Blueberries are a favorite snack, easy to pack for lunch, no peeling or chopping necessary. Not to mention, they’re one of the healthier fruits with plenty of antioxidants. It’s hard not to grab buckets of them and take them home.
That said, when you go overboard with blueberry purchases, there’s no need to worry about rotting. There are very simple ways to store and freeze blueberries, so they don’t go to waste.
Can you freeze blueberries? Sure, it’s simple!
How Long Do Blueberries Last
Blueberry season is in the summer, from June to August, which is a bummer because they’re so delicious. How can we make the blueberry season last longer? It’s learning how to freeze a fresh blueberry, of course. Soon you’ll know how to freeze fresh blueberries.
By freezing and proper storage, your blueberries could last up to ten months in the freezer. However, it’s recommended to throw them out after ten months because nothing lasts forever. Before you know it, it’ll be a blueberry season again.
The best kind of blueberries to freeze are the freshest and ripest. Pop some into your mouth and check for juicy, sweet taste and texture. Moreover, the dark blue color indicates they’re ready to take home.
If they’re mushy and wrinkly, put them back down and walk away, those are not going to translate well with time in the freezer.
How to Wash Blueberries
To wash or not to wash is the question. When freezing blueberries, it doesn’t necessarily matter if you rinse before or after, so long as you do eventually. Most fruits and vegetables still carry pesticides and whatever germs shoppers left behind when feeling up the merchandise. To wash properly, a strainer is the best tool. Moreover, make sure you dry them on paper towels if freezing afterward.
However, some experts say it’s best to save the washing for afterward because the blueberries have a waxy coating called the bloom, which naturally protects them from best and rotting. If not washed, then there’s a better chance they’ll last longer in the freezer, then you can wash them after they thaw. This is how to keep blueberries fresh.
How to Store Blueberries
When storing in the freezer, the temperature is an important detail. Make sure it’s set to zero degrees Fahrenheit or colder to preserve color, texture, taste, and nutrients. This is how to store fresh blueberries.
Other than freezing blueberries in their original container, the best way to store them is on a rimmed baking sheet and pan. Spead them out on a single layer. This will help freeze blueberries faster, assuring the quality of taste when it thaws or defrosts. Also, check for residual blueberry stems and throw them out, they won’t be tasty when stuck to the fruit.
Freeze the blueberries on the pan for at least three hours, then transfer them into a resealable plastic bag. It’s helpful to write with a sharpie on the bag when you froze them to keep track. And should blueberries be refrigerated? Only if you plan on eating them within the next week.
Whenever desired, thaw the blueberries in room temperature water then pat them dry on paper towels. Never defrost them in a microwave, unless you want warm blueberries.
How to Freeze Blueberries
Chances are if you go berry picking or bulk shopping, you’ll find a good deal on blueberries and will wanna take as many as possible.
The best way to keep them fresh without wasting food is by freezing them. Here are the steps.
- You don’t have to wash your blueberries if you’re going to freeze them. Keep them dry in their original containers, then place in resealable plastic bags. Store them in your freezer until the desired date. When you want them, just set them out on the counter to defrost on their own.
- If you do want to rinse the blueberries before freezing, make sure to dry them on paper towels. The excess water could grow ice around the blueberries, making it harder to defrost and eat.
- If you didn’t wash them prior, wash them after the defrost period. Then enjoy! Blueberries freeze individually, so there is no need to worry about that.
Uses for Frozen Blueberries
Defrosting and eating blueberries as they are is a delicious treat, but there are other fun ways to liven up your diet by using blueberries, frozen, or not.
- Breakfast – Revitalize your oatmeal by thawing some blueberries and throwing them in with bananas and strawberries, maybe even a little honey.
- Smoothie – Keep those blueberries frozen and toss them into the blender with whatever other fruits for a tasty smoothie.
- Stash – When you’re on the go and on the way to the office, have a stash of frozen blueberries in Tupperware. They’ll eventually thaw and be a good midday snack.
- Dressing – Thaw and squash your blueberries, then mix with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a yummy salad dressing, best paired with blue cheese and almonds.
- Dessert – Thaw, squash, and drizzle blueberry liquid over ice cream for an extra oomph to your tasty treat.
- Pancakes – Either cook them with some sugar to make a syrup or plop them on top of pancakes for another breakfast treat.