When you love, love, love blueberries, but they are only in season once a year, what’s a girl to do?
Freeze them, of course. But, how to freeze blueberries without them getting mushy? Is it even possible? The answer is YES and I am going to share just how you can do that.
My family loves blueberries. We used to travel from Virginia to Michigan when it was blueberry season there and we would bring back coolers full of fresh blueberries. Once we got home, it was time to freeze the berries. We had family living in Michigan and we always timed our visit to when the blueberries would be ready for picking. Going to the orchard was always a fun part of our visit.
There is a right way and a wrong way to freeze blueberries.
If you only want to use the frozen berries in smoothies or pies or such, then even the wrong way is okay.
If you’d prefer for your frozen berries to still look nice and not be mushy and juicy when they thaw, then let me share a better way of freezing with you.
And, if you love blueberries and want to freeze some, but going to the Orchard to pick your own simply isn’t an option, I have good news. You can still enjoy blueberries all year long.
When blueberries are in season and are available for a reasonable price at the store or a produce stand, go ahead and buy extra. You can freeze as many as you want for later.
The Best Way to Freeze Blueberries
The best way to freeze blueberries is to sort through them, getting all the stems off, then wash them, before freezing.
Here’s my favorite method for washing the blueberries:
- Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of vinegar to 2 quarts of water in a plastic container (this is the one I use).
- Place your berries in the water and gently swish them around several times. If you had lots of blueberries, you may have to divide them up and do a few batches.
- Let them sit in the water for a couple minutes
- Swish the blueberries around gently again a few more times.
- Strain them as you remove them. Note: you can reuse the water a few times, so don’t drain off the water until your last batch. I use a colander like this to get the berries out of the container as it makes the next step easy.
- Rinse them off in running water.
- Spread them out on hand towels on your counter and let them dry. This usually takes an hour or so and you’ll need to move them around gently every so often so that all sides will dry.
- Notes: Don’t use white towels just in case any of the juice from the berries gets on them.
- If you are freezing the berries, they don’t have to totally dry, but get them close to dry.
The Trick: How to Freeze Blueberries without them getting mushy
Spread the washed and air dried blueberries on a baking sheet with a lip (this one works very well) so that air can get around them.
Now, place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow the blueberries to freeze, or almost freeze. It doesn’t take long, check them after about 15 minutes.
Once frozen individually, the berries can now be put into a freezer bag or other freezer container.
Why Freezing Blueberries this Way is Best
Freezing your berries this way means they will be super nice when you thaw them later on. You’ll be able to pop some frozen blueberries right in your mouth (my brother’s favorite way to eat blueberries), eat them from a bowl, add them to a smoothie, make a pie or cobbler, or ever how you or your family like to eat blueberries.
If you follow the above steps, your blueberries will not be a juicy, mashed up mess. That is what happens if you simply put all the berries into a freezer bag rather than freeze the individual berries first.
This additional step doesn’t really take that much time and it is so worth it. If you, or your family love simply munching on the berries rather than making a dessert out of them, this is the definitely the way to freeze them.
If you’re looking for a great blueberry dessert to make with your blueberries, here’s a yummy Simple Blueberry Crisp recipe.