Freezing blueberries is exactly what to do when fresh blueberry season hits and you have too many blueberries to handle! Freeze your blueberries to preserve them and you can use them for the next 6-9 months! We’ll walk you through tips and tricks on how to freeze blueberries to store them and use as needed.
Here’s to blueberry season lasting forever!
Here Are The Steps To Freezing Blueberries
Alright friends, here are the steps to freeze fresh blueberries! Freezing blueberries is mostly a hands-off operation as the time you spend actively prepping them is minimal but you do have to leave them be for a couple of hours in the freezer prior to being ready to store.
Also keep in mind that most berry recipes (including blueberry recipes!) can use fresh or frozen berries interchangeably. This is great news for those of us with frozen bluebs that we’re wondering how to use up!
Yes, you heard us right- when it comes to muffins, coffee cake, breads, cookies, scones, and such you can use frozen blueberries!
Here’s how to freeze blueberries:
- Give the berries a rinse under cool running water in a strainer or sieve to remove any surface dust or debris. Or you can give them a quick soak in a bowl of water with a splash of vinegar. Drain as much water as possible.
- Lay a kitchen towel or paper towels out flat on your counter and pour the rinsed and drained blueberries onto the towel. Pat them dry to remove all the water or leave them to air dry. I usually let them air dry.
- While the berries are laid out give them a quick inspection and remove any stems, twigs, or spoiled berries that may be mixed in.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat and add the dry blueberries to the baking sheet in a flat, even layer preferably not touching each other.
- Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours until solid. Then, remove the berries from the baking sheet and place in a freezer-safe container or bag and store until ready to use!
See? It’s basically 10 minutes of hands-on time rinsing, drying, and picking debris out of the berries– the rest is simply waiting time! SO EASY! I wait for them to air dry and I want for them to freeze. It’s an easy project for a day when you’re already puttering around the house with other things.
Before you start be sure you have room for a baking sheet in your freezer, rearrange things as needed to make a large flat area for your baking sheet. Also, if your freezer is very, very full the air won’t circulate as well and it may take longer for your berries to freeze.
Also, if using a chest freezer for storage: As most chest freezers don’t circulate air it’s best to freeze the blueberries in your kitchen freezer, then once frozen and in a storage bag take them out to your chest freezer for long term storage.
Tips For Freezing Fresh Blueberries
If this is your first time freezing, thawing, and using fresh blueberries here are some tips and tricks that may help you along the way! We have a large garden and freeze a lot of fruits and veggies every year so we’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
Tip #1: Ensure Blueberries Are Dry!
Let the blueberries fully dry after rinsing them prior to freezing them! More water on your berries makes it harder to remove berries from the parchment paper and much more likely to develop ice crystals or ‘freezer burn’.
Tip #2: Store Them Correctly!
If you only have 1 cup of frozen berries, don’t store them in a 1-gallon sized bag. To help prevent freezer burn we want to prevent or reduce the amount of air our frozen berries are exposed to. If you have only 1 cup of frozen berries, store them in a snack size bag or 1 cup container. Also, double bagging the berries or wrapping the bag in plastic wrap can help delay and prevent freezer burn.
Tip #3: Defrost Only What You Need!
Ever had ice cream that has developed ice crystals and an icy, freezer-burned top layer? This is in part due to ice cream slightly defrosting and refreezing repeatedly as you eat your way through the container and scoop at room temperature. If you need 1 cup of berries, remove and defrost only that portion.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget To Label!
If you live somewhere with access to large amounts of fresh fruits and berries in summer you might stockpile quite a bit of goodies. Once everything is frozen and bagged it can be hard to tell what’s what or what you have left. If not using a zipper bag with a label, use Duct Tape & a sharpie to label what’s in the bag as many other stickers, labels, and types of tape will lose their stickiness in the freezer!
Tip #5: Frozen Berries Aren’t The Same As Fresh
Here’s the thing, frozen blueberries DO lose some of their texture and become slightly mushy after defrosting. There is nothing you can do to avoid this. When added to baked goods, sauces, jams, or smoothies you won’t know the difference.
BUT if you were to eat them as is, or in a salad you would absolutely have soft, mushy unappealing berries on your plate. Plan to use frozen berries in smoothies, baked goods, ice cream, or sauces/jellies and you’ll be okay!
How long do frozen blueberries last?
Frozen blueberries can easily last 9-12 months if you follow the steps and tips outlined above. We’ve had frozen berries in our freezer for over a year that were a little freezer burned but still worked perfectly and retained their flavor!
Baking Tips For Frozen Blueberries
If using frozen berries to add to baked goods, I don’t recommend defrosting them first. As they defrost the berries will shed a lot of their juices so you could end up with a pile of berries in a pile of juice and this could throw off the balance of dry/wet ingredients in a recipe.
For most baking recipes, frozen berries will work just fine. For anything that is cooked on the stovetop or quick-cooking (like pancakes & waffles) you may need to defrost the berries first as these have shorter cooking times.
My preferred method for baking with frozen blueberries is to measure the amount of berries you need then mix them with cornstarch prior to adding to your batter. For every 1 cup of berries, use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
I know some readers avoid corn and corn products so alternatively, you could use finely ground flaxseed meal or regular flour in the same ratio.
If you happen to have giant, enormous blueberries in your freezer you can roughly chop them up into halves or thirds to prevent them from sinking or soggying your baked goods. I have seen some HUMUNGOUS blueberries, if you have these, you know it.
Perfect Uses For Frozen Blueberries:
If you’re working on freezing a big batch of frozen blueberries or you are already sitting on a stockpile, here are some fantastic ways to use up your frozen berry stores:
- Add them to smoothies
- Blueberry jam
- Blueberry simple syrup
- Add to cocktails like blueberry mojitos, blueberry lemonades, and blueberry margaritas
- Make blueberry BBQ sauce
- Scones, Muffins, Pancakes, Waffles, Coffee Cake, and Cinnamon Rolls!
- Homemade blueberry ice cream
- Add to oatmeals, porridges, and puddings
- Let them thaw for ~ 10 minutes then eat them by the handful on a hot summer day.
- Cobbler, Pie, Cheesecake, Crisp, Donuts, French Toast
- Make homemade popsicles, decorative ice cubes, or berry curd
Phew, that’s a list! Hopefully this helps you freeze your first batch of blueberries and gives you inspiration for how to use them all up throughout the year!Print
Here are the steps detailing how to freeze fresh blueberries, PLUS our tips and tricks to use them once frozen! This will detail freezing blueberries in a usable form and storing them in your freezer at home!
- Fresh Blueberries
- Give the berries a rinse under cool running water in a strainer or sieve to remove any surface dust or debris. Or you could wash them in a bowl of water with a splash of vinegar. Drain as much water as possible.
- Lay a kitchen towel or paper towels out flat on your counter and pour the rinsed blueberries onto the towel. You can pat them dry to remove all the water or you can leave them to air dry for about an hour. I usually let them air dry.
- While the berries are drying, give them a quick inspection and remove any stems, twigs, or spoiled berries that may be mixed in.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat and add the blueberries to the baking sheet in a flat, even layer– preferably not touching each other.
- Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours until solid. Then you can easily remove the berries from the baking sheet and place in a freezer-safe container or bag and store until ready to use!
** Fresh blueberries can be used in most baking recipes that call for berries. To use frozen blueberries in a recipe that calls for fresh, dust the berries in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per every 1 cup of berries prior to adding them in the batter!
** See tips & tricks for freezing berries outlined in the post.
Keywords: How to freeze blueberries