IMG_4170General Information about Berries

After buying or picking berries it is important to keep them cool. It is also important not to wash them until you are ready to eat or they will mold in a matter of hours.

Berries generally will last about 3-4 days in the fridge when picked at their peek. However there are a couple of alternatives when it comes to storing them.

Canning BerriesCanning berries is also an excellent way to preserve them. Follow instructions in a good cookbook or take from our example below.For Blackberries, blueberries, currants, dewberries, elderberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, loganberries, mulberries, and raspberries:Quantity: An average of 12 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 8 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A 24-quart crate weighs 36 pounds and yields 18 to 24 quarts – an average of 1-3/4 pounds per quart.

Quality: Choose ripe, sweet berries with uniform color.

Procedure: Wash 1 or 2 quarts of berries at a time. Drain, cap, and stem if necessary. For gooseberries, snip off heads and tails with scissors. Prepare and boil preferred syrup , if desired. Add 1/2 cup syrup, juice, or water to each clean jar.

Hot pack: For blueberries, currants, elderberries, gooseberries, and huckleberries. Heat berries in boiling water for 30 seconds and drain. Fill jars and cover with hot juice, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Raw pack: Fill jars with any of the raw berries, shaking down gently while filling. Cover with hot syrup, juice, or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

Processing directions for canning berries in a boiling-water, a dial, or a weighted-gauge canner are given in Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3.

 

Table 1. Recommended process time for Berries, whole in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 3,000 ft 3,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 15 min 20 20 25
Raw Pints
Quarts
15
20
20
25
20
30
25
35

 

Table 2. Process Times for Some Acid Foods in a Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time (Min) 0 – 2,000 ft 2,001 – 4,000 ft 4,001 – 6,000 ft 6,001 – 8,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 8 6 7 8 9
Raw Pints
Quarts
8
10
6
6
7
7
8
8
9
9

 

Table 3. Process Times for Some Acid Foods in a Weighted-Gauge Pressure Canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time (Min) 0 – 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 8 5 10
Raw Pints
Quarts
8
10
5
5
10
10
Freezing BerriesFresh berries are the very best the first couple of days after they are picked but freezing is an excellent way to preserve their freshness for months. For convenience of having fresh berries year round, there is a method you should follow every time you freeze.
1. Wash with cold water.2. Immediately dry on paper towels or kitchen towel in a well ventilated area.3. Label quart or gallon size bags with the month, year & type of berry inside. Tupperware also works well.4. Once berries are dry (no more than two hours later) put in storage containers and freeze immediately.

Tips: Don’t over pack your bags, berries will easily mush, single layers are recommended. Once Frozen berries can last up to a year and still taste great.

 

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