How to Thaw Frozen Berries

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Ever since we’ve learned that freezing foods is a healthy option of giving them a longer shelf life, we keep freezing things for safe-keeping and a simpler life in the kitchen. But sometimes thawing doesn’t seem all that straightforward. Here’s how to thaw frozen berries, for the clearing up of a dilemma.

Berries are a healthy snack, an amazing topping for oatmeal and Greek yogurt, and a great texture addition for a wide variety of desserts. But they tend to be so little in season when they’re accessible and available to buy everywhere. Some of them, like strawberries, live out their lives near the end of spring. Others, like blueberries and blackberries, are the children of summer. Beyond those seasons, they tend to have less flavor and also be pretty expensive, as if they’re a luxury item. So how do you fix this? By buying all these berries when in season and freezing them for safekeeping, until you need them.

But when you feel the craving striking, you need to know how to thaw frozen berries so that they retain their flavor and shapes in salads and other dishes you are making. Because for baked goods you don’t need to know how to thaw the berries. You can just throw some frozen berries in the batter and know that the oven heat will take care of the rest.

But back to the thawing: you can easily do it by using a microwave and if you’ve frozen the berries when they were in perfectly-ripe, prime condition, they should turn out just fine and still keep their shapes.

How to thaw frozen berries in 7 steps

1. Gather your ingredients

You will need some berries, of whatever kind you prefer. As for equipment, the microwave oven is the key, as well a microwave-safe plate and some paper towels.

2. Place the berries

Line a microwave-safe plate with a couple of paper towels and place the berries on it. Make sure that the berries aren’t crowded – they should have plenty of breathing room between them – and that you’ve placed them in a single layer.

3. Microwave

Pop the plate with frozen berries in the oven and hit the defrost button for 30 seconds.

4. Check the berries

Check the status of the berries. Now, raspberries and blueberries should defrost faster and it only takes one microwave zap to thaw them. Blackberries and strawberries take longer.

5. Zap in the microwave again

Zap the berries again, with the defrost button, for 30 seconds. Repeat, if needed – strawberries will probably need about 4 zaps total.

6. Remove from microwave

Remove the berries from the microwave immediately, because they might still cook inside, even if the oven is not on anymore. The berries should still look a little frosted. Over-zapped berries tend to lose their distinctive shapes, which means that they won’t be good-looking in your fruit salad or topping your yogurt.

7. Handle with care

Carefully remove them from your plate and use them in your dish gently. They are pretty fragile after the thaw.

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