Why Freeze Blueberries?
In this article I am going to show you how easy it is to freeze blueberries.
Either way there will be times when there are more berries in your fridge than you can reasonably eat. And who wants to waste money?
Freezing blueberries can help you to stick to your goal of eating more locally grown produce and do it year-round.
Supermarket blueberries in the summer come from the U.S. but are rarely locally grown. And they will never taste as good as locally grown blueberries.
In winter blueberries are flown in all the way from South America. That is a long way to travel and they definitely do not taste as good as fresh and local in season blueberries.
Imagine throwing a handful of frozen blueberries into your oatmeal in the middle of winter. They taste so sweet and help you look forward just a little bit to the warm and sunny days of summer.
Let’s learn how to freeze blueberries.
Can You Freeze Blueberries?
It’s a fair question. Some fruits freeze better than others.
Yes, you can freeze blueberries. They hold their shape and keep their flavor when frozen. The only negative is that they can become a bit mushy if you let them defrost. You’ll hardly notice that in cereal, oatmeal or a smoothie.
When you learn how to freeze blueberries you can enjoy them year-round. The process is easy; a few minutes of prep work pays dividends for many months to come.
How Do You Freeze Blueberries?
First the fun part. Buy some local blueberries at the farmers market or go blueberry picking. Then just follow these three simple steps.
Once you arrive home, try and freeze your blueberries that same day. This helps to lock in all the nutrients that are present when the berries are at the peak of their freshness.
Do NOT rinse your blueberries before you freeze them.
Why? Because blueberries have a whitish waxy coating which makes them appear a little dull in color. This is a natural substance is called bloom. You will probably now also start to notice this same substance on grapes and plums.
Bloom is safe to eat and acts as a barrier that helps protect the fruit against bacteria. The bloom keeps the berries fresh and helps prevent berries from sticking together when you freeze them.
Spread your blueberries out on a cookie or baking sheet. Use one with a small edge to keep the blueberries from spilling everywhere.
Next pick out all the green berries, leaves, and white/purple colored berries that aren’t quite ripe. Also look for soft and mushy berries that are overly ripe and remove those as well.
Put the bad berries back in the container. If you compost dump all of the discarded berries into your compost bin once you finish step 3.
Place the cookie sheet into your freezer. Wait about 24 hours then transfer the blueberries into a Ziploc bag.
Make sure you remove any rogue stems or other items you might have missed. You won’t want to toss those into your oatmeal when you are half awake at 6 am on a cold December morning.
Place the bag of frozen blueberries back into the freezer. Frozen berries will last for six months in a traditional freezer. If you tend to freeze then forget use a marker to date the bag before it goes in the freezer.
Frozen blueberries will last much longer if you have a deep freezer or a second fridge that you do not open as often. Opening and closing the freezer is what causes freezer burn. When I store blueberries in the deep freezer they will last for a full year.
Frozen blueberries are super easy to add to your food. Toss a handful from the freezer bag right into your hot oatmeal or other hot cereals. The blueberries will cool off the hot cereal so that it can be eaten right away.
If you are going to add them to cold cereal, put a handful of frozen berries in a small bowl of water for about five minutes while you prepare breakfast.
Other great uses for frozen blueberries include adding them to breads or other baked goods. And of course they work great in smoothies.
Another fun suggestion – try using a handful of frozen berries as ice cubes to add some flavor to your water. Or eat them plain for a cold and crunchy sweet treat.
Every delicious bite you take of these yummy blueberries on a cold winter morning will help you enjoy a little taste of local summer. It will also help make the wait until next year that much shorter!
Yes! Spread dry berries out on a cookie sheet. Remove any loose seeds and stems then place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 24 hours. Move the frozen blueberries into a Ziploc bag. Keep them in the freezer until you need them.
No. Fresh blueberries are covered in a white waxy substance called bloom. This substance protects against bacteria and keeps the berries from sticking together when they are frozen.
Frozen blueberries will last for six months in the freezer. If you have a deep freezer that is not opened as often, frozen blueberries will last a year or longer. That is if you do not eat them all first!