It’s berry season in Recycla’s native Virginia. She was picking strawberries in her back yard in May and now has blueberries. Cherries (okay, technically not a berry) are in season too, as are raspberries and blackberries. If ever a person wanted to be a locavore, now is the time to do it.
Local berries taste so much better than the stuff shipped great distances to your grocery store. Go to your farmers’ market and find out for yourself. Even better, find out where the nearest pick-your-own patch is and get there posthaste. Pick pounds and pounds of the stuff. Feast on berries for days.
Once you’re done feasting and still have about 11 pounds of fruit left, what are you going to do? You’re going to freeze the bounty, of course. Here’s how:
- Wash the berries and air dry. Remove stems and leaves and other non-berry parts.
- Put them in a single layer on a tray and stick them in the freezer.
- Once the berries are frozen, store them in a freezer-safe container.
Hopefully, you will have enough berries to last you for a while. Recycla suggests saving them for the cold days of fall and winter when your fresh fruit options are limited. One night in November, defrost some berries and make a cake or muffins. Or how about fruit smoothies in February, when it seems like winter will never end? Or you could add the fruit to your oatmeal on a frigid morning when it feels like your toes will never thaw out.
Recycla has recently been biking to a local market to get pounds and pounds of cherries. She’ll eat plenty of them straight from the bag, will bake pies and cakes with others, and will freeze the rest. Last summer, she had five or six pounds in the freezer by the time the season ended; this year, she’s hoping to put away closer to ten pounds.
Now you don’t have to buy bland, tasteless berries from your grocery store!
Tell the Eco Women: Do you preserve food during the warm months to eat during the cold months?