I have often asked myself how to freeze blueberries and what the best methods may be. If you love blueberries, like me, then you know how quickly they go bad. I use this fruit for making delicious pies, jam, jelly, and muffins, but sometimes, I just want to preserve them for longer periods.
Instead of ruining the perfect batch of blueberries that you bought at the farmer’s market, why not freeze them appropriately so you can use them later? There are many ways to do this without damaging the fruit.
Here are the 10 tips to follow if you are wondering how to freeze blueberries:
How to Freeze Blueberries: 10 Things to Keep In Mind
Tip #1: Blueberries only last in the refrigerator for about one week
While it seems like blueberries are one of those fruits that last a while, the truth is, they can go bad quickly. The maximum time blueberries will last in your fridge is one week to 10 days.
Tip #2: You may not be able to get blueberries year-round
Depending on where you live, blueberries may only be available in certain seasons of the year. In most places, fresh blueberries are in season during the summer, from May to August. You may see imported blueberries after that, but these are very expensive and go bad much quicker.
Tip #3: Frozen blueberries can last up to a year
Since the main goal is to keep blueberries for longer, you should know that once you freeze them, they will last around 10 months to a year. That is, if you freeze them right.
Tip #4: Don’t wash your blueberries before you start
It is always important to clean produce, but with blueberries, washing may damage them. You may have noticed that blueberries have a waxy coating. This special coating is meant to protect the fruit from bacteria and contaminants in nature, but if you wash the fruit, you will be removing it.
As a bonus tip here, if you wash blueberries, they may become stickier than usual, causing them to clump together.
Tip #5: You will need a baking tray first
Before you freeze your fruit, make sure to place them in a single layer on a baking tray. Check for any imperfections, like stems, dirt, or blueberries that look damaged. Keep an eye out for any clumps of blueberries, as these will freeze together creating ice crystals and ultimately damage the fruit.
Tip #6: Freeze your tray of blueberries for a couple of hours
Once the fruit is set, you can place the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours or until the blueberries are completely frozen. This tip is key, because it prevents any of the fruit from getting damaged, or freeze together.
After the fruit is frozen, you can remove blueberries one by one, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Tip #7: You can return your frozen blueberries to the freezer for long-term storage
After you have stored your frozen blueberries in a separate bag or container, return them to the freezer. Since they have initially frozen individually, they won’t clump together, and you can remove them whenever you want.
Tip #8: Make sure to remove the baking sheet or tray
Some people think that it is wise to freeze blueberries on the baking sheet or tray for long periods, but this is not a great idea. The tray is used for a brief couple of hours to freeze blueberries one by one, but it can result in freezer burn and ice crystals if left in the freezer for too long.
If you don’t have time to watch the tray or remove it on time, you may be better off freezing blueberries directly in a bag or container.
Tip #9: Check the blueberries often
As I mentioned before, frozen blueberries are usually good for about 10 months to one year, but for the best results, I suggest you use them within six to eight months. You should check on your blueberries often, as some may become too mushy or discolored.
Tip #10: You can use them as they are, or thaw them
Frozen blueberries are a great ingredient to have around, from smoothies to ice cream and desserts. Still, there are cases when you want to thaw the fruit ahead of time. To do this, I place them in a bowl and cover it with cold water. This process will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
For the most part, it is best to use frozen blueberries as they are because the flavor and shape may change after thawed.
Don’t wait any longer to preserve your blueberries!
Since you now know all there is to know on how to freeze blueberries, it is time to get going on preserving your fruit. Don’t wait until the fruit is going bad or starts to get wrinkled and old. Freeze your blueberries early, and preserve all the flavor, color, and shape.