Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better….
What’s worse than biting into an un-ripe strawberry in the dead of winter? It’s not nearly as juicy, sweet, or as easy to digest as a freshly picked, ripe strawberry; it hasn’t reached its full nutritional potential, and chances are it’s been shipped halfway across the country to reach you. Why not take advantage of the fresh, local, and ripe summer produce upon us right now and start freezing your fruit. Freezing fruit, especially berries, not only maximizes the seasons best while at its peak (and cheapest), it maintains flavor and texture, allowing you to enjoy it year-round. And while oatmeal is the last thing you may want to eat in this heat, it’s nice to know on a cold, blustery February day you can still add perfectly ripe strawberries and blueberries to it…
Tips For Freezing Berries:
- Trim away any leaves or stems, place in a colander, and gently rinse in cool water until clean. Drain.
- Place on a dish towel and allow to air dry completely, about 30 minutes.
- Distribute evenly on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer until berries are hard and individually frozen, up to 24 hours.
- Place berries into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and quickly place back into the freezer. This will prevent the berries from sticking together, allowing you to remove a few berries at a time.
- Store in the freezer for up to six months.
- Defrost and enjoy.
* In some cases, you don’t need to thaw the berries before using them; for example, just add frozen berries straight to smoothies, protein shakes, sorbets, or muffin, bread, and cake batters.