Now is the time to take advantage of the low prices on abundant fruit to stock up for winter!
It’s honestly so easy to have berries ready for smoothies for basically the whole winter and into spring. I still have raspberries from last summer because I stretched out their use. The summer previous was the first time I had frozen my own berries in glass jars so I was being extra cautious to not use them all up before more were available this season.
I’ll show how I do this and how I avoid making any trash in the process.
Start with fresh berries. My first choices are raspberries and blueberries. My mom and I picked the raspberries from her bushes, and I purchased the flat of blueberries for $24. They are local and delicious. I love blueberries fresh, so I’ve been eating more of them than freezing for right now. I’ll probably freeze more later.
I used a large and a small baking tray for the raspberries first. Simply place them in the freezer for a few hours and they should all be frozen. The reason you need to spread them out is so they don’t all just freeze together into one clump and become impossible to separate for smoothies / baking / snacking. I didn’t bother washing these as they would have taken forever to dry and would have become stuck to the tray. I trust the source of these and was not worried but had picked through them a bit before placing them onto the tray.
Blueberries are even easier than raspberries due to their spherical shape without so many crannies.
My freezer is regular size and the large tray fit fine in here. I know it’s very disorganized and needs a cleaning at the moment.
Once frozen, I used a metal spatula to just lift the raspberries from their frozen spots.
It’s easier to use a wide funnel for the regular mouth mason jars, but it’s not necessary.
So I have about 4 1/2 quarts of raspberries here which will last a long time! This took very little effort on my part and was also essentially free. The blueberries are a different story, of course, but will end up being much less expensive than frozen berries in the store, especially local berries.
I have 2 quarts of blueberries frozen from just the large tray and I’m sure I’ll freeze more soon.
I don’t have to use glass jars, but I trust that the lids will keep my berries sealed. I’m careful to not slam the jar down on the counter top and make sure these are placed safely in the freezer.
Peace and love,
3 thoughts on “Plastic Free Berries”
Our blackberries are getting frozen now, at least those that do not get eaten. There are not too many, and because I do not have a freezer, the neighbor is doing it. We will not freeze elderberries because they get juiced, and only the juice or syrup gets canned.
I do love blackberries! Do you grow or forage for elderberries?
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I do not forage for them, but have picked large volumes of them from large specimens that live about town and in the Park to make jelly that won second place at the Harvest Festival every year . . . except last year. I have grown a few from seed to plant on one of my garden parcels so that I can cultivate them for fruit. Rather than letting plants grow wild, I can cut out the older canes to promote the two year old canes.