If you would like to enjoy blueberries all year round, the best way to do that is to freeze them on your own. The whole process is pretty straightforward and isn’t time-consuming. Many people freeze blueberries to use the in pies, smoothies, etc. and chances are you will like them raw as well. Freezing is a great solution if you would like to make blueberry jam, but you can’t find the time within a couple next weeks. You just freeze the berries and make the jam when you’ll find the time to do it. If you would like to learn how to freeze blueberries, read on.
How to freeze blueberries
Prep and pre-freezing
Wash the blueberries, drain and carefully pat dry (paper towels will do the trick). Pre-freezing makes the berries not freeze in clumps and allows you to easily scoop a handful of berries from the freezer bag when needed. If you will skip this step, in order to get some berries without defrosting the whole bag you will have to smash in against the counter and that’s not something people usually do with a bag of frozen berries.
Image used under Creative Commons from brx0
To pre-freeze blueberries you need to take a cookie sheet and spread them in it. Make sure they don’t touch one another, so they won’t freeze in large clumps. Once done, put the cookie sheet into the freezer and leave it there until berries are completely frozen (e.g. freeze them overnight). Now take the cookie sheet from the freezer – berries are ready to be packed.
Just transfer the blueberries into a freezer bag, squeeze all the air from it (to avoid freezer burn) and seal it tightly. To get as much air out of the bag before sealing it put a straw inside the bag, close the bag as far as possible (without damaging the straw), suck out the rest of the air, remove the straw and seal the bag. Label and date the bag and then put it into the freezer. Done.
One thing to note. If you have a vacuum sealer, using it to package blueberries is a much better idea than using typical freezer bags. Berries will freeze a little better and last longer. Since you’ve already pre-frozen your blueberries, the vacuum sealer shouldn’t crush them while sealing.
It’s recommended to use blueberries within 6 months of freezing. You can, of course, keep them in the freezer for longer, but the quality will slowly drop. If you’ve vacuum-sealed them, you can freely keep them frozen for a few months longer.
Thaw blueberries in the fridge or in room temperature. Unless you plan to use them in a pie, don’t thaw in the microwave.
As you can see freezing blueberries isn’t that difficult and doesn’t take a lot of time. If you would like to enjoy blueberries when they aren’t in their peak-season, just buy them when they are cheapest and freeze them.