Date: March 1989 (Revised April 1995)
Source: NDSU Extension Service Nutrition Specialists
Berries such as blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries should be firm, plump, sweet, ripe and have bright, glossy skins.
Wash gently in ice cold water. Bruising and injury encourage mold growth. Discard immature and overripe berries. Remove any leaves or stems. Drain well.
If you use a dry pack, you can pack them unsweetened, or add sugar. Use these berries in cooked foods.
You can freeze berries on a tray or cookie sheet until firm; then pack in freezer bags. This method (no sugar added) is convenient because you can shake as many berries as you want from the container.
If you pack berries in syrup, pack in a 30 to 50 percent syrup, depending upon the sweetness of the fruit. Use this type of berry pack for desserts.
Sugar sprinkled over the berries--three-fourths cup sugar to one quart berries--is a pack you can use many ways. Mix gently until the sugar dissolves. You can crush or puree overripe berries. Use the sugar pack method, one cup sugar to one quart fruit.
For future reference, you may want to obtain a copy of Extension bulletin HE-192, "Freezing Fruits," which is available at your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.
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For More Information Contact your North Dakota County Extension Office of the NDSU Extension Service for additional information or see our main NDSU Web Page for publications and articles on Agriculture, Horticulture, Youth and Family, Business and Community and Food and Nutrition at http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/