Blueberries are tiny flavor bombs I cannot get enough of. Blueberries are only available from June through August.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed throughout the year. You can preserve them for up to six months.
Don’t be afraid to buy blueberries in bulk the next time they are on sale. Freezing blueberries will extend their life span.
Follow the steps below to ensure that you have blueberries throughout winter.
How to Freeze Blueberries?
Sort through the blueberries, and toss any that are too soft. To prevent berries from clumping in the freezer, flash-freeze them.
Place the berries in one layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
You can place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. The cookie sheet should be frozen for at least an hour.
Blueberries are small and won’t take as long to freeze.
If your freezer is nearly full, you can give the blueberries another 2 to 3 hours.
After the berries have frozen to the core, place them in freezer-safe bags.
Seal the bags with a vacuum sealer. You can squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible before sealing them shut if you don’t own one.
Double-bag your berries to protect them from freezing burn. Place your bag of berries into a freezer-safe container.
Place the berries back in the freezer. Blueberries can be frozen in this manner for up to 12 months.
To Rinse or Not to Rinse?
There is much debate over whether blueberries should be washed before freezing.
According to the no-rinse group, pre-washing blueberries can result in dry, clumpy, and tough-skinned fruits.
The “bloom” layer is what blueberries are known for.
This protective layer protects the fruits from pests and bacteria.
It is nonsticky and waxy, which prevents the berries from sticking together once they have been frozen.
They will stick better if they are rinsed.
According to the pro-rinse team, however, the difference in texture and taste is not noticeable, and they prefer it to have dirty berries.
Pre-washed frozen strawberries can be eaten right away without needing to defrost them.
I don’t think it is necessary to rinse the blueberries before freezing them.
If you feel the need to rinse blueberries before freezing, here are some tips:
- Place the blueberries in a bowl with cold water.
- For 10 seconds, stir the blueberries with your hands.
- Place the blueberries on paper towels to drain.
- Blueberries absorb water, so dry them thoroughly.
How Long Can You Freeze Blueberries?
Blueberries can be stored in freezer for up to 12 months.
Blueberries should be consumed within six months, as they will lose their quality if left in the freezer for too long.
How to Thaw Blueberries?
You don’t need to thaw frozen blueberries for smoothies or yogurts.
If you did not rinse them before, rinse them and then use them as they are.
They are great to be added to my oatmeal at the end of cooking.
If you need to thaw the berries for a recipe, soak them in room temperature water for five minutes, drain them and dry them with paper towels.
How to Use Frozen Blueberries?
Yes, frozen blueberries can become mushy if thawed.
Who cares? They are still the best ingredient for muffins, pies, and other baked goods.
Smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal: Add the berries right as they are. There is no need to freeze.
Make muffins or pies by coating the frozen blueberries with flour. Then, add the blueberries to the batter.
There is no need to thaw the blueberries before using them. You can make baked desserts bluer by freezing blueberries.
Popsicles: Mix the berries and some sugar.
Salads: Thaw the salads as directed above before adding.
Tips and Tricks
Make sure you only pick ripe blueberries to freeze.
Once picked, blueberries will not ripen any further, so it is important to choose large, dark-colored blueberries.
Blueberries can be made sweeter by coating them with sugar after they are frozen.
- Place the berries in one layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- You can place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. The cookie sheet should be frozen for at least an hour.
- After the berries have frozen to the core, place them in freezer-safe bags.
- Seal the bags with a vacuum sealer. You can squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible before sealing them shut if you don’t own one.
- Double-bag your berries to protect them from freezing burn. Place your bag of berries into a freezer-safe container.
- Place the berries back in the freezer. Blueberries can be frozen in this manner for up to 12 months.