Stuck with a frozen clump of blueberries? There is a better way! This post will show you how to freeze fresh blueberries in 3 very easy, and very effective steps. With recipe suggestions, too!
There’s a lot you can do with frozen blueberries. Whether it’s a warm blueberry pie, a rich custard, or an impressively colorful smoothie bowl…frozen blueberries mean healthy indulgence all year round.
Because we’re in peak summer over here in the US, a lot of us are swimming (not literally) in so many fresh blueberries. It’s great! Just make sure you squirrel some away in your freezer for later. This post will help you in that storage venture. It’s gonna show you how to freeze blueberries effectively. You know…without them forming into a BIG clump or losing some of their flavor to freezer burn.
It’s especially worth your while because blueberries are packed with antioxidants and are also high in potassium and vitamin C (try this blueberry protein shake). Ready to learn the steps to turn your summer harvest into frozen berries? Keep reading!
Do You Need To Wash Blueberries Before Freezing?
Surprisingly, you should not wash blueberries before freezing them. Blueberries have a natural waxy coating on their skin known as the “bloom” which helps protect them from pests and bacteria. Rinsing them with water causes this protective coating to wash away, which then hastens the spoiling process.
*If you’re going to eat them right away then I do suggest giving them a quick rinse.
How Do I Know If The Blueberries Are Ready for Freezing?
Blueberries are best frozen when they are at peak ripeness. You can tell this by a combination of their appearance and taste. What I normally do is check the color. Ripe blueberries are plump and have that rich, dark blue color. Then I pop a few in my mouth. Ripe blueberries are juicy and have a sweet, slightly tangy flavor.
If your berries are wrinkled or mushy, you definitely don’t want to freeze those! They could, depending on just how wrinkly they are, go in a blueberry muffin recipe or some blueberry pancakes. Blueberry season is short, so buy at the farmers’ market or pick your own and freeze for a year-round delight that’s low in calories but high in nutrition.
How Do You Freeze Blueberries Without Them Getting Mushy?
We are now ready to prepare the perfect frozen blueberries! Follow along with these 3 simple steps to avoid blueberry mush and blueberry clumps….
Step 1: First, I make sure the stems are removed from every berry. Then, similar to what I did in my How To Freeze Bananas post, you need to place your blueberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Doing so will keep your blueberries from freezing into one huge clump. This makes it easier to defrost later, too!
Step 2: Freeze the berries until they are completely hardened (based on my experience it takes around 3 hours).
Step 3: Transfer them into freezer-friendly containers and label them with the date.
How Do You Store Blueberries In The Freezer?
To effectively store your blueberries in the freezer, the right container can make all the difference! After all, no one wants ice crystals on their blueberries. Mainly, the container you choose needs to be air tight and relatively simple to store. There are plenty of options to choose from but I pulled 4 examples for you here:
- Freezer bags: Super affordable option and they hardly take up any freezer space! Remember to remove as much air as possible before freezing. The only downside is that it’s not super environmentally friendly. Wash and reuse your freezer bags if possible.
- Stackable glass containers: Seen these in my Meal Prep Post? I love them! They are slightly more bulky than the freezer bags but this makes them easier to find.
- Vacuum sealing bags: No air is getting into these bags! These tend to come in larger sizes so are a good choice if you’re freezing in bulk.
- Mason jars: Aesthetically pleasing and most can fit in your freezer door for effective storage.
Any of these options does the trick. You’ll have oodles of berries for cobblers, sauces and pies. And don’t forget as a tasty topper for homemade ice cream.
How Long Will They Last In The Freezer?
Frozen blueberries can usually last around 6 to 10 months in an airtight container. And if you plan to use a vacuum sealed bag, they could even last up to 2 years! I highly suggest writing the date on your blueberry package (in whichever form) so you don’t try to use ancient fruit years later. Trust me, I know how things can get lost in the freezer.
How Do I Thaw Frozen Blueberries?
Thawing frozen blueberries is pretty simple, you might not even have to for certain recipes! Simply take your berries out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. Or for faster thawing, place the desired amount of blueberries in a bowl. Submerge them with cool/ room temperature water and wait 5 minutes. If they’re not quite there, replace the water and give them a few more minutes.
You can also place them in a colander and rinse them gently with cold water. I never use the microwave to speed things up. I find it’s just not the best way to thaw your berries.
More Healthy Blueberry Recipes
Looking for more ways to turn blueberries into good-for-you treats? Enjoy these recipes:
- Lemon Blueberry Sorbet
- Blueberry Muffin Protein Smoothie
- Banana Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
- How To Make Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
- 14 Smoothie Freezer Packs
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