I like the real thing — real designer handbags, real diamonds and real food. Pre-packaged just won’t do it for me, which means I’m against buying frozen berries at the groceries when it is so easy to freeze fresh fruit on your own. In the heat of summer (which means smoothies! Fun cocktails! Our berry salad!), learn how to freeze fresh berries so that they last the whole summer without having to buy the pre-packaged pretense.
1. Start with very fresh berries — look for plump, colorful berries when buying or picking.
2. Wash the berries by placing them in a colander and rinsing them with cold water. Move the water through the berries gently so as not to bruise them. **If freezing blueberries, DO NOT wash first — they will have a tougher skin when thawed. Wash them after you thaw them out.
3. Let the berries sit in the colander for about 10 minutes to fully drain.
4. Place the berries in a wide, flat container (a cookie sheet, if you have the space) and if possible, make only one layer of berries to avoid large frozen clumps.
5. Freeze the berries overnight
6. Label Ziploc bags with the date the berries were frozen.
7. Bag the berries and zip the bags with as little air inside as possible, to avoid freezer burn.
8. Place the bags in the deep freeze or the coldest part of your freezer.
9. When ready to use them, allow them to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, give them a quick rinse and enjoy!