Apples to Zucchini
How to store for now and later,
handy tips for use, and delicious recipes!
Storage tips: Wash your berries with vinegar just after you bring them home to get rid of mold. After discarding any berries that show even a bit of mold, put 3 cups cold water and 1 cup white vinegar in a large bowl or salad spinner. Make a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts cold water. Immerse berries and swish around for about a minute. Drain berries, then rinse with clean, cold water until any trace of vinegar aroma or taste is gone. Spread out rinsed berries on clean cloth or paper towels, and pat and roll lightly with towels to dry them well. If your berries came in a ventilated plastic clamshell-type package, wash it with soap and hot water, rinse and dry, then line it with a dry paper towel. Put the clean, dry berries back in the clamshell and store them in the fridge. Make sure to leave ventilation holes in the top uncovered so air can circulate in the package. Otherwise, store the berries in a clean container lined with paper towels, with the lid ajar so condensation can evaporate. Change the paper towels if they get damp over time.
This method works best for firm berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Fragile raspberries should get the classic “rinse right before eating” treatment with just plain water. Berries that are super-ripe to begin with should be eaten within a couple of days.
- Sliced, Crushed, or Pureed Berries
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar per quart of berries; gently stir until sugar dissolves. Spoon into plastic freezer jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims clean; secure lids. Freeze up to 12 months.
Best Uses: Top off shortcakes, stir into yogurt, layer in an ice-cream parfait.
2. Dry Sugar Pack
Pat 1 quart of berries just until damp. Gently toss with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar. Place in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; freeze until firm. Pack into plastic freezer containers; cover and seal. Freeze up to 12 months.
Best Uses: Add frozen berries to cobblers or pies, stir into pancake batter.
3. Quick Freeze
Place berries in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; freeze until firm. Pack into zip-top plastic freezer bags, leaving 1-inch headspace. Squeeze out excess air; seal and freeze up to 8 months.
Best Uses: Add frozen berries to muffin, cake, or quick bread batter; spoon over oatmeal or cereal.
4. Syrup Pack
Stir together 1 quart cold water and 2 1/2 cups sugar until sugar dissolves. Pack berries in wide-mouth canning jars; cover with syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims clean; secure lids. Freeze up to 12 months.
Best Uses: Thaw in fridge; drain, reserving syrup, and use like fresh berries.
Strawberries: One cup of strawberries contains over 100 milligrams of vitamin C, almost as much as a cup of orange juice. Strawberries also have calcium, magnesium, folate, and potassium. And they’re low in calories – one cup of strawberries has only 53 calories.
Raspberries: Nutrition wise, raspberries are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Plus, they’re low in calories – one cup of raspberries has 64 calories.
Cranberries: As far as nutrition and health, cranberries are high in vitamin C and they have lots of antioxidants. They also contain compounds that may help prevent bladder infections.
Blueberries: Blueberries seem to make it to the top of almost every superfoods list. Probably because they’re chock full of antioxidants. They’re also good for plenty of nutrients – one cup of blueberries has lots of potassium and almost 4 grams of fiber. You’ll also get a good dose of vitamin C and only 83 calories.
Blackberries: They’re quite good for you because they’re high in calcium, vitamin C, and potassium, plus one cup of blackberries has over 7 grams of fiber about 60 calories. And like all berries, they’re loaded with antioxidants.
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Share the SWEET-ness. Like and follow us! We are Sweet Basil Farm & Gardens on Facebook. Look for us on Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter. Sweet Basil Farms is an 80 acre working farm, consisting of large vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, fruit orchards and livestock. We put great emphasis on natural gardening and livestock management practices. We are members of Georgia Grown and the American Poultry Association. We also breed and sell poultry, pet pigs, pygmy goats and over 300 varieties of bearded irises and so much more.
An 1840’s General Store situated on our property, is used as our on site Farmer’s Market. The old General Store was once the central hub for a railroad community, and served many important roles in the community of Goggans, even a United States Post Office until the 1960’s. It later served a new, bigger community purpose, inspiring our Farmers Market To You program to be born. This building is registered as a Historical site, and is adjacent to the old “Doctor’s Building”, which is rumored to have served as a Courthouse, among other things. The history on our property, rich with farming and community purpose, inspired us to serve our community in a new and exciting way.
We, both David and I, have always had a passion for growing flowers and plants, rooted from wonderful Grandmothers teachings. We, like everyone began to make a more conscience effort to eat healthy and naturally grown fresh food. Since we have 80 acres, we began by adding a “small” acre and a half vegetable garden. When people began driving an hour or two, just to buy our tomatoes and cucumbers, we realized there was a real need in many communities for families like ours….and Farmers Market To You was born. We have been able to expand in to several of our neighboring communities…and touch and reach families along the way. We are able to donate food and cash to needy families, food ministries, PTA’s, churches and other vital community service organizations because of the overwhelming support from the community!
This recipe post created by Tisha Johnson Matthews, of Sweet Basil Farm & Gardens. Special thanks to J. David Matthews, of Barnesville, Georgia for support and patience with all that I try and test. To see other fantastic recipes, or to find more healthy and delicious recipes, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Social Media.