Growing up in Portland, my mom often made me angel food cake with strawberries or raspberries on top for my June 30th birthday! The few years where the raspberries haven’t been on yet for my birthday have been a big disappointment. This year, however, they are producing like mad and have been for weeks!
The house I lived for 10 years had a great raspberry patch the kids grew up climbing through. Leaving that bush was one of the hardest things about moving. I promised the kids that when we had a yard again I’d plant more. Lucky for me, raspberries are ridiculously easy to grow. The hardest part is actually keeping them from taking over the rest of the garden! We’ve got four varieties now – a golden one, everbearing big bright red ones, and two other red varieties. Not only do we get an extended harvest (both spring and fall), but we get a variety of flavors, too!I love growing plants like this because homegrown they are so much cheaper and better than what you can buy in the store or even on the farmstand, and you can even muster up big quantities!
Despite all the other stuff we have going on, I decided I would indulge my birthday desires and make sure those berries didn’t go to waste. Here’s how to freeze raspberries so you’ll be able to enjoy the taste of summer all year long:
- Pick the best berries you can find. They should easily pull off of the inner core, but not fall off it. Do not pick berries that are up against rotten berries or which have touched the ground. You want them at the peak of their flavor, but not so soft that they get smushed.
- Put the berries you pick into flats or a flat bottomed colander. Do not make layers of berries more than 3 inches deep, or the ones on the bottom will be ruined.
- Gently soak the berries in a large bowl to rinse them.
- Gently drain the berries in a colander.
- Put the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer. This way they won’t stick together.
- Once the berries are frozen, put them in a ziplock bag or other freezer safe container and label with the date. If they are stuck to the pan, give them a few minutes to sit on the counter, then use a spatula to pop them off.
That’s all there is to it!