For anyone seeking a more sustainable diet, preserving seasonal food is essential to nutritious and variant food choices year round. Local berries are fun to pick, delicious and can often be foraged for free, even in urban environments. Read about what to pick, where and when at Growing Up Green: Foraging in Nature. When you're done picking, here's the skinny on freezing your finds.
Freeze Soon After Picking
Freezing berries, or any fruit for that matter, soon after picking is the best way to maintain the highest nutritional content when preserving fresh foods.
Pick Berries. - If picking with kids, a berry-picking bucket on a cord is very helpful.
Pick Berries. - Most berries can simply be washed in a colander. However, BLUEBERRIES should be washed when they are defrosted, not before being frozen. Washing before freezing makes the skins tough. Additionally, RASPBERRIES are very delicate and are better washed by gently rolling on a wet cloth to dislodge dirt and bugs.
Lay the Berries Flat. - Lay the berries in a single, flat layer on a cookie tray. To ensure berries do not stick together, leave space between berries. Parchment paper can be placed on the berries, then covered with a second layer for freezing.
Freeze the Berries. - Place the tray of berries flat in coldest part of the freezer. For a solid freeze, leave over night. When rushing, an hour will suffice.
Freeze the Berries. - Transfer the berries from the cookie tray to bags or containers for long term storage.
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