5 Simple Steps to Freeze Summer Berries

What a blessing to be finishing up stocking my freezer with good produce for the upcoming year! It is so important to our family. We love having an assortment of frozen berries for smoothies, berry sauce, berry desserts, and more. We find local sources of fresh berries when in season that have not been sprayed with various chemicals to preserve. I usually get an assortment of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries for our freezer each summer. Our methods for preservation are very simple. I don’t worry about layering them all out on individual cookie sheets to freeze as it requires too much space and time.

1. No rinsing required! I buy non-sprayed berries so there is no worry of chemicals on them. I will only rinse if I noticed excessive dirt on the berries, but having dry berries is key to preventing them from sticking together in the freezer.

 

2. Layer the berries in individual gallon size freezer Ziploc bags. Chose the quality brand that are specifically designed for freezer use because you want them to protect your investment of fruit! I empty two pints of berries per Ziploc and gently spread them out in a thin layer. I want to avoid them sticking together, so make sure not to overcrowd them. One to two layers of berries is most effective.

3. Place them on various shelves of your freezer. I simply put one bag on top of each shelf. Try to avoid stacking bags until they are completely frozen. This will again help to prevent sticking berries.

4. When frozen, I like to combine two bags together. I gently break the frozen berries apart so they are only individually frozen. If you didn’t put too much in each bag, then there will only be a few stuck together that easily will separate. I add two bags into one which helps consolidate and save bags. I like to rinse out the other Ziplocs and use them for another purpose.

5. Make sure to press out all the excess air from the bag before sealing. Consolidating bags makes this much easier as well especially after the berries are frozen. A helpful tip for getting all the air out is to place a drinking straw at the very edge of the bag and suck out the air before sealing completely in a quick fashion. Lastly, label the exterior of your bags with a permanent marker to highlight the date that you put them in the freezer. This helps you know which berries need to be used up first, especially if you have leftovers from the previous season (like me!).

Frozen berries should be consumed within 12 months for best results.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

18 Responses to 5 Simple Steps to Freeze Summer Berries

  1. Michelle July 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    How do you find non-sprayed berries? Do you contact local you-pick farms and ask them what chemicals they use? I’m never sure what to ask and would love some guidance.

    • Lindsay July 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

      Yes, I would ask if they use any pesticides or chemicals on their plants. You can usually tell pretty quick if they follow eco-friendly/organic practices. They will be honest with you.

  2. Linda July 26, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Berry picking is one of the highlights of our summer. The kids enjoy it so much. They drool all the way home, anticipating all the yummy things we’ll make! And we recall those happy memories every time we pull a bag of fruit out to make a shake or some other treat. I think it is one of those traditions that help to “tie the heart strings”.

  3. Ashley @ Root and Twig July 26, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Fresh berries are so delicious. They do lose ‘something’ having been frozen, but it’s still worth it! I think I’d probably wash the berries, unless I’d grown them myself. Just never know who’s been handling them! Just gotta make sure their really dry before freezing them, so they don’t stick.

    Thanks for such useful posts!

  4. Julie July 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    I’d definitely wash them too, especially the ones that grow close to or on the ground. I had E. coli once and don’t want it again!

  5. Sarah July 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Thanks for your post! Do they ever come out mushy? Mine did, and I’m not sure what I did wrong!

    • Rachel July 28, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      I am not 100% sure, but I think all frozen berries come out mushy! So eat them frozen (ground up in a smoothie?) or baked into something.

  6. Alyssa July 25, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Hi Lindsey! This comment isn’t really in regards to this post, but a long time ago in one of your early posts about pregnancy you mentioned that you were learning about herbs. Do you have a particular source that you found to be helpful? I’m looking for either a reputable website or book that is easy to use. I just want a basic understanding of a few herbal remedies for common ailments and for health reasons.
    Your blog is such an inspiration and I soooo enjoy reading your writing- someday you should organize your posts into a manual or book type publication!
    Thank you and I hope you reply!
    Alyssa

  7. linda st. laurent July 25, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    I just started freezing my berries in jars, it works great, they don’t stick together, and they stack nicely also.

  8. Allyson @ A Heart for Home July 25, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    We love to freeze berries in the summer. I’ve always used the cookie sheet method but I might just have to try straight into the bags. That could save me a little time, especially if they are premeasured.

  9. renee July 25, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    we picked about 22 pounds of chemical free texas blueberries this summer and i would say more than 1/2 made it to the freezer… happy about that! my friend picked me up a foodsaver at a garage sale for $5 and it worked great for packing the berries. i measured some out and wrote how many cups so if i want to make muffins i know how many are in the package…working great!

    • renee July 25, 2011 at 6:25 am #

      and they break apart well too!

  10. Rachel July 25, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    I don’t have much luck keeping blackberries from sticking together, but it’s not a problem for me, because my berries are pre-measured. Here’s how:

    I put two coups of berries into a cheap sandwich bag. (Or however many you use at one time)
    Fill a nice gallon freezer bag with small bags of berries.
    Freeze.

    When you’re ready to use berries, pull out one small bag of berries. When the gallon bag is empty, it’s still clean, so you can reuse it.

  11. Lacey Wilcox July 25, 2011 at 4:42 am #

    I’m so excited to read this–and to read that it is so incredibly simple!! Sharing any berry recipes any time soon??? ;)

  12. Carol J. Alexander July 25, 2011 at 4:24 am #

    We love berries, too, Lindsay but most of our come from picking in the wild. Therefore, our berries come home with spiders, grass, and other bits of stuff so we do wash them. But then I drain them on a thick terry towel and spread single layer on a cookie sheet. After they freeze hard on the cookie sheet, I put them in the zipper bags. And they never stick this way.

    • Danielle B July 25, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      I’m going to freeze local berries for sure this year. Call me a germophobe but I MUST wash my berries before freezing. Flies, dirty hands etc, just give me the heevie jeevies!

      • Rebecca July 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

        I agree with Danielle B – I HAVE to wash my berries even though they are not sprayed. I do the wash/dry/freeze-on-a-cookie-sheet method.