How to Freeze Berries

Updated on June 21, 2015
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Claudia has been writing recipes online for more than 6 years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

How to freeze berries, including blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
How to freeze berries, including blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and strawberries. | Source

Every year when summer rolls around you'll find me picking berries. I hit the local orchards with a fervor and come home with pounds of fresh fruit.

The problem is that my family can't eat all the delicious berries I pick so I have freeze them. The nice thing about that is that I have berries all year round and don't have to pay outrageous amounts for those small bags of frozen fruit in the grocery stores.

Freezing berries is surprisingly simple. It doesn't take much time and there are only a few steps to follow.

If you don't want to, or are unable to pick your own berries, most orchards sell them already picked. You can also stop by a roadside market or, if you are lucky and your grocery store sells local farm produce like mine does in the summer, you can pick some fruit up there.

So go out, pick some wonderfully fresh berries, and freeze them.

Types of berries

Type
When they are in season
Blackberries
Late spring through summer
Blueberries
Summer months
Cranberries
Fall months
Gooseberries
Later summer through early fall
Huckleberries
Late summer
Raspberries
Summer months
Strawberries
Spring through early summer
The months that the fruits are available vary depending on where you live. This chart just gives you an idea of when they are available.

Step 1 - Rinse and clean the berries

Place the berries in a colander and gently rinse them under cold water. Pick out and discard any stems, bad berries, or other dirt.

Remember to remove the hulls from strawberries before freezing them.

Step 2 - Prepare berries for freezing

After washing the berries, lay them flat on a baking tray, pat dry and place in freezer until frozen.
After washing the berries, lay them flat on a baking tray, pat dry and place in freezer until frozen. | Source
  1. Cover baking trays with a paper towels and lay the rinsed berries out in one layer.
  2. Pat dry.
  3. Place tray(s) in freezer and freeze berries.

Step 3 - Transfer frozen berries to bags

Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and label.  Place in the freezer until ready to use.
Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and label. Place in the freezer until ready to use. | Source

Once the berries are frozen on the trays, transfer them to heavy duty airtight freezer bags. Try to push out as much air as possible before sealing.

Remember to label them with the date that they were frozen.

Place the bags in the freezer. The berries should be good for 6 months in the freezer.

Did you know....

If you go by the botanical definition then:

Strawberries and raspberries are not really berries at all.

Kiwis are berries.

Pomegranates are berries.

Bananas are berries.

Grapes are berries.

I'd love to hear from you!

What's your favorite berry?

See results

What to do with your frozen berries

Frozen berries can be used for all sorts of things.

  • Smoothies
  • Breads, cakes, pies, pancakes, waffles and muffins
  • Fruit sauces
  • Jams and jellies
  • Snacks
  • Juice
  • Fruit salsa
  • Fruit salad
  • Ice cream

Freezing your summer crop of raspberries lets you enjoy them throughout the year.
Freezing your summer crop of raspberries lets you enjoy them throughout the year. | Source

Nutritional information for a variety of berries

For one cup of berries
Calories
Fiber
Vitamin C
Blackberries
62
31%
50%
Blueberries
84
14%
24%
Cranberries
51
20%
24%
Gooseberries
66
26%
69%
Raspberries
64
32%
54%
Strawberries
49
12%
149%
Nutritional data is based on 1 cup of raw, unsweetened berries. Source: nutritiondata.com

A few recipes that you can use your frozen berries in:

Easy Berry Smoothie Recipe

  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups frozen berries, any combination

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of orange juice at a time until you get the desired consistency. Serve immediately. Because the berries are frozen, the smoothie will have a nice thick texture.

Easy Berry Fruit Salsa Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries, thawed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, thawed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup blackberries, thawed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, thawed and rinsed
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh mint, finely minced

Directions:

  1. Clean and rinse the fruit. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together lemon juice, sugar and mint. Crush the mint leaves while mixing. Once sugar is dissolved, pour mixture over fruit and gently mix together.
  3. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Blueberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake Recipe - Perfect for all of those frozen blueberries that may be in your freezer.
Blueberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake Recipe - Perfect for all of those frozen blueberries that may be in your freezer. | Source

Other delicious and easy fruit recipes...

How to Make a Fruit Coulis - A fancy name for a very simple, fresh and delicious fruit sauce. It's hard to beat this one.

Strawberry Banana Milkshake Recipe - When I came up with this recipe I had no idea bananas were considered berries. So botanically speaking this is a berry milkshake!

Blueberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake Recipe - This one uses blueberries straight out of the freezer and it's one of the best coffee cakes I've ever had.

Berry Upside-Down Cake Recipe - This is a compilation of 20 recipes and you'll find a few berry upside down-cake versions that are all delicious!

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Claudia Mitchell

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      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 years ago

        I appreciate your kind comments savenlives. Love that you found my hub on Pinterest and I like the tip about the strawberries. We love them, but sometimes cannot keep the fresh long enough. Thanks for reading.

      • savenlives profile image

        savenlives 

        2 years ago

        Another fantastic hub! I found your first one on pinterest and am enjoying scrolling through the rest :) Just got a new french door refrigerator and can't wait to try this now that I have room...berry season is almost here! Also learned a new tip on pinterest. If you want your strawberries to stay fresher longer put them in glass in the refrigerator. I was shocked when I tried it and it actually worked amazing!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 years ago

        Hi Snowsprite - It is nice how long they keep and you are right, I look for bad spots too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Snowsprite profile image

        Fay 

        2 years ago from Cornwall, UK

        I do pretty much the same with my berries though I check very carefully for any holes. It's surprising how long they will keep.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 years ago

        Hello pstraubie - Remove the pit and slice them before freezing. You can keep the skins on. Yummy I love fresh peaches!!!!!! I'm jealous that you'll be enjoying them in the cold winter months! Thanks for the angels.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        2 years ago from sunny Florida

        Such great tips...I am in the process of freezing some berries as they are about to go out of season.

        Now I have a question...I have had luscious peaches all summer...can I freeze them whole??? Can I slice them and freeze them? What works best, any suggestions ???

        Angels are on the way ps

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 years ago

        Hi Audrey - Oh how I love fresh blackberries! They are hard to find around here this year. We've had weird weather. Hope you freeze some to enjoy when the cold winter months roll around! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        2 years ago from California

        We have a bunch of blackberries in the back yard--so this is on my to-do list! Very handy info right about now!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        I love blueberries too facetube. And you are right, I can enjoy them all year when I freeze them. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • facetube profile image

        facetube 

        3 years ago

        Fresh Blueberries have incredible taste. You may keep that taste longer with freezing. That way you will enjoy their sweetness during all winter. Thanks for sharing.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Hi teaches! Hope you are enjoying your summer. I hope you gave this cake a try. It really is good. I made it for a recent visit from my brother and it made a nice breakfast option. Enjoy you blueberries and thanks for stopping by.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        3 years ago

        I would love a piece of the cake! Yum! I was just wondering what to do with the blueberries in the refrigerator. I'm on my way to freeze them. Thanks for the interesting education on freezing berries. A cost-saver indeed!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Wild berries are the best aviannovice, if you can get them before the birds! Sounds like you had a wonderful place to grow up. I think many things are so easy to get at the store these days that people don't take the time to spend an afternoon outside and pick berries or whatever else. My daughter looks forward to it every summer. Thanks for reading and I'm glad I brought up some fond memories!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Hi Bill - Hope you are enjoying your summer and that it is filled with fun travel. I'm glad you are going to give this a shot. If you love smoothies then it's definitely worthwhile.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Hi Blossom - Apologies that it took so long to respond to your comments. I have never heard of sylvanberries, I'm going to have to check that out. You are right though, strawberries can go soft, so can raspberries. That's why I use my frozen berries mostly for muffins/cakes and smoothies. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

        Oh, this brings up so many memories. I grew up with wild raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. We raised strawberries and rhubarb, and had an assortment of apple trees. It was fine pickings for the present as well as the canning and freezing. We had a lot of pies, jams, and jellies, and neighbors would trade different things with each other. Thanks for the great recipes, and the memories...

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        3 years ago from Massachusetts

        Great idea Glimmer. I've never considered freezing berries but didn't realize it was so easy. I love to make fruit smoothies so this will come in handy. Thanks for the great tip.

      • BlossomSB profile image

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

        I used to love doing this with sylvanberries and they worked well, however, I found that strawberries went very soft when they were thawed. A useful and helpful hub, thank you.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Thanks FlourishAnyway - Glad this hub helped you out. I wouldn't mind some blueberry pie myself. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        My pleasure. If I had a blender, I would make it into a milkshake. I might buy some blackberries real soon and add them to my frozen berry mix. It's filling too!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Hi Kristin - The milk drink sounds good. I've never heard of something like that, unless they are frozen and make a milkshake type drink. Glad you find the article helpful. I'm loving all of the berries that are fresh right now. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        I've been doing this all wrong too. Makes me u try for blueberry pie.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Glimmer, this is a great hub. I froze my berries last night. This is so helpful and came in the perfect time for me to read it. Voted up!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Thanks for reading Melissa - I have tried to make jam but did not have too much success. Glad this article will help you with all of your fruit recipes. Have a great day!

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Glimmer, this hub just came in the nick of time, since I brought raspberries and strawberries yesterday at my local Aldi store. I'm going to use some and put them in milk with bananas slices, like my mom used to do and add sugar, and freeze the rest to add to ice cream and cereal for future use this week. Voted up for useful!

      • Melissa Orourke profile image

        Melissa Orourke 

        3 years ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

        Thank you for this hub! Now, I know the correct way to freeze my berries! I love to make jam and I love using berries in my smoothies. Voted thumbs up and useful!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Hi Donna - I'm so glad this was helpful to you. Some of the berries, like the raspberries do get mushed together if I just put them in a freezer bag, but it does take that extra step. Thanks for the shares and vote and I hope you are having a good summer so far!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Thanks Bill! - You must be a couple of weeks ahead of us. I wish the raspberries around here were ready to pick. They are my favorite, hands down! Thanks for stopping by and reading too, I've been sitting on this hub for a while and finally got going on it. Sometimes it's hard to get motivated. Enjoy your week!

      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 

        3 years ago from USA

        Such a helpful hub! I've obviously been doing this the wrong (and lazy) way for years by just washing the berries and throwing them into freezer bags. I can understand that freezing them separately, then putting them in bags will help avoid the mushy, crushed result that I get from my frozen berries. Love the additional recipes! Thanks for sharing and posting. Voted up and pinned!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Raspberries are ready to pick right now. Our blueberries in another week or so...we always have a ton and have to freeze some, so your tip is very handy. Thank you and Happy Sunday to you!

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