Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Freezing Berries

October2010 278 Even though my berry plants are only 2 years old, they have produced very well! We have had several freezes and 2 light dustings of snow, and my raspberries and strawberries are continuing to produce fruit!  They have slowed down considerably, but the fruit still trickles in. My blackberries, blueberries and gooseberries have behaved properly and acknowledged the season.

The problem I have found with my berries is that I either have too little or too much. Not enough to do anything with but use on cereal. Or so much that there is no way we can eat it all before it goes bad. I do use it make jams, but harvests are not predictable, and I can’t always clear my schedule just because the berries are ripe. So whether I have too little and want to save up berries to make muffins or have too much, I freeze berries to keep them from spoiling.

I collect my berries in a colander, then I can bring them in and rinse them immediately and let them air dry: October2010 320
Once the berries are dry, I lay them out flat on a cookie sheet: October2010 317 I lose some in the process to my little helper!

I place the cookie sheet in the freezer for several hours or until the berries are frozen solid. Then I place the berries in a container with a lid (but a gallon size plastic bag would work too).
October2010 321Even if you don’t grow your own berries you can use this technique to take advantage of the great berry sales at your grocery store or Farmer’s Market in the spring and fall. I add frozen berries directly to smoothies and muffins. I thaw them before I make jam.

This post is linked to Real Food Deals and Works for Me Wednesday.


Debbie said...

I so want to plant raspberries this spring! I am re-doing my strawberry beds - what type of strawberries did you plant that are still producing?

Alea Milham said...

I plant everbearing Strawberries and they definitely live up to their name!

I also put down a thick layer of bark which holds in moisture in the hot summer weather and insulates the roots against the cold. Once the temperatures begin to drop below 25 regularly I will mulch them with the fallen leaves.