or Strawberry Bars.
One more thing. Don't forget to reserve some of the loveliest berries for eating fresh.