Test Kitchen tips: Freezing berries
If you happen to overstock on berries next time you're at the market, go ahead and freeze the extras so you can use them later. Wash and dry the berries, then spread them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or baking dish (use something with a rim so the berries don't run off). Place the berries on the sheet and slide the sheet into the freezer, making sure the berries aren't touching. Freeze the berries until they're solid (a few hours), then place the frozen berries in a sealable freezer bag. Label and date the berries; they can be frozen up to several months.
Throw frozen berries in a blender for a quick smoothie, or add them to muffins, pancakes and other baked goods for extra color and flavor (frozen berries -- even if you just quickfreeze them for 10 to 20 minutes or so before using -- are less likely to bleed color into baked goods). Frozen berries also make a great snack simply eaten out of hand, especially on a hot summer day.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photos: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times