Berries, berries, berries

A quick and simple way to preserve fresh berries is to freeze them.

Yes, it’s berry picking season! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, every kind of berry is now or will soon be ripe and ready for picking. If you are a berry lover like me, you will want to pick berries to savor now and to preserve through fall and winter.

Berries are easy to preserve. Freezing is a great way to keep that summer time taste available all winter long. Berries do not need to be blanched in order to freeze. Using a tray pack is a good way to keep the berries in your freezing container or bag. You can simply pour out enough berries for your purpose and put the remainder immediately back into the freezer.

To easily freeze berries for later use:

  • Clean your berries
  • Pick out any leaves or stems
  • Rinse in cold running water being careful not to soak the berries (in order to keep them from getting too wet) Drain well
  • Carefully put the berries in a single layer on a tray and put them into the freezer.
  • Freeze the berries for a short time (several hours) until they are frozen solid, and then lift the berries off the tray and place into your freezer bags or containers.
  • Seal and place back into the freezer immediately without allowing them to thaw.

Michigan State University Extension offers food preservation workshops where you can learn about topics such as freezing, pickling, pressure canning and more. To see what courses are available in your area, go to the events page of the MSU Extension website.

If you are unable to attend an in-person workshop, there is also an online food preservation curriculum available from MSU Extension. The online course, titled Food Preservation Online has a one-time cost of $10. You can also register through eXtension Campus.

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