Blueberries are delectable, nutritious, and versatile. Although these berries may disappear quickly in some homes of families who find them irresistible, consumers often find that their blueberries spoil before the entire box is empty. Freezing them is an option but first you may ask, how to freeze blueberries?
You can freeze blueberries in the following four steps:
- Do not wash the blueberries first as it results in a tough skin.
- Place the berries on a baking tray and allow them to dry if they were wet.
- After dried, place the tray in the freezer for two hours.
- Transfer the frozen berries into freezer bag and store.
Freezing allows you to preserve food items like blueberries easily and avoid throwing out uneaten berries. However, some blueberry lovers struggle with mushiness that frequently plagues some varieties of frozen berries when thawed.
By learning how to freeze blueberries correctly, you can increase your nutrient-packed food consumption, reduce food waste, and diversify the recipe possibilities using this delicious ingredient.
Smoothie Tip: Use frozen fruit, like blueberries in a smoothie instead of adding ice. The secret is having a blender powerful enough to handle the frozen fruit. The blender I recommend is made by Ninja and has a multi-tiered blade, check it out and the current price on Amazon, Nutri Ninja BL685 with Auto-iQ Technology.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
How To Freeze Blueberries
Preparation is vital for achieving perfectly frozen blueberries. By following the steps below, you can freeze leftover blueberries at home for the ideal addition to smoothies, pancakes, and muffins.
Step 1: The National Center for Home Food Preservation says it’s best not to wash the blueberries before freezing. Washing results in a tougher skin 1. If you plan on using frozen blueberries, like in the smoothie tip above, wash them before moving to step two.
Step 2: Place your berries spaced out on a baking tray to air dry if they were wet. It is critical to ensure your berries dry completely before freezing to maintain crispness 2.
Step 3: After the berries dry thoroughly, place the tray in the freezer for two hours until completely frozen. By freezing the berries spaced out, you avoid trapped moisture from ruining the berries. You can also use berries individually as they do not stick together.
Step 4: Transfer the frozen blueberries into a final container and return to the freezer until future use. Now you have blueberries available to use at any time for any recipe.
Best Container To Store Frozen Blueberries
The best container for storing frozen blueberries is a freezer bag. Freezer bags are designed to store food in the freezer and protect the items from freezer burn. These bags are available in various sizes, depending on how big your blueberry stash is, and allow you to scoop or pour any blueberries you wish to eat quickly.
You can also use Tupperware containers or mason jars to store your frozen blueberries. These containers easily stack and can be ideal for organizing a full freezer. The hard exterior also prevents the berries from being smushed.
How Long To Keep Blueberries Frozen
Like other berries, fresh blueberries quickly spoil and usually must be consumed within a week of purchase. However, if you want to buy blueberries in bulk for use over an extended time, freezing is an ideal solution.
When properly frozen and stored, frozen berries will keep for up to 12 months. You should use your blueberries within eight months of freezing for the best results, but that is still an excellent shelf life for a frozen item.
Buying in bulk lowers the unit price paid for berries and can lead to significant savings on your weekly grocery bill over time. Reduced food waste by avoiding rapid spoilage also decreases the amount of money thrown away with the spoiled leftovers. Stocking a bulk supply of frozen blueberries readily available in your freezer is a great way to save money while eating healthy.
How To Thaw Frozen Blueberries
To thaw your frozen blueberries for consumption, simply place your desired serving in a bowl and cover with room temperature water. The thawing process does not take much time, and the berries will be ready after only 5 minutes of soaking.
You can also transfer a serving of frozen berries to the fridge to thaw overnight, depending on how you plan to use them.
Another option, but not my favorite, is thawing in a microwave 3. Follow these steps:
- Place blueberries in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate.
- Set the microwave on defrost for 30 seconds and check the berries.
- Check the blueberries and repeat until defrosted.
- When done, the blueberries should look slightly frosted and have their shape.
Thawed blueberries are great for snacking, but you don’t necessarily need to thaw them for every recipe. In fact, some people enjoy eating blueberries straight out of the freezer and find frozen berries cold and refreshing. Keep in mind, thawed blueberries will be more delicate than fresh berries, so they may fall apart quickly if tossed.
How to Use Frozen Blueberries When Preparing Food
If you don’t have the time to thaw blueberries before cooking, don’t fret. Several recipes can use frozen berries right out of the bag, and several more may work even better with frozen berries than fresh ones. If you plan on using frozen blueberries, then wash them prior to freezing.
When making baked goods or frying on a stovetop, blueberries naturally thaw in the mixture due to the heat involved in cooking. Traditional blueberry muffins do not require fresh blueberries to create a delectable baked good for any occasion. Simply mix the frozen berries into the batter before scooping into the tray and baking.
The oven will thaw the berries as the muffins cook, resulting in the same gooey goodness fresh blueberries contribute to blueberry muffins. Cooking blueberry pancakes involves a similar process, making from-frozen berries an excellent ingredient for your morning meal. I use almond flour for my pancakes.
Frozen blueberries can also prove an excellent ingredient for uncooked favorites, sometimes offering a more straightforward solution to their fresh alternative.
For example, as a popular ingredient for fruit smoothies, fresh blueberries are often mixed with ice to create an ideal texture. Due to frozen berries’ icy surfaces, smoothie enthusiasts can simply add the frozen berries to their blender to make a refreshing and nutritious drink, no ice required.
Freezing Blueberries For Your Health and Wallet
Enjoying delicious and nutritious food doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. All berries, including blueberries, are notoriously expensive to buy and difficult to keep fresh for an extended period.
However, this shouldn’t prevent people from enjoying the impressive health benefits that blueberries offer or baking their favorite sweet treats, like delicious blueberry muffins.
Many food items keep well for several months in the freezer when frozen properly. Although frozen berries may have a bad reputation for mushiness when thawed, ensuring that the blueberries are thoroughly dry and freezing them separately before storing in an appropriate container allows berry-lovers to preserve their crispness.
By learning how to correctly freeze blueberries, you will not only enjoy the taste and health benefits of this superfood for longer, but you will also save money and reduce food waste.
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- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Blueberries or Huckleberries
- U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council: Freezing Blueberries
- The Spruce Eats: How to Thaw Frozen Berries in the Microwave