Preserving Raspberries: Freezing, Jams & More
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Preserving Raspberries: Freezing, Jams & More

December 10, 2019

Kathy Savoy:  Hi. I’m Kathy Savoy, Extension Educator with the University of Maine Cooperative
Extension. Summer is at its peak in Maine and today we’re going to talk about how to
use fresh raspberries. Raspberries, whether from your own backyard,
your local farmer’s market or farm stand, are vitamin rich and fiber packed. Freezing
is a simple, inexpensive and quick method of food preservation. Why not take advantage
of those raspberries when you have a bunch of them available so you can have access to
them later on in the winter, when local raspberries are no longer available?
You do not need to pack your raspberries in a sugar or syrup solution. Materials to freeze
in need to be moisture/vapor‑resistant, very durable and leak proof and not become
brittle and crack at low temperatures. You want to protect your foods from developing
off‑flavors or odors, and make sure that they are easy to seal and easy to mark with
the date and label. With clean hands, clean equipment and a clean
work surface, you’re ready to start. Raspberries are very perishable and need to
be eaten or preserved within two days of picking. Raspberries should be at best quality, at
optimum maturity and freshness. Sort raspberries to remove any spoiled or crushed fruit. Rinse
very gently under cool, running water. To improve the quality of your frozen product,
remove water by spinning in a salad spinner, placing on paper towels or clean towels. Remember,
excess water creates clumped berries that are hard to break up and use.
Pack into freezer‑grade material leaving headspace for expansion that occurs during
freezing. Label, date and freeze in a freezer set at zero degrees or lower. Keep a thermometer
in your freezer and check the temperature frequently. Remember, berries should be used
within eight to 12 months. A tray pack is an alternative that may make
raspberries easier to use later on. Simply spread berries in a shallow layer on trays
and freeze. When frozen, remove from the tray and pack in freezer‑grade packaging.
Frozen berries can be used in your favorite recipes, including pies, quick breads, smoothies,
shortcake and frozen berries can even be used to make your own homemade jams and jellies.
When serving frozen fruits, serve them while there are still a few ice crystals in the
fruit. This helps compensate for the mushy texture frozen fruits have when they are fully
thawed. Fresh raspberries can also be preserved by
canning in water, juice or syrup using a boiling water bath to safely process. Raspberries
also make a delicious jam or jelly. I encourage you to try a low or no‑sugar pectin product
for jam or jelly making, to help reduce the amount of added sugar you use.
Also, considering using raspberries in homemade berry syrup to use on pancakes or flavored
vinegars to jazz up salads or other vegetable dishes. Try dehydrating to make fruit leathers
with Maine raspberries as well. There are many options for preserving raspberries, so
you can enjoy the flavor and nutritional benefits of Maine raspberries year round.
U Maine Cooperative Extension is your go‑to resource for the latest USDA recommendations
for home canning and preserving. Check out our website for food preservation information,
including hands‑on preserving the harvest workshops near you, publications from our
“Let’s Preserve” series, books, pressure gauge testing services and more.
There are many options for preserving raspberries. So you can enjoy the flavor and nutritional
benefits of Maine raspberries year round. [music]�

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