I love to preserve berries by vacuum sealing & freezing them. In the summertime when the berries start to ripen; the home-grown ones just taste so much better than store-bought (and cost a lot less too).
As they ripen and we pick, I make sure we have some of that fresh summer flavor preserved for those cold, dark winter days.
Today, by vacuum sealing, we can freeze them whole (without worrying about freezer burn), and use them later for whatever strikes our fancy – cobblers, pies, jams, muffins, pancakes – you get the idea.
We vacuum pack the strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries that grow on our property; but the process is the same for berries of all types (blueberries, gooseberries, loganberries, saskatoons, cranberries, etc.).
This is one of the easiest ways to preserve fruit. All you need is the summer berries, a vacuum sealer, the bags, and a freezer!
How To Preserve Berries by Vacuum Sealing & Freezing:
Step 1 (The Best Berries):
First, start with the best, freshest berries you can find. Just picked (early morning for peak flavor) berries harvested at peak maturity, and processed immediately are the best.
Step 2 (Wash & Prepare):
Gently wash the berries, remove any leaves and too soft (overripe) berries, and lay out on towels to dry. Make sure they are dry before the next step or they will stick together. For strawberries, they can also be hulled (green cap removed) at this step.
Step 3 (Freeze Overnight):
Spread the berries out in a single layer on large sheet pans, and put them in the freezer overnight. This way they freeze individually, so later you can use only what’s needed without thawing the rest.
Step 4 (Vacuum Seal [Pack] Berries):
After they are thoroughly frozen, vacuum seal (vacuum pack) them in convenient quantities according to your vacuum sealers instructions. Because they are frozen, you don’t have to worry about your vacuum sealer crushing them.
Step 5 (Label & Store):
Label the bags (with contents, quantity, and date) and put them in the freezer. When you are ready for some fresh summertime flavor – thaw and use!
The fresh raspberry/blackberry cobblers and strawberry shortcake we enjoyed last winter (hot from the oven – with ice cream), still make my mouth water. The frozen berries can also be used to make jam any time you want – here’s an easy Mixed Berry Jam Recipe. You can also preserve fresh avocados in a similar fashion (see Freezing Avocados).