Fresh fruit, like blueberries, makes summer tolerable for me. I am not a fan of the heat, but since the warm weather brings us so many amazing fruits, I won’t go all White Witch and banish summer. (As if!) Recently we were in Michigan, the land of blueberries, and we visited a local family-run blueberry farm. We only picked about 9 lbs, because we had to travel home with them, and our day was pretty full.
Blueberry picking is a blast. A good blueberry farm will let you know the best time to pick and only let you pick on bushes that are ripe and ready to go, making the picking easy, and searching for berries nonexistent. By the way, fun fact, did you know well cared for blueberry bushes can live for 50 years!
With freshly picked, or grocery bought (no shame there either) berries, let’s walk through the best way to freeze them so you can enjoy them for the months ahead in smoothies, muffins, cakes, breakfast oatmeal, you name it.
HOW TO FREEZE BLUEBERRIES
Wash your blueberries. I like to do this by placing a strainer in a large bowl. Fill strainer with blueberries. Then gently fill with water. Let the berries swim around for a few minutes.
Drain as much water off the berries as you can. Gently pour onto dry towels (or paper towels) on a flat surface. Spread out berries so they are not overlapping.
Pick out any bad blueberries. Pull any extra stems off. Remove any leftover debris like twigs or leaves.
Let dry. I usually do this overnight, but a few hours will be fine. (Watch out for little fingers, these are prime for stealing all laid out pretty.)
After berries are completely dry, gently bag into freezer bags or containers. Wet blueberries will freeze in clumps and be harder to use later. I also think they don’t last as long when frozen wet.
Keep frozen until you are ready to use. I like to lay my blueberry freezer bags flat until the berries have frozen. This keeps the weight of the whole bunch from smooshing the little guys on the bottom. (Blueberries are so cute aren’t they?)
I have had blueberries in my freezer for 6 months or more and they still were great in smoothies and baked items! I am sure there are some guidelines, but you’re smart, use your best judgement. A deep freezer will keep them colder and fresher longer since the temperature remains more consistent than your kitchen freezer.
Saving blueberries for year round use, by freezing them, helps summer last all year and is kind to your wallet.
CHECK OUT THESE “HOw TO’s” With BLUEBERRIES:
- Blueberry Muffins from our friends at Serendipity Refined.
- Gluten Free and Vegan Blueberry Yogurt Banana Bread from our friends at Strength and Sunshine.
- Fruity Spa Water Ice Cubes with Blueberries from Veggies Save the Day
- Blueberry Corn Salad (a favorite at our house).
- Three Berry Breakfast Smoothie