If you are as much of a fan of berries as I am, I’m sure you are loving all of the delicious summer berries. Because they are in season right now, there have been and will continue to be some great deals on berries over the next few weeks that make them both delectable and affordable. The only bummer is that berries can be considered a taste of summer only because they are often very pricey and not quite as yummy during other times of the year.
If you want to enjoy berries throughout the year but want to stock up when the price is right, consider freezing them. Although the consistency of the berries will change slightly after being frozen, they will still be a cheap and tasty way to incorporate berries into your diet throughout the year. The berries that you freeze are great in smoothies (straight from their frozen state to the blender) and in fruit desserts such as cobblers and crisp after they are thawed. There are lots of potential uses for the frozen berries so be creative! Here are some steps to follow to freeze berries of any kind right when they are purchased for use throughout the year.
1. Prepare, wash, and dry the berries
Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries do not need any preparation, but you’ll want to slice up the strawberries to your desired size and toss the stems/leaves. Now you’re ready to wash them by placing them in a colander and rinsing with water. By doing the washing now, you’ll know the berries can be eaten immediately when removed from the freezer. In addition, the change in consistency and extra juiciness of the berries after being frozen will make them harder to wash frozen versus when they are fresh. Transfer the washed berries to paper towels, and dab them off to try so water droplets are removed.
2. Freeze berries individually
Place the washed and dried berries onto baking sheets. Be careful to leave a little bit of space in between each berry so they are all frozen individually instead of in clumps. This will make them easier to remove in whatever portion you want later instead of having a big chunk come out all at once. When the baking sheet is filled, place it in the freezer and be sure it is lying flat. Freeze the berries for several hours until they are firm and frozen solid.
3. Transfer to bags and freeze until needed
When the berries are frozen solid, transfer them to freezer bags of whatever size you prefer. It is best to place each type of berry in its own bag instead of mixing them together. Label each bag with the date and the name of the berry. Put the bags back in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
I can just about taste those breakfast berry smoothies already. Can you? Happy freezing!