Berries are usually one of the earliest fruits to hit the local farmers market – and we love them!
But when berries show up in season, they often show up by the boat-load and are gone a week or two later. The best time to buy them is when they are fresh and ripe, but sometimes you end up with just too many berries to eat! Of course, you can turn them into jam and can them, but another option is to freeze them. Then you’ll have ripe berries in your “pantry” whenever you need them – for a quick jam, to top your ice cream, add to a smoothie, make a pie, or to flavor your water!
How to freeze your berries: (also works well with peaches & nectarines!)
- First, pop them in the refrigerator for a 1-24 hours to give them a slight chill. This will help them hold up to washing (this is especially true with raspberries).
- Rinse the berries gently under cool water.
- Lay them out on a clean towel in a single layer to give them a chance to dry. You might need to roll them after an hour or replace the towel to soak up all the moisture.
- Prep them for freezing – this is mostly for strawberries that are bigger and have stems. Maybe cut off the stems (although if they’ll end up being juiced later, leave the stems on!) or cut them into smaller pieces based on how you’ll most likely use them later.
- Lay them out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for ~3 hours. This will freeze them solid and keep them from sticking together.
- Place them in a freezer-thickness ziplock bag and label with the month/year.
Berries that are carefully prepped and frozen should last about a year. Enjoy!
Some recipes that work great with frozen fruit: