How to freeze berries

The wonderful thing about having a kitchen garden is, it’s full of lovely berries all Summer and Autumn, giving you an opportunity to fill the freezer. But how do you freeze berries the best way?

Most people have tried to rinse the berries, put them in a plastic bag in the freezer only to end up with one giant lump of ice/berries a few hours later. There is nothing wrong with the taste but it is almost impossible to thaw them without losing the beautiful shape of the berries, and sometimes you need whole berries for toppings on cakes and desserts.

The solution is to freeze the berries individually.

The Autumn harvest produces lots of berries for the freezer.

Start by cleaning the berries and remove any stalks. Don’t dip the berries in a bowl of water, unless they are very dirty and filled with soil. Put them in a sieve and rinse them carefully under running water. Be extra careful with soft berries like raspberries and blackberries. When moving the berries from the bowl to the sieve, I always pick them up one by one. This way I check for hidden insects, rot and overripe berries and it does not take as long as it may sound. If you work with both hands, it only takes a few extra minutes.

Blackberries rinsed and ready to be frozen
Rinsed berries on a clean tea towel. The purple colour is caused by the berries and not easy to remove, so don’t use your best towel.

After a quick rinse dry the berries carefully in a paper towel or a clean tea towel. Pat them carefully, don’t squeeze or press the berries.

Put the almost dry berries on a clean tray. Shake the tray in order to distribute the berries evenly and place the tray in the freezer.

How to freeze berries
The clean and dry berries evenly distributed on a tray, ready for the freezer.

After a few hours the berries are frozen and easy to work with. Put the frozen berries in plastic bags, e.g. 250 g in each. This way you will always know how much you have in the freezer, and should you need more or less than 250 g, the individually frozen berries makes it easy for you to grab a few more.

Use this method on all sorts of berries.

Frozen blackberries
Frozen berries ready to be packed in plastic bags or containers.

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