Every summer, the kids and I patiently wait until the middle of July. Then it’s go-time! We head down to our local you-pick farm and come home with pounds upon pounds of fresh blueberries. At $1.90 per pound, how can I resist?
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We love blueberries! O loves pulling some out of the freezer and plopping them in a glass of water. He says they’re like mini-icecubes. B and A love it when I make blueberry pancakes in the middle of winter. It’s could be the coldest weather out there, and they’re gobbling up blueberry pancakes with locally picked berries.
And what’s not to love? Blueberries have got to be the easiest thing to freeze. I actually look forward to their harvest because of their simplicity. There are minimal prep and tools that are needed, and what we’re left with is fresh local blueberries all winter long. The hardest thing on my part is making sure I have enough freezer bags on hand for the amount we pick.
What You’ll Need to freeze blueberries:
- Cookie Sheet or Muffin Tray
- Freezer Bags – I’ve used gallon, quart, and even pint freezer bags* before!
How To Freeze Blueberries:
- Sort through berries to remove any that may have been damaged between the time you picked and now.
- Remove any stems that are left on the berries.
- Gently dry blueberries to remove any dew.
- Lay blueberries out on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Place the cookie sheet in the freezer.
- Once completely dry, toss the berries into a labeled freezer bag, and put them in the freezer
Yes, freezing blueberries really is that simple!
If you have more berries than you have cookie sheets, I’ve also frozen blueberries in a large muffin tin*. The process is the same, but now they’re in smaller, approximately half-cup portions.
Do I have to wash berries first?
No, you don’t have to. Since blueberries grow on a bush and aren’t in contact with the ground, there’s really no dirt to rinse off. But they’re also encased in a natural waxy coating called bloom.
Bloom helps seal in the moisture, and helps to act as a barrier against bacteria and insects. So if you’re washing the berries before you freeze them, you’re washing off their natural protectant barrier.
But the other problem is that if you’re rinsing the berries before freezing them, you’ll have to spend even more time drying them than if you just tossed them into the freezer fresh picked!
Using Frozen Blueberries:
Before using your berries, be sure to rinse them off.
For most things, using them straight from frozen works perfectly fine. I toss frozen blueberries in pancake batter, muffin batter, and oatmeal after I add boiling water.
In the rare instance that we need to use thawed, like for my berry coconut crumble, I place a half cup of blueberries in a cup of warm water for about five minutes. Then rinse and pat dry.
I’ve also been known to freeze blueberries because I’m inundated with all the other harvests, and then getting back to them at a calmer time for canning blueberry jam and blueberry syrup.
How Long Do They Last:
Frozen blueberries will last about 6 months in the freezer, but shouldn’t be kept longer than 10 months. Good luck keeping them on hand that long!