I like grocery shopping.
Some people impulse buy shoes, purses, electronics. Not me, NO……..I impulse buy 28 pounds of blueberries! On sale, of course. And it just so happens that my dear husband loves blueberries, so I thankfully got two thumbs up when I walked in with the case in my arms. It is a fairly well known fact around here that my sweetie won’t touch a pancake or waffle that is plain.
It has to have berries of some sort IN it if it is going to pass the hubby test. So, that means that between muffins, smoothies, desserts, and breakfast foods we have quite a lot of uses for berries.
Have you run into the same problem that I have, though? Berries are expensive! Well, for about 75% of the year they are expensive, and even buying them frozen can be pricey. That’s why the 25% of the year when they are inexpensive is so key. That is because Sale on Berries + Freezer Space= Inexpensive, and delicious berries year round. So when it’s snowing up to my eyebrows, I can throw a blueberry crisp in the oven and pretend that it’s summer!
This really saves a lot of money, by the way, and not just with blueberries. You can freeze any berry using the same principle as I’m going to share with you in a minute, and enjoy them long past the season is over.
Would you like to know how much freezing these berries can save? Here’s my example from the blueberries. A typical sale price for a pint of blueberries in season is $2.99 at our local big box grocer (of course this varies based on where you live and how many stores you have available). The cost by buying a case (14-32 oz. clamshells) saves me $1.19 per pint, totaling out to $44.43 saved in all. The savings really are much larger since you wouldn’t be able to get fresh blueberries out of season for $2.99 if you could get them at all, and frozen blueberries don’t come cheap, either.
Here’s how to freeze berries.
How to Freeze Berries:
- Rinse and pick through your berries, allowing them to drain for a minute after rinsing.
- Try to resist eating the entire bowl (this might just be me).
- If you are freezing strawberries, this would be the time to cut off the hull (leaves and small stem part in the middle). If freezing other berries, just make sure that any extra leaves or stems are picked out.
- Line a baking tray with either paper towels or a clean dish towel to absorb any extra moisture during freezing. (I used a half sheet size pan, but whatever you have will work).
- As you fill the pan with berries, look to make sure that any moldy or over ripe berries are picked out and thrown away.
- Place your filled pan in your freezer, making sure to keep it level overnight. It is important to let the berries have at least four hours for small, at least 6 hours for large like strawberries, to freeze completely. If you don’t allow them to become rock hard, you’ll end up having a berry “brick” when you transfer them to a zip top bag later.
- Once your berries are completely frozen, transfer them to a labeled gallon-sized zip top freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and pop back in the freezer.