One of the best things about this time of year is all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are so readily available. Each year I look forward to the beginning of June when all of the fresh berries are ripe and read to eat. Of course, my favorite is the locally grown organic strawberries that are grown on a farm near my house. Drive a little further and you’ll be sure to see a sign that reads, “Pick Your Own Blueberries” or a farmer’s market advertising “Fresh Homegrown Raspberries.” It’s no exaggeration to say that this time of year is a berry lover’s dream as the variety of fresh berries ripens and are ready to be eaten.
I don’t know about you, but in my world, there are few things that smell or taste as sweet as “fresh from the farm” berries. As a friend of mine recently said, “I think I like the strawberries that I buy at the grocery store throughout the year until I sink my teeth into a fresh local strawberry. Then I remember what strawberries are supposed to taste like.” How true!
The only problem with Berry Season is that it ends too soon.
The good news is with a little bit of work (and I do mean a very little bit) Berry Season doesn’t necessarily have to end. You can freeze blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or even strawberries when they are in season, and use them throughout the year.
Freezing berries is a great way to keep your family eating healthy all year long. Best of all, it is very easy and inexpensive. All you need is your favorite berries and freezer bags. Using blueberries as an example, we’re here to tell you how to do it:
1. Buy local, ripe berries.
2. Sort out the berries to make sure there are no bad ones.
3. Wash and drain berries.
4. Put berries on a cookie sheet that is covered by a paper towel to dry.
4. Put berries in plastic freezer bags (I prefer pint-sized, but you could use quart-sized) leaving about a ½ inch at the top for expansion.
5. Close freezer bags and place into the freezer.
When you are ready to eat them, just take them out of the freezer and let them thaw. They will be just as good as when you first bought them.
Just think of all the smoothies, pies, muffins, and more you’ll be able to make with all of your frozen berries throughout the year. Imagine the fruit salads you’ll be able to serve when everyone else will be paying top dollar for fruit that doesn’t taste nearly as good in the middle of winter! All because you thought ahead and froze some of these delicious treats while they were in season! You go girl!
Proverbs 10:5, “He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son (or daughter)”