How To Freeze Berries To Last Through Winter Months
Posted Aug 19 2009 10:11pm
Commercial frozen berries are available in the market during winter. However, freezing berries on your own is economical. They last in the freezer up to a year if you know how to prepare them. Since berries are abundant during the summer months, the trick is to buy plenty of them while the price is low. Freeze them right and pull them out in winter when you crave for that distinct berry flavor in your dessert.
Freezing berries is extremely simple and leaves you with a supply of summer’s goodness to get you through a long winter.
Washing and Preparing the Berries
Thoroughly wash the berries to remove dirt, debris and bugs.
Place berries in a colander and rinse in a cold tap water. Turn berries to make sure sure every surface has been rinsed.
More delicate berries such as raspberries can be washed by placing them in the colander and dunking them in a sink filled with clean, cold water.
You may also a produce wash to thoroughly remove bacteria and pesticides from the berries. Soak the berries for a moment in a sink of cold water mixed with a small amount of produce wash, then transfer to a colander for a cold water rinse.
For strawberries, remove the hull, leaves, and any spoiled spots that look brown or mushy. For blueberries, remove all stems. Make sure to pick out berries that are moldy, mushy and not ripe.
Freezing the Berries
Place the berries in a single layer on a flat tray.
Pat the berries dry. Be gentle with more delicate berries.
When the berries are dry enough, place the tray on a flat surface in the freezer and allow berries to freeze for 24 hours.
Storing the Berries
Once frozen, place the berries in an airtight freezer container such as freezer bags, plastic freezer containers or glass jars.
Use a permanent marker to label the container what it contains and the date you started freezing it.
Using Frozen Berries
Use berries while in their frozen state because they tend to change texture after being frozen.
To make a smoothie, just throw them in the blender with some yogurt and juice.
To use them in muffins or other baked goods, toss them in with the dry ingredients to coat them and they will not clump together in the batter.