Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fresh Raspberries - ALL year...

We have winter for a reason... so we can look back at these late July days and savor the memory of fresh fruit. Don’t you wish you could somehow preserve those summer berries just the way you picked them? Here’s a way to have the next best thing...

My mother has the most amazing raspberry patch... it is legendary in her neighborhood (and beyond!) They grow extra large and sweet because of her tender loving care and fussing over them during every spring & fall. We can usually count on at least one “good picking” every summer. This year, before my teenage son could inhale them - I took the opportunity to hoard them away for this winter.

Mom taught me how to do this. We both have FoodSavers, and they come in handy for things like this. The nice thing about a FoodSaver is that when using it with frozen fruit, it won’t crush the fruit as it is being compressed. You can easily do it yourself, even if you don’t own a FoodSaver.

You may noticed the words “Individually Quick Frozen” - or - “IQF” used on frozen foods. In the food industry, fresh fruits and berries are flash frozen in single layers, then packaged. Fruit frozen this way is so convenient to use for adding a little at a time to anything from cobblers to muffins to salads.

I’m planning to do this with fresh peaches, blueberries, and strawberries this year. I’ve done it before, but made the mistake of placing too many in the bags. This time I won’t put more than 1-2 cups in each one so it’s easier to use in a standard recipe.

For step-by-step instructions, with photos - go to: ("empty nest" tab)

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