Freezing Berries (any berry)- so quick and easy


Here's what I did one time I had an abundance of strawberries.  I was heading out of town the next day and knew I would never get through the container and I truly regretted that because this was the first batch of berries (of the year) that actually tasted like strawberries.  Determined not to waste a single berry I decided to freeze them.  In case you've never done that it is the simplest thing and something good to know for situations like this.  Here's what you do.

Take your berries and give them a quick rinse. You could actually just leave the berries in their container and rinse them in there since it is perforated.  Let them drain in the container for a moment and then cut them in any shape you want; slices, quarters, crushed... 

The only thing you don't want to do is leave them whole.  When berries are frozen whole and then thawed they turn rubbery and that's not good.  So cut them in some way.

Get an airtight container (appropriately sized for the amount you are doing) or a Ziploc bag.  If you're berries came in one of those quart-sized clear containers I would cut the berries into a bowl and then measure 1/4 cup sugar. Pour half of the berries in the bag, sprinkle half the sugar, pour the rest of the berries in the bag and then the rest of the sugar. 

Close and seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and then sort of mix things around with your fingers. Take the bag to the freezer and you are done.  That's how to handle strawberries.  

Blueberries, raspberries and Marion berries are even easier. Out of that group blueberries are the simplest. Simply take your berries and put them in a small ridged container and stick them in the freezer.

The reason for the hard container and not a Ziploc is that generally we like to use the berries in their whole form and not smashed.  So the hard sided container helps preserve their shape.  If you didn't care you could certainly use a plastic bag.  No sugar needed.

For the raspberry/blackberry/marionberry type berries you have some options.  If you are doing a whole bunch and want to be able to take only a few out at a time lay the berries on a baking sheet and freeze them independently or what we call in the business (IQF, individual quick freeze). 







When they are frozen ..


then transfer all of them to a rigid container or plastic bag, either one...


and send them to the freezer, again.  No sugar.  When you need some berries you can just pull a few out of the bag at one time and they will not stick to each other because they were IQF'd.

If you are going to be using the berries for a sauce and you know they will be mushed anyway, then I would just throw them in a baggie, with a little sugar, just as you did the strawberries.  That's it... Berry Freezing 101. 

Final thought...if you are doing larger quantities for long term storage I would suggest that the plastic bag you use be a heavier freezer bag, so it can withstand the harsh freezer climate for several months.  If you plan on using them soon, then the thinner plastic bags will be fine.

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