How to Freeze Blueberries

Keep this popular superfood around all year with easy freezing instructions.

Photo by: Likee68 / Shutterstock.com

Likee68 / Shutterstock.com

Packed with antioxidants and vitamins C, E, and manganese, blueberries are among the true “super foods.” Studies show they help combat everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s disease. And not for nothing, they taste fantastic. Harvested from May to September, fresh blueberries are a seasonal delight unlike any other. But then October rolls around. Fortunately, the great taste and bountiful health benefits of this cheerful little berry can be enjoyed all year long through the magic of freezing.

Blueberries are ripe for preservation through many methods, but freezing is probably my favorite. Very little nutritional value is lost in the process and when they are thawed they still look and taste very much like they did the day they were picked. Thoughtfully frozen, they can be used exactly as one would use the fresh berry. Best of all, freezing blueberries couldn’t be easier. Make plenty of room in the freezer. Used in jams, smoothies, or baked into muffins, they never seem to last as long as one expects. And I’m hoping for a pie to rival pumpkin next Thanksgiving.

How to Freeze Blueberries

It is convenient to toss your blueberries in a Ziploc and toss them in the freezer. That works. Mostly. While no additives are needed to preserve this harvest, when it comes time to take a handful or two out to stir into a cup of yogurt, have an icepick handy. Suddenly the bag and go method doesn’t seem quite so convenient. Taking a little extra time up front makes all the difference.Pick any stems or leaves out and then rinse the berries in a colander under cold water. Handle the blueberries as little as possible to avoid breaking the skins which protect the flesh in the deep freeze.

Leave the blueberries in the colander to rest several hours or overnight to allow them to dry completely. Any surface moisture will result in a layer of frost on the skin causing freezer burn.

Spread berries on a baking sheet or other lipped tray in a single layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and place tray in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. If freezer space is limited, trays may be stacked, but do so gently to avoid crushing.

Once they have completely frozen, transfer the blueberries into Ziploc bags on any other airtight freezer containers.

Label containers with the contents and date frozen and place in freezer. Blueberries will keep frozen for up to a year with minimal loss of flavor or texture deterioration.

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