There are few things better than fresh summer strawberries. Unfortunately — as one of the cruel ironies of this world — as the taste of strawberries goes down during the winter months, the price goes up.
That’s why, if given my choice of bland winter berries or picked-at-the-peak, frozen berries, I always go with latter. But, that doesn’t really solve the money issue. If only there was a better option…
Oh, wait! There is!
The quick guide to freezing your own berries
There is a reason I am posting this simplistic tutorial: I actually used to be afraid of freezing berries because I was convinced that they would get freezer burn. It was only by following this procedure through a few times that I realized just how delicious home-frozen berries can be — and when you buy 2 lbs. of strawberries for only $1.88, that’s valuable to know.
Step No. 1: Wash the berries.
Step No. 2: Arrange the assembly line. For this, you’ll need a small paring knife, a cutting board and a non-stick baking pan that can fit inside the freezer.
Step No. 3: Hull the berries and slice them in half. (This step can be disregarded for smaller fruits, such as raspberries and blueberries.)
Step No. 4: Place the berries on the baking sheet.
Step No. 5: Pop the baking sheet into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. After this, the berries should be mostly frozen.
Step No. 6: Put the berries into a large, double-zip bag.
Step No. 7: Insert a thin drinking straw into the bag. Seal all the way around the straw. Suck the air out of the bag, remove the straw and quickly seal the rest of the lock — this acts as an easy vacuum seal!
Step No. 8: Place the berries back in the freezer for later use.
What are your favorite tricks for preserving food?