Follow:

Freezing Foraged Fruits

This year has been wonderful for hedgerow blossom, and all the signs suggest that it's going to be a bumper year for wild fruits. I originally published this post last autumn, but since it's a great way to take advantage of foraged fruits as the season starts, I thought I'd share it again during #30DaysWild.

Like many people, the kids and I love to forage. Foraging is simply searching for, and collecting wild food. There are many good reasons to forage. Wild foods are far more nutrient dense than commercially produced crops, and the foods in our hedgerows are what our ancestors evolved to eat, making them important for our health. Foraging also allows us to learn, and pass on our knowledge, as well as giving us a closer connection with the natural world around us.

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

A quick summary of the legality of foraging in the UK...

  • it is illegal to uproot ANY wild plant without permission
  • it is illegal to disturb or collect plant material from any PROTECTED wild plant
  • it is illegal to trespass, so you must gain permission before foraging on private land

Common sense also says that if you entirely strip an area of wild food, you will damage that habitat, so only collect where food is bountiful, and only take sensible amounts. Only collect and eat wild food that you are 100% sure you have identified correctly. Be aware of what goes on in the area that you are collecting from; plants near busy roads may be absorbing emissions from vehicles. If nearby fields are sprayed with pesticides, chances are some will make their way onto wild plants too, and if water courses are polluted, your wild plants will be drinking that water.

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

We are really fortunate, as the farmer who owns the fields near our house is always happy for us to forage on his land - I'd recommend always popping round with a jar or bottle of whatever you make, its a great way to build up a good relationship!

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

So what should you do with all your foraged goodies? In the Autumn we collect Crab-Apples, Blackberries, Damsons, Sloes, Hawthorn Berries, Elderberries, and Rose-hips. I have learned over the years that if I wait until I have a clear couple of days to collect the fruit and process it all, I end up missing the crop altogether. So now I simply pick when the mood takes me, and then stick it in the freezer until I am ready to use it.

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

Freezing is one of the easiest, most convenient and least time-consuming ways to store foraged fruits. Properly frozen fruits will retain much of their fresh flavor and nutritive value. Their texture, however, may be somewhat softer than that of fresh fruit, this is because the process of freezing damages the structure of the cell wall. This may seem like a negative thing, until you consider what you are likely to be using your fruit for. If you look at recipes for wine making, sloe gin or rose-hip syrup, many of them will tell you to pick your fruit after the first frost. They will tell you that you will get a sweeter, more flavoursome result. In other words the colour and flavors will infuse into the preserve more readily due to the damage to the cell wall. This means you are getting more out of your fruit.

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial. Freezing the fruit affords you the luxury of being able to make your preserves, when you are ready to make them. If the blackberries are ready, but you're not... freeze them! Another advantage is that often you wont have enough fruit to make an entire batch of whatever you are planning to make. Not all fruits come into season evenly. Freezing the fruit allows you to hoard, until you do have enough to make a full batch.

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

For some fabulous ideas on ways to use your foraged fruits, please check out our recipes for Fruit Leather, Rose Hip and Crab Apple Jelly, and our Fruit Liqueurs.

 

Foraged berries that have been frozen can be used for baking, making juices, jellies, jams, fruit spirits and wines. With Sloes, it means you don't have to faff about sticking pins into them, and with rose hips, you wont need to mince them up before making jelly or cordial.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

30 Comments

  • Reply Michelle

    That was so interesting Sarah and it’s a good thing you have all those rules in the UK. Quite a bit of foraging happens all over South Africa and you’ll often find areas that have been over picked and destroyed due to lack of knowledge. Some areas are protected but I’m not sure if our rangers always enforce the protection.

    June 28, 2017 at 6:38 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s a difficult balance isn’t it Michelle. We get it here sometimes with things like mushrooms being commercially foraged but overall it doesn’t cause too many problems 🙂

      July 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply FLORENCE @ VintageSouthernPicks

    Very interesting! What is that red fruit? I had no idea there was such a thing as wild blueberries. I like your points about where it’s safe to collect the fruit.

    June 28, 2017 at 12:13 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      The red fruits are hawthorn and rosehips Florence and the fruit that looks like blueberries are in fact sloes which are a member of the plum family 🙂

      July 5, 2017 at 9:56 pm
  • Reply Linda at Mixed Kreations

    When we moved to the house we are living in now I noticed that we had wild grapevines. So I had high hopes of being able to harvest some of the berries. But there hasn’t been enough to harvest, the wildlife gets to it first. Which I would rather they have it since it’s not producing much. I guess I should check around and see if there is a farm near us where we could go pick berries. I would love to have some wild grape jelly and blackberry.

    June 27, 2017 at 10:27 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Wild grape and blackberry sound lovely Linda. I’ve never come across a wild grape here in the UK, I don’t think we have them – I’ll have to check 🙂

      July 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm
  • Reply Linda at Mixed Kreations

    We have a wild grapevine on our back fence and I was hoping that it would produce, but so far the birds are getting what few berries it makes. I was hoping to make some jelly. I never thought of freezing it.
    Linda at Mixed Kreations recently posted…Craft And Recipe Roundup – June And JulyMy Profile

    August 17, 2016 at 10:11 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      How lovely having a wild grapevine Linda, I wonder if pruning it would make it produce more berries – I have a picture in my head of vineyards where the vines were all pruned right back, although that might be my imagination 🙂

      August 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm
  • Reply Beverly

    Thanks for the tips on foraged fruits, Sarah. Pinned.
    Beverly recently posted…Stars and Stripes RockerMy Profile

    July 1, 2016 at 3:02 pm
  • Reply Michaela | Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum

    We live near a city centre so are not able to do this but I know my kids would love to. I never thought about freezing fruit though till needed.
    Michaela | Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum recently posted…Thinking Slimmer | How My Eating Habits Have ChangedMy Profile

    June 30, 2016 at 1:15 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It is fun for kids to forage, and in fact even my dog does, although obviously she just stuffs herself and doesn’t put any in the basket!

      June 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Yvonne

    This is fab, I am not sure I would be able to identify everything correctly but as you say in the comments I am sure you get used to it very quickly, especially if you go to the same land each time. It is a great idea to give a little something back to the land owner xx
    Yvonne recently posted…HELLP – We are GrandparentsMy Profile

    June 27, 2016 at 7:51 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It is really fun going back to the same place, firstly as you know just where to look, but also you can make comparisons from one year to the next on what sort of crop there is in relation to the sort of summer its been etc – it’s amazing what you start to notice 🙂

      June 30, 2016 at 1:32 pm
  • Reply Harriet from Toby & Roo

    I love the idea of going and collecting our own berries – I used to collect sloes with my mum when I was little and now I take the boys to collect wild garlic! H x
    Harriet from Toby & Roo recently posted…Thoughts on the EU referendum…My Profile

    June 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s such a lovely activity to do as a family. It’s my memories of doing it as a child that made me want to do it with my kids 🙂

      June 30, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply jolene

    wow this looks like so much fun.. and your photos are just beautiful .. i remember collecting blackberries,, and a really sour berry (we called them srove,s) but googled them now and cant find them,, they were very bitter and green
    jolene recently posted…Seaside crumbleMy Profile

    June 27, 2016 at 9:55 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thank you Jolene. I bet what you collected were sloes, they are purple/black on the outside but very green on the inside and very bitter – we collect them to make sloe gin every year 🙂

      June 30, 2016 at 1:29 pm
  • Reply Fashion and Style Police

    Thanks for sharing this post. I never knew about those foraging rules.

    June 27, 2016 at 7:33 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      The rules are quite strict, but really I think most of it is common sense. I think its commercial foragers who have caused some difficulties in the past because they have picked so much

      June 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm
  • Reply Tooting Mama

    Wow Wow Wow they look delicious, I am a city dweller so not many foraging opportunities. Please do post the results – what will you make?

    June 26, 2016 at 9:48 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      We always stick quite a lot in alcohol lol, but also make jams and fruit leather, and that sort of thing – then we give it all away at Christmas 🙂

      June 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Lyndsey O'Halloran

    That’s such a good idea! I’m sure there are places around here in Norfolk close by where we could do this.
    Lyndsey O’Halloran recently posted…Drink more water: Begin at homeMy Profile

    June 25, 2016 at 7:35 pm
  • Reply Gina

    So cool! Of course you know that I’m obsessed with your foraging adventures! I’ve frozen produce for a couple of years now. I didn’t know that about the cell walls and the science behind it. That’s so cool! I’ll have to keep my eye out and start hoarding now.

    June 25, 2016 at 2:51 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I’m starting to see fruits ripening already here Gina, and I love that you’re enjoying our foraging adventures – maybe we’ll get to visit the US and forage there one day!

      June 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    Living in the city we don’t come by fruits in their natural habitat. When I grew up in the country we had natural growing raspberries, blackberries and mulberries and we were able to pick on my grandfathers land to our hearts content! I love how many diverse fruits you’re able to find. How fun for you and the family. I love the idea of freezing them until you have enough time or enough fruit to properly prepare! I really love this series, I am learning so much from you!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…#WAYWOW 54 Summer! Turns me upside-down!My Profile

    June 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Nikki, I can feel you are a country girl at heart! I love how much the kids have learned so far, they really do soak up information like little sponges. We’re loving our foraging year 🙂

      June 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm
  • Reply Random Musings

    I would be worried I collected poisonous berries, but I think it would be a whole safer collecting them from a farm – great tip about taking the farmer a jar of produce!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…Blogger Club UK Linky #23My Profile

    June 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      You’d soon get the hang of identifying wild fruits Debbie, and it really is fun!

      June 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge