Fresh berry season is almost here! But if you can’t wait, frozen berries can be used with just as much success if you treat them nicely!
Fresh berries are abundant during the summer and can be eaten alone, in salads, and in recipes. Sometimes the crop is especially prolific and the cook must freeze the extra fruit. To find out how to easily freeze your fresh berries, go to this website: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-freeze-berries-2216939.
Most berries are about 90% water. When they’re frozen, the water in them becomes ice and expands, which breaks down the cell structure. When you thaw the berries, that lack of structure results in a mushier texture. The frozen, then thawed berries are not as appealing to eat for a snack or in a salad, but they can be used in a dessert or bread recipe. How does this prepared fruit behave in recipes? Here are some tips:
- Thaw frozen berries before adding to a recipe. Frozen berries will attract gummy pieces of dough as they defrost in the oven.
- Rinse berries in cool water to remove the extra berry juice.
- Add 1/2 tsp. extra thickener (flour, cornstarch, tapioca) to the recipe to absorb the extra moisture in the thawed berries.
- Add about 5 extra minutes of baking time to allow the extra thickener to absorb the juices.
So, whether you use fresh or frozen berries, the result is the same – tasty, healthy food for your family. You’ll find several recipes for fresh and frozen berries in Chef Cappy’s Kitchen – STEM facts and healthy recipes for family fun – Holiday Favorites edition. It is available for immediate download or as a paperback book. And make sure you check out Chef Cappy’s cute sous chef stuffed bears and student bear puppets!