How to Freeze Blueberries
Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries. An awesome little fruit packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C and are also a great source of manganese. They are wonderful in cereal, muffins, pancakes, pies or even eaten fresh. Blueberries can also be made into jams, jelly, ice cream or syrup. This wonderful little fruit is easy to clean, store, and even freeze for use later on. The following will provide a simple way of freezing the berries and provide usage suggestions.
How To Wash Blueberries
Washing blueberries is a simple process. For larger quantities, use a strainer in the sink as an easy way of rinsing.
Step 1: Open your blueberry container and gently pour the blueberries into the strainer.
Step 2: Spray with water for 1-2 minutes while gently moving the berries around.
Step 3: Remove stems, leaves, or bad berries as you rinse.
Step 4: Prepare a large tray by covering it with paper towels.
Step 5: Gently pour the rinsed berries onto tray.
Step 6: Dry the blueberries using paper towels.
NOTE: Look closely to remove any stems, unripe berries, or rotten berries along with any other debris you may have missed.
How to Freeze your Blueberries
The next few steps provide an easy way of freezing the berries for use later in the year. Take your time and dry the berries prior to placing them in the bags to avoid freezer burn.
Step 7: Label your quart size freezer bags with the month and year.
NOTE: Include any information on the freezer bag such as the store name where you purchased the berries, washed or unwashed, date, company name, or quantity. Write all the information prior to filling the bag.
Step 8: Continue drying the berries with a paper towel, then scoop the berries into the bags.
NOTE: When scooping, you can measure the berries (2 cups for one pie) or simply fill the bags.
Step 9: Lay the bag flat, push out as much air as possible without smashing the berries, then zip the bag closed.
Step 10: Once you have all the bags filled, lay them flat in the freezer.
NOTE: Once frozen, your berries will last a long time (more than a year in most cases). Make sure to rotate your stock by using your oldest berries first.
How to Use Frozen Blueberries
Using the berries from the frozen state is similar to using the berries fresh. When you are ready, remove a bag from the freezer, measure out the amount you need for your recipe, zip the bag shut and return the extra berries to the freezer.
Most of the time, you do not need to thaw your blueberries. Simply running cool water over them will speed up the thawing process, but leaving them in a bowl on the counter for about 15 minutes will also allow the berries time to thaw.
You can use the frozen berries in pancakes and muffins without any problems. This is because the berries thaw rather quickly once introduced into the batter.
When baking a pie, make sure to give your blueberries time to thaw prior to baking your pie. Remove the berries from the freezer at least 15 minutes prior to placing in the pie crust. This will allow your pie to bake evenly and prevent a soggy crust.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor all year long by purchasing enough blueberries during the peak of the season (June through August) and freezing them. This can save you money when you buy them on sale and it will give you greater access to the fruit by having them on hand when you need them.
Do you have any suggestions on how you use blueberries? Feel free to post a comment telling us what you use them for.