April 26, 2010

How to Freeze Berries

Last year, a farm in North Carolina had pick-your-own blueberries for only $1/lb.  As you know, that was a great deal. My family went to the farm several times and picked enough blueberries to eat during the summer, to make jelly, and to freeze for later use in cobblers and such.  Just last week I used up another bag while making blueberry pancakes for my kids.

I picked up a few packages of strawberries at Aldi last week for $1.19 and then a few more at Walmart this week for $1.  I’m stocking the freezer for later.  Since berries are such a great price right now, I thought I’d give you some tips on how to freeze them. 

You will need:

  • fresh berries
  • a pan or tray that will fit in your freezer
  • spatula
  • strainer or colander
  • storage containers or freezer bags

1.  Start with the freshest berries. Cut off any bad spots or toss rotten berries.  Remove any stems.  (Some say not to wash blueberries before freezing because it makes the skins tough. I didn’t notice a difference though.)

2.  Thoroughly wash the berries. Let them sit in a colander to drain the excess water.  (I let mine sit about 30 minutes.)

3.  Spread a single layer of berries onto a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer.  Leave them overnight.

4.  The next day, pull the cookie sheet from the freezer.  Use a spatula to pop the berries from the pan.  They should come off of the pan fairly easily.  If not, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

5.  Put the berries into freezer bags, reusable containers, or airtight bags. (Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the vacuum seal bags.)

6.  Put the frozen berries back into the freezer until ready to use.

Now whenever you need berries, you can open your container and pull out as many as you need.  Sometimes I just dump them out from the freezer bag or reach in to the container and pull out a handful. They are handy for throwing into a cobbler or pancakes.


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