Art of Freezing Berries!

When I pick berries from our strawberry patch, or I buy them fresh at the market, I usually use them right away. But this summer was different. Very little canning took place with my kitchen in the garage!

In the process we did some swapping for a new (to us) fridge, giving our old in exchange for a stand-up freezer that I've wanted for a long time.

I'm grateful for our $50 chest freezer that we had for years, but it finally gave up the ghost before moving to this house. But what I learned was I wasn't wise in how I used it. I over-bought food and it would get shoved to the bottom and left there for - well, who knows how long?

For 4 years I've been without a large freezer, so when this new opportunity came along, I was so excited! 

I always told myself I'd never get a chest freezer again, that I'd be more organized with a stand-up one, arranging and using my food more wisely.

In the meantime, I bought fresh raspberries from a farm up in Portland a couple of weekends ago, and using my friend Pam's tip on freezing berries (she swears that this method makes more flavorful jam!), I followed these directions.

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.
2. Lay washed berries out evenly and place in the freezer.
3. After 24 hours, when completely frozen, place into Ziploc bags.

In a few months, in the dead of winter, I'll be using these bags to make fresh jam!

What's your method of freezing berries?

And do you prefer a chest or stand-up freezer?


Betsy said...

I freeze berries like this, too! It's great that they freeze seperately and you can pull out a handful for pancakes or muffins whenever you need them! And I totally agree on the troubles with a chest freezer. I use the standup kind much more efficiently! No more digging to the bottom!

linda t said...

Hi Sandy! I freeze raspberries that same and there is nothing like adding a few of these babies to a protein smoothie throughout the year. I Love raspberries!

I had a chest freezer for many years... and finally gave it to our son and daughter-in-law, who are amazing cooks. We now have two huge side-by-sides that work well for us... with most of our kids gone. But I gotta tell you, I do miss not having a chest for the holidays so I can buy a couple turkeys when they're on sale.

Jane (Frugal Fine Living) said...

That's is a great idea! I am going to try it. Thanks for the tip.


Laryssa Herbert said...

This is what I do too. Works every time!

Mama Thompson said...

That's how I learned to freeze them...mainly so they wouldn't freeze in one big clump...and it always works great. However, I never thought to use the frozen berries to make jam in the middle of the winter...I just use them for smoothies etc...guess I have a new use now.

I have been looking into buying a freezer to put in the garage and thought about getting a chest...you now have me rethinking that...what to do?!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I've tried this method which is very good. But I tend to use berries for muffins or cobblers, so I use the easier "measure in 1-2 cup quantitites and free" method.

And I try to go through my small chest freezer every couple of months - #1 to see what I have and #2 to use it!!

Darcie said...

We have a chest freezer, but you have a point about things getting lost on the bottom. I always write down what I put in there, and cross it off when I take it out...so I always know.

Those raspberries look beautiful.

mommyknows said...

I have a chest freezer, a huge one! My father has a cattle ranch and he gives us a full beef every year (my poor arteries).

I have no idea, what is in the bottom 1/3 of that freezer.

My grandma, does all my berry prep, and however she does it, is exactly how I like it.

Brenda Leyland said...

I freeze berries same way! Great minds think alike and all that.

I have just a small apartment size freezer, because I thought a large one (which I used to have) would be too big (and then you never know what's in there)........

Enjoy the fruits of your labour!

mrscravitz said...

I freeze berry's just like you do. I freeze Peaches the same way! After I peel and pit them of course.

Pinky said...

Good grief, I would never have a chest freezer! Knowing me I would put something in there, it would be on the bottom and be there for EVER!!!!!!!!!!!LOL! Now I want some berries!!!!:):) Pinky

Debbie B said...

I freeze berries exactly the same way you do. One fruit we love to freeze are grapes. I buy them on sale, bring them home, take them off the stems, wash them and dry with paper towels. I freeze them on parchment paper and when they are frozen I place them in ziploc freezer bags. We eat them frozen. Almost better than ice cream!

I have a chest freezer. We looked at uprights but the chest freezer meets my needs.

Elizabeth G. said...

Hey, I do that, too! So, easy and convenient. Mine usually go into smoothies. :)

a woman who is said...

I love freezing my berries this way because they are easy to add to your favorite muffin recipe when separately frozen.

I can't wait to see your new kitchen reveal. I am so excited for you. I know you have been very patient for a long time.

GiBee said...

I freeze berries like this too. This year, I got a lot of berries... froze them... bagged them... placed them back in the freezer... went on my way... and a when I went to get something out of the freezer a few weeks later, discovered that my berries were thawed, melted, and molded. Along with everything else in my stand up freezer.

I cried.

Now I have no freezer. A sad state, indeed.