Whether it’s from an extremely productive bush, a good find at your local farmers market or a friend decided to share their harvest; sometimes you end up with more fresh blueberries than you know what to do with. Since the blueberry season only lasts from June to August, you want to figure out a way to not only extend your enjoyment of the season but the short shelflife of the berries themselves.
People often wonder can I freeze blueberries and the answer to that question is yes. We can show you how to freeze blueberries at home. One of the greatest things to know about freezing blueberries is there is no wrong way to do it, especially if you are looking to freeze them in time to stop them from going bad before you use them.
There are many theories out there about freezing blueberries, and while none of them are wrong, not all of them are recommended. Many people opt for the fastest way to freeze blueberries just so they can be done with it, but the quickest way is not necessarily the best way nor is it one we recommend.
Can You Freeze Blueberries?
When it comes to freezing blueberries, many people toss the blueberries into a container and place them in the freezer. Yes, this freezing method works and is a quick way to freeze blueberries before they go bad, but it is not the way we recommend freezing them.
The best way to freeze blueberries provides you with individually frozen berries, as this method takes into account the fruit’s natural coating when freezing.
Useful Tips You Need to Know
Before starting to freeze your abundance of blueberries, put on an apron or some old clothes. This way you won’t have to worry about how to remove a blueberry stain on your favorite shirt while you are getting the berries ready to freeze.
Most freezing methods instruct you to rinse and dry the fruit you are freezing before you do anything else. This idea does make sense, as the fruit is picked and processed by so many different people before it reaches you. The problem with rinsing fruit is residual moisture, which causes the fruit to stick together as it freezes.
Prevent that by using parchment paper, paper towels, or salad spinners or use a freezing method that doesn’t require rinsing. Look closely at your blueberries. Do you see that cloudy coating?
That natural coating is known as a bloom, and it protects the berries from pests and bacteria. More importantly, it is a natural nonstick coating.
Rinsing the berries removes this coating, which means you have to make sure they are 100% dry before freezing. Not rinsing leaves the coating in place and allows you to freeze the berries without them sticking together.
How to Freeze Blueberries
Do not wash blueberries before freezing them. Not washing goes against everything you were taught, but following this step makes the freezing process easier. You want ripe, fresh berries, so look for those with a dark blue color.
Do a quick taste test to ensure they are juicy and sweet with just a touch of tang. Reap the rewards of your blueberry picking all year long by freezing your berries.
Spread your fresh blueberries out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pick through them and remove any moldy or shriveled ones, along with any stems or leaves. Place the baking sheet in the freezer, making sure it is sitting flat, and freeze until solid.
You can also use this procedure as the best way to freeze peaches that have been sliced. Laying the fruit flat in one layer ensures that each piece of fruit freezes individually and it makes packing them later much easier.
It’s important to check to see that your freezer is at 0°F or colder for optimal preservation and food safety. Freezing should take about four hours or so. Freeze berries in Ziploc bags or freezer containers.
If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Double-bagging can be quite helpful to eliminate this problem, too. Label the berries with the date and return them to the freezer. This is method is also the best way to freeze strawberries.
How to Store Blueberries
Just like freezing corn on the cob, storing the frozen blueberries or learning how to freeze fresh green beans is the easy part. Stack the bags or containers in the freezer directly on top of one another. Flat bags make for easier storage and you can fit more packages in the freezer, too.
Labeling the bags with the date is vital to the storing process as frozen blueberries only last so long before their quality is affected. Blueberries store in the freezer for up to six months, but inside a deep freeze, you can safely store them for up to ten months.
How to Thaw Frozen Blueberries
You don’t have to thaw frozen blueberries if you don’t want to, as you can use them frozen in many different recipes. You can also just snack on frozen blueberries. Thaw frozen blueberries in a few different ways.
One thing to keep in mind when thawing berries is only to thaw as many berries as you are going to use. Place frozen blueberries inside a separate plastic bag, if only thawing a small amount. Using room temperature water, place the container of berries in the water for five minutes.
Use berries as intended. As you didn’t wash your blueberries before freezing, make sure you wash them in cold water before using. You can also thaw frozen berries in the fridge; while some suggest leaving them on the counter, we don’t recommend it as food safety becomes a concern.
Tips for Freezing Blueberries and Using Them
Frozen blueberries allow you to up your parenting game, as you can encourage healthy living without your kids even realizing it. Blueberries are one of several fruits that retain all of their health benefits when frozen. As an excellent source of fiber, unsweetened blueberries not only taste great but are a filling and satisfying snack.
Use frozen berries as toppings on ice cream, yogurt, or oatmeal. You can easily substitute frozen berries for fresh ones in most blueberry recipes, such as blueberry muffins. Add frozen berries to smoothies, sauces, and shakes. Our favorite recipe with frozen blueberries is blueberry pie.
Soften your frozen cream cheese. Beat confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese until it reaches a smooth consistency. Whip heavy whipping cream, then fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread mixture onto the pie shell.
In a large pot, add sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and water and stir until sugar and cornstarch fully dissolve. Gently stir in blueberries and heat until boiling over medium heat. Cook until thickened; after about two minutes, allow to cool and pour over cream cheese layer. Chill inside the fridge before serving.
Thank you for reading our tips and tricks for freezing blueberries. If this post helped answer any of your questions about can you freeze blueberries, please take a minute to share with others on Facebook and Pinterest so they can learn how to freeze blueberries successfully, too.