I’m berry happy right now.
My freezer is FULL of the raspberries and saskatoons I picked and froze this year.
Why Freeze Your Own Berries:
- Other than raw or fresh, frozen food retains more nutrients and vitality than most other forms of preservation.
- You know if they are really organic.
- You know if they were really fresh.
- You save money!
- It is your food that you picked with care. It contains all the outside memories and good feelings of berry picking.
Because of all this….. I think they taste better!
Fresh and Raw are Always Best
Of course I prefer fresh berries! The problem is when they are not in season or growing in my garden or at the farmer’s market. Yes, you can buy fresh berries year round at the supermarket, but they are full of insidious pesticides. You can also buy organic berries at the health food store, which usually cost a small fortune.
So I am happy to eat my thawed frozen berries the rest of the year. I put handfuls in myfruit salads and smoothies. Also, I make Raspberry Salad Dressing, and berry crumbles whenever I feel inspired. In fact, baking a crumble in the winter fills my home with warmth and a ‘berry’ pleasing aroma.
Directions for Freezing and Eating Your Berries:
1. With most berries you can wash them with water.
Take care with raspberries though. They must be very gently washed the by rinsing (never leave to soak). I do not wash or rinse my raspberries; I simply pick out the bits of leaves, stems etc.
2. Put the washed berries in a colander to drain and then lay them out on a tray todry.
With blueberries and Saskatoons, I put them in a lettuce spinner to dry them out.
3. Arrange the berries on a cookie sheet or any size baking tin.
This should only be one layer deep to ensure that the berries keep their shape and will not clump together.
4. Put berries on the cookie sheet in the freezer.
Don’t worry about having a small amount of freezer space to do all of the berries at once. They freeze very quickly in about 1/2 hour so you can keep loading the same cookie sheet with berries.
5. When the berries on the sheet are frozen, package them into sealed containers or freezer bags.
Freezer bags must be thick so as to prevent the berries from freezer burn.
6. Label the containers or bags of berries with name and date.
7. When you are ready to eat your frozen berries, thaw them in the fridge for 10 to 12 hours, or on your kitchen counter for a few hours.
Frozen berries will keep for many months.
Often, I am still eating my berries a whole year later right up until I am picking this year’s berries and they taste good.
What Berries Do YOU Freeze? (please share in comment section)
I live in central western Canada where the range of common berries is limited.
My favorite is actually a berry many people have not heard about—Saskatoons. You can watch me bragging about my Saskatoon bush in my front yard here: The Joy of Saskatoon Berries
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