Instructables
Picture of 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.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Pick your Berries

Picture of Pick your Berries
Pictures 035.jpg
Pictures 058.jpg
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

Picture of 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.
1-40 of 104Next »
drgnldyblu1 year ago
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!
Tintan3 years ago
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!
codongolev6 years ago
or just throw them all in liquid nitrogen....
hippie_mama (author)  codongolev6 years ago
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.
hippie_mama (author)  codongolev6 years ago
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.
again, that guy up there with the same username as me but earlier timestamp is not a smart person. don't listen to him.
Mere mortals cannot readily obtain liquid nitrogen anyway. I'm not sure if it the law or if the industry self-regulates for the obvious liability reasons. Besides, you must have a dewar, which cost $500 and up, to transport and store it.
she's gotcha there codongolev :D
touche.
You go Hippie Mama. Some people aren't happy unless they are taking someone down.
As IF codongolev...those of us that live in tiny wee towns in the middle of nowhere, as I do - wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to go about obtaining liquid nitrogen. For that matter, I can barely obtain the blueberries here - they usually cost about $5 a pint, even in season - and I want to be able to eat them every day for the antioxidant qualities they have. So thank you to the wonderful person that posted the instructions...you are an angel. :)
I was fourteen when I wrote that comment. I was also kind of an idiot. I regret the comment but shall leave it there because I feel that removing a comment is cheating at life, because you can't take back things you said in reality.

this instructable is, in fact, a wealth of knowledge. it is a helpful guide in the freezing and consuming of the (sometimes rare) blueberry. don't listen to the fourteen-year-old up there pretending to be witty, he just thinks frozen liquids are cool and that everyone else is wrong because fourteen-year-olds are like that sometimes.
is it true that you can freeze most fruits in liquid nitrogen and when you take them out they will be like before you put them in it?
Boowiggins4 years ago
Glass is smarter than risking Bisphenol A in most plastics...
You do know that most canning jar lids have a coat of BPA-containing plastic on them to prevent corrosion.
Sure do! But still, if you stay below that lid the amount of food exposure to BPA should be much less than it would be if the food surface area made more contact with the BPA-ridden plastic.
hippie_mama (author)  Yumeji4 years ago
If you leave enough head space, the food will rarely if ever make any contact with the lid.
I would surmise that the relatively small amount of BPA leechage into whatever possible condensation that may occur in that space for however long or short of time might be irrelevant in the face survival - "Long Live...The Fighters!"
uzziah03 years ago
We go blue berry picking every year near Braidwood, great fun, and better than store bought.
My sister-in-law freezes without washing, my wife washes (she towel dries them very well, so I think that helps a lot).
My wife freezes them on cookie sheets covered in wax paper. Usually overnight, since we're usually finishing up around 10 or so at night.
She puts them into zip lock bags, and uses a straw to suck the extra air out.
We use them in pancakes and smoothies or yogurt, but we also put them on breakfast cereal still frozen. They are good this way, better than if you defrosted them. If you defrost them they'll be too mushy.
My son loves them right out of the freezer as a snack.

Thanks for th ible.
sunevesor4 years ago
Thanks for this. I have been freezing small round fruits like this for years, BUT...
putting the cloth on the tin is an excellent idea that I have not been using and I hated that the berries stuck to the tin. The cloth will help them release from the pan easier.
YEA! No more sticking!
genera4 years ago
WHEN PICKING BLUEBERRIES I PICK THE BLUE ONES, WHY SO MANY COLOURS FOR CONTRAST?
hippie_mama (author)  genera4 years ago
Because i had a 2-, 4-, and 6-year-old 'helping.'
Just many different tastes in each mouthful huh.
mathews984 years ago
can you use this to freeze other berries like blackberries or raspberries and can you use it to freeze something not even berriesh like grapes as long as they're small and round?
Works great for any fruit, but a couple of notes. Do NOT wash raspberries, blackberries, or other such multi-lobed berries before freezing, they will be tasteless. (If you're picking wild berries you may get the occasional little bug, which you can remove and set free outside, but you don't have to worry about pesticides or soil, so they really don't need washing.) Be sure to hull strawberries first; when thawed, strawbs will get mushy so are best used for smoothies and such. Another good way to do strawberries is to slice, combine with sugar, and freeze in 1 cup containers. The sugar will make a little sauce for shortcake. We pick wild blueberries here (yummmmm). To wash them easily, I place them in a bowl of water. The leaves and twigs and unripe or bad berries float to the top. I just skim them off, drain and pat dry the berries, and freeze as hippie_mama said. They can be packed tightly on a large cookie sheet, which can be flexed by gently twisting the opposite corners, and all the berries will pop free. Thanks hippie_mama, and a big thanks for letting your little helpers think they really helped! :-)
hippie_mama (author)  mathews984 years ago
Yes! I would use this method to freeze just about anything small and vaguely round.
tekym4 years ago
The best way to freeze fruit is as quickly as possible, ie, via dry ice. Fast freezing doesn't let ice crystals grow very large; large ice crystals shred cell walls and lead to soft, leaky fruit when you thaw it.
sandyhu264 years ago
The reason your berries stuck together is because you washed them BEFORE freezing. The skins absorb the water and will be tougher later on. If you pick from a farm where they don't spray the berries, the worst thing that has been on them is your fingers, no joke. If you must wash them - like if you bought them from the supermarket - do it after you pull them from the freezer, before you put them in whatever you are cooking them in. You are working too hard!
novakfor34 years ago
Lol, first thought was 'How did this get featured? Just stick 'em in the fridge!' How to properly freeze blubberies, more like it. Great 'ible tho!
hippie_mama (author)  novakfor34 years ago
Well, as they say, one man's "DUH" is another man's "HOLY CRAP, I HAD NO IDEA!!!" For instance, i learned to refill a Brita pitcher filter through this site--i felt really stupid when i realized that all you have to do is replace the activated charcoal. Duh! I haven't done the math, but i'm guessing i've saved an embarrassing amount of cash with that one.
snoopy115 years ago
I froze blueberries in the plastic container they came in and when i defrosted them they were all mushy. They weren't firm like they were when i put them in the freezer...what did i do wrong?
dacker snoopy114 years ago
Besides what hippie_mama said, the plastic containers have lots of air holes. This makes the berries dry out in the low temp/low humidity environment of your freezer, a.k.a. freezer burn. I freeze 15-20#/year and use zipper bags (e.g. Zip-Loc), taking time to evacuate as much air as possible. The generally flat design allows for faster freezing, they stack nicely and conform their shape to each other and to other items in the freezer, resulting in less wasted space.
hippie_mama (author)  snoopy115 years ago
They do come out softer than they go in; i don't think there's any way around that with standard kitchen equipment.
dhellew24 years ago
The only way to freeze blue berries is to just stick them in the freezer right out of the box, unwashed. They will not stick together. When you use them dump some in a bowl, add cold water and presto they are washed. Dale
fezrock4 years ago
Thanks for such a great, simple idea! Another preservation aid is to displace air in your jar or bag with CO2. I homebrew, and always have it on hand. Just let some flow in for a few seconds. The CO2 is heavier, and will displace the air with no special vacuum techniques needed. Then seal your container. This prevents excess oxidation and freezer burn from air's humidity.
tswill2 fezrock4 years ago
What's the connection between home brewing and CO2? tswill2
Derin tswill24 years ago
It's used to pressurize kegs of beer.
1-40 of 104Next »