Blackberries are awesome! These berries are small, juicy, and delicate cuties bursting with so much sweetness. Blackberries have so much nutritional value that it must be added to your diet. But they might raise your blood sugar or fructose levels if you have too much to eat.
Blackberries are a taste of summer. If you have a garden full of them, come winter, you’d have nothing. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have the fresh taste of summer during winter? It could take your mind off the dark and cold. So, how can you preserve blackberries?
Can you freeze blackberries? Yes, you can. Blackberries freeze well in the freezer. Staying fresh and good to eat for a whole year. Freezing blackberries doesn’t bring any shortcomings to their taste or flavor. If you do not follow due freezing processes, you might have a little bit of a problem with the texture.
Blackberries are well known for their versatility. They go with almost anything. Blackberry pie, can go in the batter for baked goods, serve as toppings for dessert and cakes. The list is pretty long and freezing blackberries do not limit these options. Blackberries tend to bleed color into food after they have been frozen but it does nothing to affect the taste of your food.
How to Freeze Blackberries
Blackberries are so easy to freeze. Some people might say they do not need to be told how to freeze them, it’s not exactly rocket science. But, they end up with a big ball of mush when they are done freezing it. It might be easy to freeze, but you need to know how to do it.
Step 1: Wash your Berries
Blackberries need to be handled very gently, if you end up bruising all the berries before you freeze them you might not like the results. So, you need to be very gentle as you wash the berries. We wash the berries, to get rid of dust, debris, bugs, and unwanted elements.
The easiest and most gentle way to do this is to put the berries in a colander and wash them under running water. Shake the colander gently so debris can be unsettled and leave with the water. Also while you wash, remove stems, leaves, and stray blades of grass. Remove any blackberry that is overripe or is too scary looking for your liking.
Drain the water and leave the berries to air dry.
Step 2: Flash Freezing
If you have frozen blackberries prior to reading this article, you would probably note that the berries tend to clump together into one big ball as it freezes. This might be a little bit messy when you need to use the frozen berries. It could also mean that you might have to thaw the whole pack and re-freeze the remaining berries you are not using and this could be bad for the blackberries.
Line a baking sheet preferably one that has rims, with parchment paper, and spread your berries out of the tray. Make sure each berry is standing alone and not in contact with another berry.
Then, place the tray on a flat surface in the freezer and freeze it for 3 hours or till the next morning. If you have time you can keep checking every hour after the first 3 to see if it has frozen solid. Leaving blackberries exposed like that for too long in the freezer can result in freezer burn.
Step 3: Storage
I’ll advise that you get heavy-duty airtight freezer bags to keep the berries safe from freezer burn. Freezer burn could affect the taste of your berries and in the long run, make them inedible.
Get your already frozen blackberries from the freezer, and begin to pack them into your airtight freezer bags. Since the berries have undergone flash freezing, you don’t have to worry about them sticking together.
Suck out excess air from the bags with a straw, or use a food sealer to keep the air out of the bags before you seal them. You could also press the bags flat before you freeze. However, be careful not to crush the berries while you do that.
Step 4: Freeze the Berries
It is very important to label the bags before you freeze them. Write the contents of the bags and the date of the freeze, on the bag with a sharpie. This will help you keep track of how long you have stored the berries in the freezer.
If you have limited space in your freezer, feel free to stack the bags so that you can conserve space, since you have already flash frozen the berries, you don’t have to worry about the berries not freezing properly.
How to Thaw Frozen Blackberries
How you want to use your frozen berries determines if you will thaw them or not. If you want to use them in a muffin, smoothies, or cobblers you can use them while they are still frozen without needing to thaw.
If you want to use your berries for jam, you can thaw the berries overnight in the refrigerator before you use them. If you also plan to eat them right away, you should thaw them first this way.
Why Do Blackberries Get Moldy So Fast?
Yes, blackberries do get moldy fast. This is because they have mold spores that can make them degrade very quickly. The thing about berries is that the mold can spread from one berry to the whole basket within the twinkle of an eye.
You can counter this mold issue by washing the berries with water and vinegar. After this, dry the berries and carry on with refrigeration or freezing as you please.