How to Freeze Blueberries

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Introduction: How to Freeze Blueberries

High in antioxidants, blueberries are considered a "super fruit." In order to reap the health benefits of these tasty little berries all year, while taking advantage of seasonal prices, freezing is an easy way to preserve them.

While there may technically be no "wrong" way to freeze, i discovered very quickly that just throwing fresh berries into a container and tossing it into the freezer becomes a frustrating method when it's time to retrieve them, because they stick together in one big, hard, lump.

I will show you the deceivingly simple way to keep your berries from sticking.

Step 1: Pick Your Berries

For many of us, this may be as simple as finding a few boxes in the produce section with no mushy berries while they happen to be on sale. However, I highly suggest visiting a "pick your own" farm, if at all possible. These places offer bulk prices, and of course, you can be sure you're getting your berries at peak ripeness. Besides, it's a fun way to spend your morning!

Some tips for berry picking:
  • Call ahead or check the farm's website to confirm availability; crops can vary greatly from year to year in both quantity and quality due to weather and over-picking
  • Pick early in the morning, especially in hot weather, for peak flavor
  • Bring containers if your farm doesn't provide them
  • Dress comfortably; sometimes the best berries require reaching

I suggest picking as many as your freezer will hold. They get eaten faster than you expect. We brought home 17 lbs, and in a week and a half have probably already consumed or given away half.

Step 2: Rinse and Arrange

Rinse your berries in a colander and remove any stems or stray leaves and wildlife.

Then pat dry and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet that will fit flat in your freezer (notice mine is very small). I suggest placing a clean, dry dish towel on the bottom of the tray so the berries do not stick to it.

Step 3: Place in Freezer

Place your baking sheet in the freezer, preferably flat against the shelf to prevent the berries from rolling into one another. Ideally, the berries should touch one another as little as possible.

If you have many berries, feel free to stack two or more trays, so long as there's space for cold air to move through. I used a large knife to create a gap.

Wait about 4 hours, or until all berries are frozen through, before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Fill Containers

Once the berries are frozen solid, choose containers to keep them in. Many people prefer freezer bags or plastic containers, but i like glass.

  • If you use plastic, you can use a straw to suck out excess air before completely sealing to help prevent freezer burn.
  • If you use glass, do not attempt to thaw contents by placing the container in hot or boiling water. Glass does not appreciate such treatment, and may break and harm you in retribution.

If you have still more berries to freeze, simply balance the trays on top of the containers. Watch in amusement while your husband attempts to open the door and remove other frozen items without making a mess or smashing his toes.

Step 5: Consume Berries

Blueberries are small and thaw quickly, so for most recipes, there is no need to thaw them before use. Any berries that are stuck together should be very easy to nudge apart. I usually just shake the jar gently before opening.

Some easy things to do with your berries:

Parfaits
  • Yogurt (plain or any flavor; i used strawberry)
  • Blueberries
  • Granola
Layer in whatever quantity or manner appeals to you.

Blueberry Crisp
  • blueberries (enough to fill a pie plate or whatever at least 3/4 full)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour (unbleached, whole wheat, whatever; it doesn't effect the texture much)
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
This recipe is ridiculously easy. Put the blueberries in the dish. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl with a fork. Crumble mixture over berries. Bake for 30 minuets at 375 degrees.

Or just tie a ribbon around a full jar and give it to a friend.

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106 Comments

Thank you for the easy to follow instructions to freeze blueberries. I only picked about 3 pounds. Sounds like I"ll have to go back and pick more.

What if you boil the berries? Could you use the liquid for jelly?

Awesome idea! I recently purchased a food saver jar sealer ~ going to try that and see how long they last and what the quality is like. Thanks!

Thanks Hippie Mama, I just purchased several pints today at a decent price of 1.88 Canadian. Intuition said to do something like you said, but wondered about the rinsing especially. Very much like the glass container idea. I have many, but did not think of using if for the fruit. Cool! Beautiful pictures!

or just throw them all in liquid nitrogen....

I believe that may be overkill for my purposes, but I totally encourage you to write your own Instructable about it. ;)

why write an instructable? 1. put blueberries in liquid nitrogen. 2. take them out.

1. Because that's the purpose of the site. 2. Because some people do not know how to use, handle, or even obtain LN2. 3. Because there are safety issues to consider. 4. Because it would be just plain entertaining. 5. Because you're being rude and somewhat condescending in my comments section and should maybe just step up some. :D

umm, I don't even know how to use, handle or obtain LN2. I just know it's real cold.