Posted by in simple living

maybe we should just call this food friday? today’s post accomplishes many goals:  first, it deals with beautiful red and blue berries perfect for 4th of july. 2nd, it’s in line with out eat local and in season initiative. 3rd, it’s the first post in a new series i’m kicking off called simple living!

freezing seasonal berries

berries are one of my biggest indulgences, there’s just not much that makes me happier than a fresh berry bursting in my mouth! as we’ve been talking about the importance (and fun!) of eating local and in season foods, today i want to touch on the importance of preserving some of those foods for enjoyment all year.  berries of all kinds are in season right now, and by preserving them, we can enjoy them for the rest of the year!  eating berries in winter not only come with less taste, but always leaves me feeling terribly guilty.  flown in from thousands of miles away, eating berries during winter comes with a huge environmental cost, plus it just doesn’t feel right.  so today we’ll talk about how to take advantage of your in season berries by freezing them, and how you can still be snacking on them come january- guilt free.

freezing seasonal berries

first things first, wash your berries!  i find it easiest to just plug up one side of my sink and rinse them till the water runs clear.

freezing seasonal berries

next, lay them out on a towel to dry.  you can blot them to help, or just let the water drain, but in the end you want them relatively dry before the next step.

freezing seasonal berries

next, lay your berries flat on a baking sheet in a single layer.  by spreading them out in single layer, you’ll prevent them from freezing in (hard to break) big berry clumps.

freezing seasonal berries

you can lay them flat on the pan, or on wax paper, and can even build them up by placing wax paper in between layers of berries.

freezing seasonal berries

place the pans of layered berries in your freezer.  you’ll want to leave them overnight (or for about 8 hours) before you take them out to bag them.

freezing seasonal berries

next step is removing them from the freezer and bagging them up for long term storage!  since you froze them in a single layer, they’ll remain loose in the bags for easy use.  they’ll last a long time so you’ll still be snacking on local berries even when february rolls around.

freezing seasonal berries

frozen berries have tons of uses, they’re great for snacking, pies, dessert toppings and especially smoothies (recipe coming soon!). they won’t be in season long, so don’t miss them at your farmer’s market!

{photos: bonnie forkner}

simple living

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6 comments

comments

  • Ooooh I never met a berry that I didn’t like. Lovely post, so helpful! [and lovely, delicious images!]

  • As an allotmenteer I can’t recommend the freezing and jam making joy of berries enough. We’re just after making 2 huge jars of Strawberry compote and have more to eat! Plus Mamma made rhurbarb, gooseberry and blackcurrant compote too. Lovely and it stores well in air tight jars – summer captured for those darker times.
    P.S. Blackberry gin is fabulous but oh no naughty!

  • As an allotmenteer I can’t recommend the freezing and jam making joy of berries enough. We’re just after making 2 huge jars of Strawberry compote and have more to eat! Plus Mamma made rhurbarb, gooseberry and blackcurrant compote too. Lovely and it stores well in air tight jars – summer captured for those darker times.
    P.S. Blackberry gin is fabulous but oh no naughty!

    http://growourown.blogspot.com = my allotment blog

  • Thanks for this, Bonnie! This part of western Washington is overflowing with delicious wild blackberries in late summer. Last year I froze tons of them but they were definitely “clumpy” and hard to get at when I went to use them (though still delicious). This year I’ll do it right!

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