Plastic Free Berries

Now is the time to take advantage of the low prices on abundant fruit to stock up for winter!

It’s honestly so easy to have berries ready for smoothies for basically the whole winter and into spring. I still have raspberries from last summer because I stretched out their use.  The summer previous was the first time I had frozen my own berries in glass jars so I was being extra cautious to not use them all up before more were available this season.

I’ll show how I do this and how I avoid making any trash in the process.

Start with fresh berries. My first choices are raspberries and blueberries. My mom and I picked the raspberries from her bushes, and I purchased the flat of blueberries for $24. They are local and delicious. I love blueberries fresh, so I’ve been eating more of them than freezing for right now. I’ll probably freeze more later.

I used a large and a small baking tray for the raspberries first. Simply place them in the freezer for a few hours and they should all be frozen. The reason you need to spread them out is so they don’t all just freeze together into one clump and become impossible to separate for smoothies / baking / snacking. I didn’t bother washing these as they would have taken forever to dry and would have become stuck to the tray. I trust the source of these and was not worried but had picked through them a bit before placing them onto the tray.

Blueberries are even easier than raspberries due to their spherical shape without so many crannies.

My freezer is regular size and the large tray fit fine in here. I know it’s very disorganized and needs a cleaning at the moment.

Once frozen, I used a metal spatula to just lift the raspberries from their frozen spots.

It’s easier to use a wide funnel for the regular mouth mason jars, but it’s not necessary.

So I have about 4 1/2 quarts of raspberries here which will last a long time! This took very little effort on my part and was also essentially free. The blueberries are a different story, of course, but will end up being much less expensive than frozen berries in the store, especially local berries.

I have 2 quarts of blueberries frozen from just the large tray and I’m sure I’ll freeze more soon.

I don’t have to use glass jars, but I trust that the lids will keep my berries sealed. I’m careful to not slam the jar down on the counter top and make sure these are placed safely in the freezer.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Freezing without Plastic

Plastic is something I am trying to live without. I don’t want to buy products for a single use that then ends in the trash. Good thing there are so many alternatives to plastic that will fulfill all parts of my life.

I’ve grown lemon drop hot peppers this summer and I couldn’t possibly eat them all right now. I think peppers freeze wonderfully and because of the small volume required to add to a dish, it doesn’t really matter if the texture changes slightly. I haven’t ever noticed a problem with frozen hot peppers.

First, give them all a rinse.

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Then spread them out onto a cookie tray that goes straight into the freezer, just on top of whatever is in there already.

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Once they were frozen, I pulled the stems off because they take up precious space and were going to tightly fit into this small jar already.

Pack them tightly into a jar with a tight fitting lid, then place back into the freezer. Label if you like!

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I can pull out a couple whenever I want, and continue to reuse this jar when they are all used up. So simple, I regret not looking for plastic bag alternatives years ago.

Peace and love,

Kristan