There is just something about blueberries that make me think of summer. And if you want to know how to freeze perfect blueberries every time, you are in the right place. If done correctly you can fill your freezer with bags and bags of frozen blueberries that you can enjoy all year long.
Have you ever munched down on a handful of frozen berries on a hot summer day? If not, I highly recommend it. Not only is it declivous but blueberries are incredibly healthy. Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, blueberries are also high in potassium and vitamin C making them a top healthy fruit and snack.
Known as nature’s superfood, blueberries are one of the most popular fruits today. This nutrient-dense fruit has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any common fruit or vegetable making it a staple in most kitchens.
Just a few berries added to a daily smoothie or dish of oatmeal will pack your body with a powerful punch of health benefits you simply can’t afford to miss. Blueberries are also a natural sweetener and can, in most cases, help you to replace sugar in On the downside, blueberries do have a short harvest period and for that reason freezing berries is the next best way to ensure you can enjoy them all year.
Freezing berries, however, can be a bit tricky but if you follow a few simple steps you can fill your freezer with delicious berries to enjoy all year long.
How to Freeze Perfect Blueberries Every Time
Step 1. Start with the freshest berries.
If you want to ensure you are getting the absolute freshest berries, plan to freeze them the day you pick. This means the second you pick a blueberry the clock starts ticking and the vitamins and nutrients begin to diminish. In order to be sure you are freezing the very best, you will want to prep and freeze your berries as close to picking time as you can.
SLCG PRO TIP: Before picking berries take a few minutes to get your kitchen set up. This will save you time and get those berries in the freezer more quickly.
Step 2. Wash and clean your blueberries.
Go through your berry harvest and remove any stems, leaves, debris, or damaged berries. Doing this step will allow you to eat directly from the bag knowing you will only get berries and no other surprises. Remove the debris before you wash to ensure you are being as gentle with your berries as possible.
To wash blueberries, place them in a colander, and run under a stream of cool water. Allow them to sit for a few minutes to drip dry a bit to help remove the excess water.
Step 3. Allow blueberries to dry.
This part is important and one I skipped over in the past giving me “chunks” of frozen berries instead of nice individual ones. If there is water left on the berries when you freeze them, they will freeze clumped together instead of individually. You will also have ice form with the berries that can cause damage. To prevent this I like to lay them out on a layer of paper towels for a few minutes gently “rolling” them with my hands to remove that last bit of water. This will usually be enough as the paper towels absorb the excess water quite quickly.
Step 4. Par freeze your blueberries.
Another important step is par freezing your blueberries before bagging them up. By doing this you will freeze each berry keeping them from clumping as one in the bag.
To par freeze place a single layer of blueberries on a foil-lined baking sheet and put it into your freezer for about 10-20 minutes.
Try to keep the sheets level so each berry is able to freeze more evenly.
Step 5. Place into labeled freezer bags.
Once your blueberries are frozen you can now fill up your quart-sized freezer bags. Once the bags are filled, gently remove as much air as you can and seal the bags shut. The less air you have the less chance of ice crystals forming in the bags. You can use a straw to remove that last bit of air allowing your berries to freeze in the very best conditions.
SLCG PRO TIP: Don’t forget to label your bags with the month and date. Keep things organized by using a basket to hold your freezer bags and keep them all organized by food type. You can read tips on how to do this HERE.
Once frozen your berries should last 6 months or longer. As you need berries for smoothies or other recipes you can scoop out the desired amount. Remember to remove as much air as you can before returning the bag to your freezer.
Filling your freezer with delicious fresh pick food from your garden (or someone else’s) is the very best way to enjoy your harvest all year long. Now that you know the trick to freezing blueberries you can do the same steps with any other berry you can find.