Can you bottle up the taste of summer? Not exactly, but freezing Saskatoon berries for later use comes pretty close. You’ve spent hours in the berry patch picking, now it’s time to clean and freeze those beautiful berries! I’ll show you exactly how to clean and freeze Saskatoon berries, as well as answer a few questions about storing them longer when fresh, and using them in recipes.
P.S. Hey American friends! You might know Saskatoon berries as Juneberries or Serviceberries. It’s all the same berry.
Cleaning Fresh Picked Saskatoon Berries
The best way to cut your work in half is to pick clean when you’re out in the berry patch. That means avoiding twigs, leaves, and any berry that doesn’t look ripe or has been eaten by a bird. While it’s impossible to avoid everything, just being conscious of it will help you avoid way more undesirable berries that you would have had to deal with later.
Once you get home, transfer the berries a little at a time into a cookie sheet or pan in a single layer as shown below:
Then you can easily go through and pick out any undesirable stuff. Once you’ve cleaned a pan, transfer those berries to another bowl and wash them.
Wash them off
Next, I like to transfer the berries into a colander and rinse them under the sink. Gently mix the berries around with your hands to make sure you’re getting everything.
Let the berries air dry on another cookie sheet or other flat and contained surface.
Once they’re dry, pop them into the freezer.
Related: Saskatoon Berry Muffin Recipe
You can freeze them in a thin layer first and then transfer them to bags if you know you’ll be using them a little at a time–like you would if you’re adding them to oatmeal or yogurt.
If you’re freezing them for use in recipes, you can skip that step and freeze them directly in freezer bags. I like to freeze them in 2 cup amounts for baking, and 6 cup amounts for future use in pies.
Do Saskatoon Berries Freeze Well?
Yes! Saskatoon berries freeze very well and work just as well as fresh ones do in recipes. The only application they don’t work as well in is ice cream and popsicles. It might be a bit of personal opinion, but I think the texture of Saskatoon berries just doesn’t taste right in frozen desserts.
What if I don’t have time to process my Saskatoon berries right now?
In a perfect world, we’d all go berry picking early one morning, clean berries in the afternoon, and freeze them by the evening. Unfortunately that’s not everyone’s reality. If I know I can’t get to my berries until the next day or a few days later, I store them in Tupperware fridge smart containers. Yes, they can be pricey, but totally worth the investment. Berries will keep well in these containers for up to 3 weeks.
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.