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Simple Methods for Freezing Fruit

Jun 4 2014

by Kate Spears

It’s farmers market season in the south and each week, I love picking out all that delicious locally grown produce. Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I hate for any of it to ever go to waste.

This is why I wanted to learn some of the best ways to preserve summer fruit.

Canning has always intimidated me so I decided to learn more about freezing…specifically how to freeze the kinds of fruit we eat most (strawberries, blueberries & blackberries). There are plenty of helpful online resources for freezing other fruit varieties as well.

I also wanted some simple methods that are proven to produce great results! There’s nothing worse than pulling something out of the freezer to find it all freezer burned and gross.

Here are a few freezing methods I’ve tried with pretty good results.

Blackberries:

First, blackberries. From everything I read, it seems like the easiest way to freeze blackberries is flash freezing. This sounds complicated but it’s really easy. Wash your berries gently in water. Now lay them out on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper or parchment.

Pop this into the freezer for about an hour. When the berries are frozen, you can put them into a zip top bag or one of those plastic Ball freezer jars. I prefer the plastic Ball jars to glass jars sometimes because I’m always cramming my freezer too full and things tend to jump out when I open the door. If using freezer bags, try to get as much of the air out as you can.

Strawberries:

The next fruit I wanted to freeze is strawberries. For these, I used the sugar pack method. You’ll need 3/4 cup of granulated sugar for each quart of berries.

Wash the berries well in a colander under cold running water. Apparently soaking them is bad…oops, I’ve always been a berry soaker. With a paring knife, remove hulls and stems as well as any bruised spots or blemishes. Slice the strawberries in half lengthwise and try to keep them uniform in size.

Put your berries in a clean bowl and add 3/4 cups of granulated sugar for each quart. Stir gently until the berries are completely coated and then let this mixture sit for 15 minutes.

Pack strawberries into plastic containers like the Ball freezer jars or plastic freezer bags. Leave 1/2 inch head space for pint sized containers or bags and a full inch for quart containers.

Don’t forget to label your containers with the date so you can enjoy the best results (will keep for 6 months or so).

Blueberries:

Finally, I wanted to freeze some blueberries. I found conflicting information about whether to rinse them or not, but Cook’s Illustrated is a pretty reliable source and they say to rinse. Rinse your berries and gently pat them dry.

Toss the blueberries with granulated sugar…1/2 cup for every pint of berries. When the berries are fully coated, place them in zip top bags and freeze flat on cookie sheets. You can also freeze them in plastic containers, depending on what you have.

The sugar is only intended to help the fruit keep its shape and can be rinsed off when you want to eat them. A benefit to this method is that it makes for berries that can be eaten raw.

I’m so glad to have some of the season’s bounty safe and sound in my freezer…I never want summer to end, but I love knowing that come fall/winter I’ll be able to enjoy summer’s harvest.

[image via by kaybee07 (contact)]

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Kate Spears View More Blog Posts from this Author

Kate Spears is a self-proclaimed Southern belle who grew up in a tiny town near Nashville, but now calls Knoxville home. She graduated from the University of Tennessee (Big Orange Country!) with an undergraduate degree in art history and a master’s in public relations & advertising. In 2009, she started her blog, Southern Belle Simple, with the simple hope of giving herself a creative outlet. She continues to be amazed each time it leads to a new opportunity and cherishes the relationships that are formed along the way.

Kate is passionate about family history, time-honored traditions, and her Southern heritage. Her people hail from across the South, from the Lone Star State of Texas to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She grew up spending summers on her great-grandparents’ Tennessee farm where she developed a deep appreciation and admiration for people who could coax beautiful and delicious things out of a mound of dirt. She comes from faithful men, devoted women, hard workers and wickedly good cooks.

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