It’s Berry Time!

Our raspberries and strawberries are producing prolifically, and the blueberries are on their way! We pick berries in the morning to enjoy with breakfast – I slice fresh strawberries on my peanut butter toast as a substitute to jam or jelly- yum!

The other night we harvested four pints of raspberries and even after giving a pint to our neighbors, realized there were plenty more on the canes that would be ready to pick the next day. In order to preserve the berries for later, we  freeze them. Freezing is a very simple and quick way to have delicious and affordable berries year round!

(If you don’t have your own berry patch at home, here is a great map of local U-Pick farms where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. And local farmers’ markets also will have ripe and delicious ready-to-go berries)

You will need:

  • Something to harvest the berries into (yogurt containers, berry boxes, bowls etc) or store or farmers market bought berries
  • Knife and cutting board (to cut tops off strawberries)
  • Colander or strainer
  • Tin or dish that fits in your freezer
  • Zip lock bags
  • Permanent marker
  • A freezer

Steps to freezing berries:
1. Pick ripe berries (strawberries, raspberries, Marion berries, loganberries, blueberries, etc)

2. Pour them into a colander or strainer and gently wash the berries. Let berries drain as much water off as possible.

3. Remove any stems (with strawberries, cut the tops off)

4.Pour berries onto a dish or tin – keep them in a single layer

5. Put the dish or tin in the freezer overnight

place berries in the freezer overnight

6. The next day, pick or pour the individual frozen berries into a zip lock bag- press the bag to remove as much air as possible
7. Label the berries with the month and date using a permanent marker (it is best to use the berries within a year)
8. Put the labeled bag into the freezer

Now you can have berries anytime of year! You can use the berries frozen – put them in a blender with other fruit and whip them into a smoothie. OR you can defrost the berries and add them to yogurt or  add to muffin, waffle or pancake mixes. To thaw: leave them in their bag put them into the refrigerator overnight, or let them sit on the counter for an hour or so. The  unthawed berries will be soft and juicy.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh or frozen berries?

(PS If you’d like a hands-on demonstration on  preserving fruits and vegetables, consider registering for our upcoming Preserving classes through our Learn and Grow program!)

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