Gooseberries have the sweet-tart taste when it’s riped that goes perfect with a lot of food. They are popular for making desserts and jams. They can even be added to pies and soups too. With the fruits, they only grow during one season of the year.
Therefore, when it comes time to harvest them, you’ll probably end up with a lot of them. Like other fruits, gooseberries will not last very long once it’s harvested. If you want to store them for many months, would freezing be an option?
So can you freeze gooseberries? Yes, you can freeze gooseberries and it will stay fresh in the freezer for a long time too. To ensure that they reach their maximum shelf life in the freezer, you’ll need to prep them first before freezing it.
Does Gooseberries Freeze Well?
Gooseberries are one of those berries that freeze well and last a long time in the freezer too.
There are many uses for gooseberries so you should freeze them according to that.
If you’re planning to make jam, freeze under-ripe gooseberries. For desserts and beverages, fully ripe berries are a better choice because they are less bitter.
Therefore, always pick them when they are developed or nearly developed their full color. Freezing them as soon as they are harvested will ensure their flavor and texture remain fresh.
How to Freeze Gooseberries
Gooseberries are one of the easiest fruits to freeze. There are a couple of ways to go about freezing them. Depending on what you’ll be using them for, you can either prep them first by flash freezing or rolling them in sugars.
Flash freezing gooseberries is typical for most berries including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Flash freezing them first will help lock in the nutrient, flavor, and texture of the berries.
The other method is simply rolling them in sugar and storing them in an ice cube tray. This method is quick and great for gooseberry snacks.
Below are more in-depth on how to prep and freeze gooseberries.
Flash Freezing Fresh Gooseberries
Things You’ll Need:
- Wax Paper
- Freezer Bags
- In a large bowl, place all the gooseberries you need in there. Look through them and remove any stems that may still be attached to it. Also, if there are any berries that are damaged, remove them from the bowl.
- Pour cool clean water in the bowl. Swiss the gooseberries around with your hand. Remove any stems or leaves that may float to the top of the water.
- In a colander, pour the berries from the bowl into it.
- Rinse it under cool water for about 30 seconds.
- Using a dry paper towel, gently pat all the berries to dry them.
- On a clean tray, lay a single sheet of wax paper or baking paper on it.
- Spread the gooseberries on the tray, evenly spaced out, and make sure they don’t touch each other.
- Set the tray in the freezer for about 5 to 10 hours, or until they are completely frozen.
- Once it’s completely frozen solid, immediately transfer the frozen gooseberries to a freezer storage bag.
- Press out as much air as you can and seal it tight.
- Label the bag with a date and return it back to the freezer.
This option is great for using in cakes and pies.
Freeze Fresh Gooseberries in Ice Cube Trays
Things You’ll Need:
- Plastic tray
- Ice cube tray
- Give the gooseberries a good wash to remove any dirt and bugs that may be on them.
- Remove any stems and blossom ends.
- On a tray, spread a layer of sugar on it.
- Roll the gooseberries in the sugars. Make sure all parts of the berries are covered.
- In an ice tray, place the rolled gooseberries in each slot. Alternatively, you can use an airtight container as well.
- If using an ice cube tray, make sure to cover the entire tray with a cling wrapper.
- Label the ice tray with a date and place it in the freezer.
This method is great for freezing gooseberries that you want to use as snacks.
How Long Can You Freeze Gooseberries?
Frozen gooseberries will last for a very time in the freezer if it’s properly stored. How it’s stored will determine how long they will last.
If they are kept in a freezer bag and it isn’t touched, frozen gooseberries can last for up to 2 years!
On the other hand, if the gooseberries are frozen in an ice cube tray or rolled in sugar, they will have a shorter life of about 1 year.
Therefore, it’s important to know what you are planning to use gooseberries for so you can store them correctly.
How Do You Defrost Gooseberries?
How to defrost gooseberries will depend on what you’ll be using them for.
If you’re planning to make cakes, pies, or smoothies, there’s no need to thaw them. Simply remove the amount you need from the freezer and add them straight to the recipe.
To garnish salads and other foods, place the number of gooseberries you need in the refrigerator. It’s recommended to put them in a colander to let water drain when it’s thawing. Alternatively, you can place a paper towel on the bottom of a plate so it’ll absorb the water when it thaw.
Let the gooseberries thaw overnight so that it will retain their shape and taste.
If you need to use the berries sooner, you can defrost them by leaving them at room temperature. In a bowl, place cold water and add the gooseberries to it. It’ll thaw completely within 1 hour.
Do not use hot water as it will cause the gooseberries to explode.
Can Frozen Gooseberries Go Bad?
Frozen gooseberries do go bad if it’s left in the freezer for a prolonged time. Like anything else that’s left in the freezer, sooner or later, it will start getting freezer burn. This happens when air gets into the storage container or freezer bag and starts to oxidize the food.
The same goes for gooseberries when it’s stored in the freezer for more than 2 years. Over time, air will start to slowly leak into the container and cause oxidation to the berries.
While they can last up to 2 years in the freezer, there are times it may go bad before that. One of them is when the freezer temperature fluctuates often. This is usually due to the freezer’s door opening and closing when you need to get something from there. As the door opens, the temperature will increase and cause condensation in the container. As the freezer’s door is closed, the temperature lower and freezes any moisture from the condensation.
When gooseberries thaw, this could cause them to go bad too. Thawing doesn’t cause them to spoil but leaving them sitting for a day or more after it’s thawed will. For most recipes, you can simply toss frozen gooseberries from the freezer straight into the food that’s being cooked.
Can you eat raw gooseberries?
Gooseberries can be eaten raw and it’s actually good to eat them that way. Depending on how ripe it is, the taste will be sour to sweet. The more ripen the fruit is, the sweeter it gets.
Can you freeze gooseberries jam?
Yes, freezing freshly homemade jam from gooseberries is possible. Be sure to leave about half an inch of space at the top of the container so the jam can expand when frozen. If not, the jam will expand and will eventually cause the container to crack. Gooseberries jam stored in the freezer will remain fresh for up to 1 year.