Three of Emily’s Berry Season Must Haves
Berry season has arrived in the Pacific Northwest, and our warm weather is ripening all the crops early this year! Strawberries are winding down, with those beautiful Hoods leading the way. Raspberries are next on the list, with blueberries following close behind. I get excited just thinking about it.
My family’s favorite jam is strawberry freezer jam. Because of the ridiculous amount of sugar involved, I had decided I wasn’t going to make it this year. Then my sister came to the rescue and recommended Mrs. Wages No-Cook Fruit Pectin (Amazon). I found it locally at Bi-Mart.
It still uses sugar, but instead of the usual freezer jam ratio of 2 cups of fruit to 4 cups of sugar, Mrs. Wages uses 4 cups of fruit to 1.5 cups of sugar. We’re still not talking health food here, but that ratio is much easier to swallow.
The steps are also faster and easier than typical pectin. My jam wasn’t as firm as normal, but I can live with that.
I use baking sheets like these Chicago Uncoated Jelly Roll Pans (Amazon) all summer long. Lined with parchment paper, they are perfect for individually freezing berries. With two sheets, you can slide them, slightly offset, into an upright freezer which makes freezing large batches of berries go so much faster. They are also great for canning, making filling jars and cleaning up counters so much easier.
During May’s heat wave, I was buying box after box of popsicles to keep the little natives happy. I knew I needed to come up with a better plan.
I purchased 2 sets of these Ozera Popsicle Molds (Amazon), and my kids are loving them. I make fresh juice or smoothies almost every single morning, then just pour the rest into these empty popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer. It’s a great way to sneak in kale & spinach for my two littles who won’t eat greens but will happily slurp down a popsicle. I have never used an actual popsicle recipe, but I’m planning to try some of Smitten Kitchen’s popsicle combinations this summer!
I like having individual molds to swap in and out of the freezer. They are easy to fill, eat, and clean. I’d highly recommend this purchase for a summer of cool, happy kids (and adults)!
Leave a comment! What are your favorite frugal items for berry season?
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