‘Tis the season… berry season! Fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries… is there anything better?!
While fresh berries are available year round at your local grocery store, they are often less expensive and more plentiful in the summer, making it a great time to stock up. Late spring and summer is also the time to take advantage of your local u-pick berry farms. But this leads to a very important and very common question: how can I preserve fresh berries to be used later in the year?
One of our favorite options for preserving berries is to freeze them. We like this technique so much because it’s so simple and so effective. Read on to learn how to freeze berries.
How To Freeze Berries For Later Use
Step 1: Remove any stems from the berries and wash. Gently pat the berries dry with a paper towel or let air dry.
Step 2: Once the berries are completely dry, place them on an baking sheet (use one with a lip so the berries do not roll off). Arrange berries as evenly as possible and do not stack berries on top of each other. This will prevent the berries from lumping together.
Step 3: Place the baking sheet of berries in the freezer for a few hours or until frozen through.
Step 4: Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the berries into a freezer bag. Seal the bag tightly, removing most of the air. Store in your freezer or deep freeze for up to 12 months.
- Do not wash delicate berries, like raspberries or boysenberries, under running water. Instead, place the berries in a colander and dip the colander into a bowl of clean, cool water and swish around gently. Remove the colander from the water and allow the berries to drain. Then transfer berries to a paper towel to finish drying.
- Wash strawberries before removing the leaves and stem.
- If you’d like, you can hull your strawberries before you freeze them.
- Be sure to write the date on your freezer bag so you know when the berries must be used by.
How To Defrost Frozen Berries
Depending on your recipe, you may not need to defrost your berries before using them. For example, frozen berries are perfect smoothies. Simply put the frozen berries directly into your blender with your other smoothie ingredients.
If you do need to defrost your berries, simply place them in a bowl and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
How To Use Frozen Berries
Use your frozen berries in pies, muffins, pancakes, cobblers, or smoothies.
Frozen berries can also be used to make jellies and jams. This allows you to postpone the jam and jelly making process until the the weather cools off. If you’ve ever been stuck in a hot kitchen in the summer making jams and jellies, then you understand the appeal of waiting until it’s cooler out!
Here are a few of our favorite berry recipes that would work wonderfully with frozen berries:
Do you have a question about freezing berries? Leave it in the comments and we’d be happy to answer it for you.