Raspberries are a refreshing summer treat that we often crave even after summer is long gone. If you enjoy seasonal fruit often, you will likely end up with more raspberries than you can handle. So, to preserve your extra raspberries for many more months, you should freeze them well. And, in this freezing guide, you will learn all the steps to freeze raspberries perfectly!
You can freeze raspberries by themselves or with a bit of sugar for sweetness. Either way, you can start by picking the fresh raspberries, washing them, and drying them. Next, flash-freeze them before moving them to freezer bags to freeze them for the long term. For an even sweeter batch, consider mixing the berries with sugar before freezing.
Now that you know the basics, let us move on to the details.
Here are a few tips that will come in handy when buying or picking raspberries on your own.
Tip #1: Raspberries are a summer fruit, so buy them during the season when they are at their ripest. You will end up with frozen berries that are a flavor bomb!
Tip #2: If you pick your raspberries, pluck them carefully by rolling them off the plant. If they are ripe, they will separate easily. If there is any resistance, it means that the raspberries have yet to ripen completely.
Tip #3: Raspberries are a very delicate fruit, so make sure they are not stacked too high together. Otherwise, the bottom berries will squish.
Tip #4: Look for berries that have a deep, glossy color and are free of any bruises.
Tip #5: Check all your berries to ensure no mold is present.
You can freeze as many or as few raspberries as you want. If you are freezing sweetened raspberries, you will need 3½-4 cups of raspberries to fill a quart-sized (32 oz) jar. If you are freezing the raspberries plain, you can add as many or as few raspberries to the freezer-safe bags.
If you are freezing the raspberries plain, it is best to use freezer-safe bags for storage. These freezer-safe bags give you flexibility on the portion sizes and are more convenient to stack in your freezer.
When it comes to sweetened raspberries, it is better to use freezer-safe jars instead. The syrup in the sweetened berries can quickly become messy in the freezer bags. You can use quarts, pints, or smaller freezer jars for freezing the sweetened raspberries.
To flash freeze the raspberries, you will need a nonstick baking tray. You can also line a regular baking tray with parchment paper to prevent the raspberries from freezing stuck to the tray.
The trick to preserving your raspberries for a long time is to keep them as dry as possible. When ready to wash, add them to a strainer or a colander and rinse them under plenty of running cold water. Remember not to soak the raspberries in the water – this will introduce too much moisture that will make them more likely to rot.
Once washed, gently spread the raspberries out on paper towels and pat them dry. You must keep them very dry before freezing them. If the berries are wet, they will be more likely to freezer-burn.
Your washed and dry raspberries are now ready to be frozen! When freezing, you can choose to freeze them either plain or in sugar, depending on how you plan to use them later.
Flash freezing speeds up the overall freezing process. This ensures that any ice crystals formed during freezing are tiny, resulting in higher quality berries!
Label and date each bag, and your raspberry-filled freezer bags are now ready to be loaded into the freezer for long-term storage!
You can use either sugar syrup or sugar directly to prepare sweetened raspberries. However, using a sugar syrup results in a frozen block of fruit that is difficult to use. So the method below uses sugar directly, which is much more convenient.
When the sugar has dissolved completely, you are ready to pack the raspberries.
Many recipes do not require you to thaw frozen raspberries, especially if you use them in desserts. However, depending on how much time you have, you can defrost them in the following ways.
Transfer your frozen raspberries to a bowl and add enough cold water to cover the berries fully. Let the bowl sit on your counter for 10 minutes, and your raspberries will be ready for use!
Transfer the raspberries from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them sit for 5-6 hours. You can even do this process overnight, and come morning, you will have your defrosted raspberries!
Add the raspberries to a microwave-safe bowl lined with paper towels. Then, use the microwave’s defrost setting for about 30 seconds. This should be enough time to thaw the raspberries completely. If not, defrost again in 10-second intervals until they are ready for use.
Frozen raspberries are ready to be used in all the recipes you would otherwise use fresh berries. If you are using them in quick recipes, like pancakes or waffles, it is best to thaw them beforehand. You can also add frozen raspberries directly to desserts, such as cakes, pies, and muffins. Your sweetened raspberries will especially come in handy in these recipes!
Properly frozen and stored raspberries will easily last for 12-18 months in your freezer, which gives you plenty of time to freeze a fresh batch!
Flash freezing the raspberries will prevent the berries from getting mushy. Freezing them individually on the tray makes sure that the ice crystals formed are tiny, which means you do not lose a lot of texture when thawed.
Frozen raspberries are almost as good as fresh raspberries, especially when used in desserts or smoothies. You may want to avoid using frozen raspberries as toppings or garnishes because freezing may cause some loss of texture.
While you are not required to wash raspberries before freezing them, you should rinse them if you do not plan on thawing. When washed, you must completely dry the raspberries before freezing to avoid freezer burn.
So there it is, a simple way to enjoy the fresh taste of raspberries throughout the year. Freezing raspberries is an excellent way to preserve and enjoy them for a long time. If you want to enjoy even more summer fruits, you can learn more in our guide on freezing strawberries! You can also check out the rest of our freezing guides to prepare fruits from any season for freezing.
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