Mulberries are a delicious fruit that can be used in jams, preservatives, baked goods, or simply eaten raw, fresh off the tree. Not only are mulberries delicious, but they are healthy too. With a relatively short harvest season, it can be hard to find mulberries in the spring, fall, or winter. Luckily, mulberries are very easy to freeze and can last up to six months frozen in the freezer.
Table of contents
- When Are Mulberries In Season?
- How To Freeze Mulberries
- How Long Can Berries Last in the Freezer?
- Should I Take Mulberries Off the Stem Before Freezing?
- What Can I Make with Frozen Mulberries?
- How Do I Thaw Mulberries?
- Are Mulberries Healthy?
When it is time to use the berries, allow them to defrost or thaw in the microwave for a fast, easy, perfectly fresh, and safe berry.
When Are Mulberries In Season?
Mulberries usually start to ripen on the trees between the middle of June through the end of August. Luckily, because mulberries are so easy to freeze, it is possible to keep your mulberries frozen throughout the year using the fruit in baked goods, preserves, or jams. But, if you recently planted mulberry trees, you may have to wait before you can harvest your first berries. Mulberry trees usually take about three years to mature before producing edible fruit for harvest.
How To Freeze Mulberries
Freezing mulberries is a great way to keep your fresh harvest available throughout the entire year. Frozen mulberries can help preserve your berries later for baked goods or jams, and the freezing process is very straightforward. To freeze your mulberries, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Wash the Berries
Before packing your berries into the deep recesses of the freezer, you’ll want to make sure you give your mulberries a good wash. Not only does washing the berries remove dirt and debris, but it could eliminate dangerous bacteria, like E. coli or salmonella, that could be hiding in the nooks and crannies of the berries. To wash mulberries, simply run the fruit under cold water and let them drip dry for a few minutes in a colander.
Step 2: Baking Sheet
The best way to freeze mulberries is to put them in the freezer as s single layer. This method helps keep the shape of the berry intact, preserving the natural juices. Arrange the berries in a single layer spread out on a baking sheet or plate. Place the entire baking sheet or plate in the freezer to freeze for two hours or longer.
Step 3: Easy Storage
Once the single layer of berries is frozen, you can move the berries to a more accessible storage container that takes up less room in the freezer. You can choose formed containers or freezer bags. Make sure you find BPA-free containers to keep your berries safe and healthy. You’ll also want a container that forms an airtight seal to fight off freezer burn.
How Long Can Berries Last in the Freezer?
When appropriately frozen and moved to airtight storage containers, mulberries can last in the freezer for up to six months and still retain their flavor. After six months, the berry will likely start to lose its flavor, degrading over time. Eating frozen berries past six months is not dangerous and doesn’t pose any immediate health concerns, but the taste will not be as complete as a freshly frozen berry.
Should I Take Mulberries Off the Stem Before Freezing?
When it comes to freezing mulberries, you have options. When picking mulberries, a small part of the stem will come attached to the berry. You can take time picking the small stems off to freeze, or you can freeze the mulberries with the stems attached. The process for freezing the berries remains the same whether you leave the stems on or take them off. The berry flavor will not change if you keep the stems on through the freezing process.
What Can I Make with Frozen Mulberries?
For the most part, frozen mulberries can be used exactly as you would use fresh mulberries. You don’t even have to defrost the mulberries for many recipes ahead of time. You can put still-frozen mulberries straight into muffins, pancakes, or even bread. The frozen berries will heat up and cook alongside the remaining ingredients, creating a delicious, warm final product.
If you choose to use frozen mulberries defrosted, your options are endless. Defrost frozen mulberries to make smoothies, jam, or baked goods. Mulberries can be blended with milk or yogurt to make a delicious milkshake-like texture that can help sweeten other recipes or function as a standalone snack.
How Do I Thaw Mulberries?
Before making your favorite jam or baked goods, you’ll need to thaw frozen mulberries. One method is to simply take the mulberries out of the freezer the night before you plan to bake. Allow the berries to defrost naturally as they sit on the countertop. Ensure to unpack the berries from their container and place them on a plate or in a bowl to catch the water as the berries thaw.
If you are in a hurry, you can also thaw the frozen mulberries in the microwave. Allow the berries to run for about one minute on the defrost cycle in the microwave. The multiple crevices throughout the berry trap water, requiring a little longer than other berries to defrost.
Are Mulberries Healthy?
Like many berries, mulberries are incredibly healthy and are an excellent snack and ingredient to add to your favorite baked goods. One serving of mulberries, about 3.5 ounces, contains just 43 calories. A single serving contains almost half of your daily vitamin C value, making this a power-packed fruit.
Further, mulberries have potent antioxidants which help fight inflammation and destroy potential free radicals in the body. These berries also have large amounts of resveratrol, which can help increase longevity. While small amounts of resveratrol are found in the fruit itself, the majority of this nutrient is found in the stem bark of the mulberry plant.
Baking with mulberries outside their regular harvest season is possible if you freeze the berries while they are ripe. After harvesting the berries, be sure to wash and freeze the fruit in a single layer. Pack the berries into airtight containers and leave them in the freezer for up to six months. Mulberries are easy to defrost and can be used all year round. Not only is this fruit delicious, but it is incredibly healthy and packed full of valuable vitamins and minerals, essential for overall health.