One of my favorite things the summer season brings happens to be an abundance of fresh fruits and fresh berries, in particular. I love them as a snack, in a fruit smoothie, as a dessert topping (YES!), and so much more. The problem is that I go a little crazy sometimes at the Farmer’s market and end up buying a whole bunch, then I need to make sure they don’t go to waste. Fortunately, I’ve learned that berries actually freeze very well and can be used for just about anything after frozen. Here are some ways to make your fresh berries last a little longer when you freeze them!
How to Freeze Berries:
1) Use the freshest berries you can find and do this process as soon after bringing them home as possible.
2) Rinse the berries in cold water and remove any stems or leaves.
3) Drain as much water from the berries as possible. Then lay them out on a paper towel to dry.
4) Lay out the berries out on a baking sheet with sides so they don’t roll off and place in the freezer. If your freezer does not allow this due to size or available space, you can stack them in a freezer safe storage container.
5) Place the sheet of berries into the freezer for about an hour, or until frozen.
6) Transfer the frozen berries in a plastic bag or freezer container. (Don’t forget to label with what is inside and date.) If you are using freezer zipper bags, get as much air out as possible before sealing. If possible it works better to freeze in the portion sizes you will likely be using so you just need to thaw out one at a time.
The berries will keep for about 6 months in the freezer. If you need to thaw them to use, just place in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple hours before using. Or if making smoothies or something that requires frozen berries, just take them out and use them as is.