How to Freeze Berries!

Ingredients and Equipment fresh berries – any quantity Vacuum food sealer or “zip lock” type freezer bags (the freezer bag version is heavier and protects better against freezer burn.) a pan or tray that will fit in your freezer a strainer or colander Instructions Step 1 – Get your berries Start with the freshest berries you can get. Look for plump, full berries with a good color. I’ve used blueberries as an example, but these directions would equally well for any other berry (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) See the picking tips page for other berries. Step 2 – Drain the berries Use a large sieve or colander to remove as much water as possible. I usually let them sit for about 10 minutes in the colander. NOTE about blueberries: Do not wash blueberries and related berries (saskatoons). According to University of Georgia and Clemson University extension services, washing these berries results in a tougher skinned product. (Frankly, I’ve never noticed a difference, but I use frozen blueberries in cooked pies, anyway). The university extension services referred to above say to wash the berries after you remove them from the freezer to use. This only applies to blueberries and saskatoons. Step 3 – Spread the berries in a pan There are two ways of doing this. If you have space in your freezer, spread the berries out in a large oven pan with a lip or ridge. Put enough on to make 1 layer. This way they will freeze quickly and not be frozen together in a lump, so later you can remove only what you need without thawing the rest. If your freezer isn’t big enough to spread out as above, just drain as much of the water as you can (if you washed them), then put them into whatever container will...