Can You Freeze Elderberries? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Elderberries? 

Yes, you can freeze elderberries, and they can last in the freezer for six to eight months. It is best to de-stem and flash freeze them before packing them into freezer-safe air-tight containers or Ziploc bags. You could also freeze elderberry syrup for up to six months. 

Here is the ultimate guide on everything you need to know about freezing and storing elderberries for the long term. 

I have found these methods and tips to work like a charm. So, let’s dive right into it. 

How to Freeze Elderberries?

How to Freeze Elderberries?

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This is the most recommended way of going about freezing elderberries. This method might be time-consuming, but it makes your job much easier later on. 

Materials

  • Elderberries
  • Baking Sheet

Tools

  • Paper Towel
  • Ziploc Bag

Instructions

    1. De-Stem: Grab a bowl and gently roll the elderberries off its stem and collect them. If you want to avoid stained hands and juicy mess, you can leave the elderberries in the freezer for a couple of hours, and the berries should roll off the stems easily.

    2. Wash and Dry: Thoroughly wash and clean the elderberries. Try and get rid of all the stray stems or bugs left-back. Then lay the elderberries on a paper towel and let them dry completely.

    3. Lay Out: Lay the berries out on a baking sheet. Make sure that the berries aren’t clumped together and are evenly spaced.

    4. Flash Freeze: Leave the tray of elderberries in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let the berries freeze solid. Leave the tray covered if there is stuff in the freezer that has a strong odor.

    5. Pack and Seal: Transfer the frozen elderberries into a Ziploc bag and seal them in. Make sure to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag before sealing it.

    6. Label and Freeze: Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the elderberries.

      Here is a tutorial by “Great Escape Farms” on YouTube to give you a better picture -

Freezing the Elderberries on its Stem

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes

What you will need: 

  • Elderberries 
  • Paper Towel 
  • Ziploc Bag 

If you are in a hurry and don’t mind squishy elderberries (perfect for jams or syrup) you can opt for this hassle-free method. But keep in mind that this is not a great long-term option. 

Wash and Clean

Thoroughly wash the elderberries and get rid of any damaged ones or bugs. 

Dry

Lay the bunch of elderberries on some paper towel and let it dry thoroughly. 

Pack and Seal

Pack the elderberries into a Ziploc bag and seal them in, after making sure to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag. 

Label and Freeze

Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the elderberries till you need it next. 

Check out this video by “Nocturnal Butterfly” on YouTube to see how it is done – 

How to Freeze Elderberry Syrup? 

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes 

What you will need: 

  • Elderberry Syrup 
  • Freezer Safe Glass Jars 

If you want to freeze a big batch of elderberry syrup that you can manage to use in one go, here is how you can do it. 

Prep and Cool

Once you prep the elderberry syrup, let it cool down to room temperature. 

Portion

Decide how much syrup you can manage to consume in one go and portion it accordingly. 

Pack and Seal

Spoon the elderberry syrup into a freezer-safe air-tight glass jar. Make sure to leave an inch or two of space at the top of the container to allow room for expansion. Then seal the container. 

Label and Freeze

Add a label on the jar with the best before date, and you are good to go. 

Freezing Elderberry Syrup in Ice Cube Trays

Time Taken: 10 – 15 minutes 

What you will need: 

  • Elderberry Syrup 
  • Ice Cube Tray or Silicone Mold 
  • Ziploc Bags

If you want to freeze elderberry syrup in small and bite-sized measures, you can opt for this nifty method.

Prep and Cool

Make the elderberry syrup and let it cool down to room temperature. 

Fill the Tray

Spoon the syrup into an ice cube tray or silicone mold, depending on the measure you want to freeze. 

Flash Freeze

Leave the tray of elderberry syrup covered in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let it set solid. 

Pack and Seal

Transfer the frozen cubes of elderberry syrup into a Ziploc bag and seal them in after making sure to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag. 

Label and Freeze

Add a label on the bag with the best before date and you are all set. 

How Long Can You Freeze Elderberry? 

You can freeze elderberries for six to eight months. The elderberry syrup is best used within the 6-month mark.

Although you can freeze the elderberries for longer, they deteriorate in flavor and texture the more it stays in the freezer. So, it is best to use them sooner rather than later.

The elderberry syrup can last in the fridge for 2 to 3 months. But if you don’t plan on using it up soon, it is always best to freeze it at the earliest.

How to Store Frozen Elderberries? 

You can store frozen elderberries in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag. The key is to make sure that the elderberries are thoroughly protected from being exposed to air or freezer burns. 

If you are pressed for freezer space it is best to opt for Ziploc bags.

Even when you have a large harvest to work with, you can pack them into Ziploc bags and lay them down flat over each other, and save a lot of precious freezer space.

When it comes to freezing a big portion of elderberry syrup, freezer-safe glass containers with some headroom to spare are the best option. 

How to Defrost Elderberries? 

The best part about frozen elderberries is that you can use them right out of the freezer without waiting to thaw them first. You can use it in your recipes like you would with fresh elderberries.

And if you had flash frozen the elderberries beforehand, the berries should thaw quite quickly, so you needn’t worry about taking the elderberries out the night before or waiting for them to thaw.

Can You Refreeze Elderberries? 

No, it is best advised not to refreeze elderberries. The elderberries are delicate, and repeated freezing and thawing will change the texture and taste of the berries, making them unappealing. So, it is best to use it up in one go, once you thaw them.

If you wish to avoid having to refreeze or waste the elderberries or elderberry syrup, you can portion them beforehand into measures that you can easily manage to use in one go or for a particular recipe.

Do Elderberries Freeze Well?

Yes, elderberries freeze well, and it is the best way to prolong the shelf life of the berries and keep them in stock all year long.  

It is best advised to freeze the elderberries without their stems because they can be poisonous.

So, it is always best to de-stem it first and then pack them into freezer-safe containers for long-term freezing.

Freezing is also a great way to extend the shelf-life of elderberry syrup, which can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

FAQs

Can you freeze elderberry flowers? 

No, it is best advised not to freeze elderberry flowers. Although you could freeze them into ice cubes, there are better ways to preserve them for the long term. Washing and drying them, hanging upside down, is the best way to go about it.

Bottom Line 

I hope this article helped you freeze and store elderberries or elderberry syrup for the long term.

If you have any queries or would like to share some freezing tips and tricks of your own, it would be lovely to hear from you. 

Feel free to share this article with your friends and family to spread some love. 

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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