It’s definitely preservation season now! In case you’re unsure if/what you want to preserve, you can read my preservation guide.
One major thing we’re preserving this year is berries. Strawberries (55 lbs.), cherries (6 – 7 lbs.), blueberries (50 – 75 lbs.), raspberries (10 – 15 lbs.) and more. If we get lucky and get good prices on blackberries, mulberries, elderberries, and so on…who knows?
Most of these berries are going to be preserved via freezing. We’ll use them, primarily, for smoothies. This means that we’ll need them to be frozen, but not in one giant block. I’ll need to be able to get out a few each day as I need them.
Here’s how I did it. This is with cherries, since it’s what I’ve done most recently, but you can do it with any berries.
Step 1: Wash the berries. Soak them like the strawberries if they do or might have any pesticides on them.
Here’s my bucket of cherries!
Step 2: Separate any pits, stems, or other parts you don’t want from them, and place them on a cookie sheet. (I did this step before soaking the strawberries, but I do it after a brief wash.) Place the ‘yucky parts’ in a separate bowl.
Cherries on my cookie sheet
Pits in a bowl!
Step 3: Fill the cookie sheet until it’s full, in a single layer, then transfer to the freezer for 2 – 3 hours, or until frozen.
Cookie sheet full of cherries!
Step 4: Scoop the frozen cherries into a large plastic freezer bag (yes, it’s okay to use plastic here. Heat and fat make the chemicals leach but we’re not dealing with either). Transfer to a freezer.
That’s it! Very simple, and now your food won’t all stick together!