Did you ever have a time you wanted a fruit that was not in season, so you ended up spending too much money because the store jacked up the prices. Or did you ever want to use a particular type of produce that you can’t even find because it’s not in season???
This happens to me a lot…. And these are the main reasons why I like to freeze every piece of produce I can get my hands on. Because sometimes I want cheap strawberries or peaches in the winter time… It also helps me to preserve my fruit to keep them from spoiling if I can’t use them in a timely manner.
So every week I order produce from a food co-op, and I also like to catch fabulous deals on seasonal fruits. What we don’t use for cooking, juicing, and smoothies, goes straight into the freezer.
Plus this process doesn’t take long at all! A few trays in the freezer doesn’t even take me five minutes to prep, and it only takes a few minutes to bag and place them in the freezer.
This past weekend berries were the star of the show because I found great sales, and my weekly produce basket contained a lot of berries as well.
I knew we couldn’t make it through all of our berries in a timely manner. So I got to freezing…. First I start by gently washing my berries with cold water. Then, I make sure they are drained (I usually let the berries drain in a colander for a few minutes). Then, I place the berries on pan that has been lined with freezer paper. I make sure to lay the fruit in a single layer on the pan so they don’t clump up together leaving me with a big ball of frozen berries that I can’t measure out for recipes.
After that, I place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so to flash freeze the berries. This helps them to harden so they won’t become ball of frozen mush.
And then the berries go into a freezer safe plastic storage bag or container. And my berry berries will last for up to 10 months in the freezer. But I never leave them in the freezer that long, because we use them up way before that! We’re Greedy Like That!
Note: Frozen berries get extremely soft when you let them thaw. I place my frozen berries right into my recipes (straight from the freezer), unless my recipe calls for something like pureed raspberries, etc…. I also like to measure out how many berries I place in each freezer bag then label the bag with how much produce is in each bag (i.e. 1 cup of raspberries, chopped celery, etc.), so that I can have the correct measurements for recipes.
Want more freezer tips? Check out other freezer tips located in our Savory Savings section.