To freeze blueberries you’re simply going to wash them, flash freeze them individually on a baking sheet, and then store them in a freezer ziploc bag.
Freezing blueberries is very easy and they are great to have on hand for making smoothies, oatmeal, or baking blueberry muffins for a snack.
Whether you found a good sale at the supermarket or you went blueberry picking, freezing blueberries is a great way to preserve them so that they don’t go to waste.
To wash or not to wash blueberries?
Typically it’s best practice to wash your fruits and vegetables before you freeze blueberries. It can really go both ways and I will explain why.
Blueberries have a coating on them, you might have noticed the white waxy residue on them, this is a natural coating called “bloom” that blueberries have on them to protect against insects, and bacteria and also help keep in the moisture.
When you wash your blueberries you are breaking down that barrier which could result in mushy blueberries when you defrost them.
Also when you freeze your blueberries you want to make sure they are as dry as possible so that they don’t freeze up in a clump. Frozen blueberries go great in our blueberry lime scones.
Not washing your blueberries before you freeze them makes the process easier and faster.
When you lay all of the blueberries out on a baking sheet to freeze they won’t clump together and will be easier to grab when you need them out of the bag or container you freeze them in.
You can wash them when you defrost them or right before you add them to a smoothie or recipes.
Steps for freezing blueberries
If you decided to wash your blueberries, it’s best to rinse them under cold water in a strainer. You don’t need to scrub them or wash them individually. Simply give them a few shakes in the strainer under the running water.
Now, you want to make sure that you get them as dry as you can. You can lay them out on a dishtowel or paper towel and air dry or pat them dry. The drier the better.
2. Flash freeze
On a baking sheet lay out all of your blueberries in a single layer.
You don’t have to worry about spacing so much as they are going to roll around anyway and they are hopefully really dry so they won’t freeze together.
Make sure you pick through and take off any stems and pick out any moldy or shriveled blueberries. You also don’t want the pan overcrowded.
Go ahead and place them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. You want them nice and frozen before you store them.
3. Freezer storage
Once your blueberries are frozen you want to get a tight-sealing freezer-safe container or a freezer ziploc bag. They should just roll off the pan, or scoop up easily in your hands.
Remember to date the container. Blueberries should last in the freezer for 6-10 months.
Tips for freezing
To find additional details about blueberries, refer to our comprehensive post on how to tell if blueberries are ripe.
How to thaw blueberries
As I mentioned you won’t always need to thaw your blueberries before using them.
Often times if you are baking with them you can throw them in frozen and they with thaw out while cooking like with muffins or crisps, etc.
Also with smoothies or juices, you can blend them frozen without thawing first. Overnight oats are also great with frozen blueberries because they will thaw out in the fridge overnight.
If you do need to thaw them you can do it a few different ways:
- Leave them out on the counter and let them thaw a room temperature.
- Place them in a bowl of cold water until they are thawed.
- Place them in the fridge and let them thaw. This is the longest method but if you aren’t in a hurry, it keeps them cold and crisp. Great for a little snack.
Alternative storage in the refrigerator
Blueberries should last in the fridge for about two weeks. Only rinse them when you are going to eat them or use them.
Washing them all at once and then keeping them in the refrigerator will cause them to break down faster and they will get mushy a lot faster.
How to freeze blueberries
- Fresh blueberries
- Choose high-quality, ripe blueberries for freezing. They should be plump, firm, and have a vibrant blue color.
- Rinse your blueberries under cold water to remove any dirt or residue.
- Pat the blueberries dry with a clean kitchen towel or let them air dry. It's crucial to remove as much moisture as possible before freezing to prevent ice crystal formation.
- Spread the dried blueberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are in a single layer and not touching each other. This step ensures the blueberries freeze individually and don't clump together.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the blueberries freeze for about 2 hours or until they're fully frozen.
- Once the blueberries are fully frozen, quickly transfer them to airtight, freezer-safe bags or containers.
- Label the bags or containers with the date of freezing. Frozen blueberries are usually best used within six months for optimal quality, but they're safe to consume indefinitely if kept at 0°F.
In conclusion, freezing blueberries is a simple and effective way to enjoy these nutritious fruits all year round.
By selecting fresh berries, washing them, drying them thoroughly, and following the correct freezing steps, you can have a supply of delicious blueberries ready for smoothies, baked goods, or just a cold snack.
Remember to store them in airtight, freezer-safe containers to maintain their flavor and nutritional value. With these easy steps, you can have the taste of summer at your fingertips any time of the year.