How to freeze blueberries – A step by step guide to show you how to stock up and freeze fresh blueberries during the summer season so you can enjoy them year round.
Blueberry season is one of my favorite fruit-picking seasons! It’s become a tradition in my family for all of the girls to spend an afternoon picking enough blueberries for the entire year. This is about as close as we get to being farmers! Haha…but seriously!
After we get our 500lbs of blueberries – well not really, but it feels like it – we make a few batches of blueberry muffins and then freeze the rest. Throughout the rest of the year we’re throwing blueberries into oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes, and whatever else calls for blueberries. It’s really nice having a huge stock of blueberries in the freezer because, like I’ve mention a million times over, I live in Buffalo, NY so a pint of blueberries in December cost about $6!
Before I get to the inns and oats of freezing blueberries I want to answer some blueberry questions.
How long can you keep blueberries in the freezer?
Frozen blueberries will last up to one year. In fact, my mom just used up her last package of blueberries from last year. We are going this weekend to stock up again! The key is to used freezer bags and make sure the blueberries are dry before freezing.
How do you freeze blueberries without them getting mushy?
Flash freezing the blueberries on a sheet pan prior to putting into a freezer bag to freeze will keep the blueberries from getting mushy. I’ll talk about this more below in the steps.
How to thaw frozen blueberries?
In most recipes, you can throw blueberries in frozen but if you want to thaw some to use in oatmeal, or eat with yogurt, you can place the frozen blueberries into a container to thaw in the refrigerator the night before or place some on the counter (in a container of course) to thaw. Sometimes, I use the microwave (10 seconds at a time) but thawing in refrigerator or on the counter is my preferred method.
How to use frozen blueberries?
Frozen blueberries can be used in place of fresh in just about every blueberry recipe. I’ve never had an issue substituting frozen for fresh.
The only tip I’d give is when using frozen blueberries in baked good recipes it’s helpful to toss in some flour first. This helps keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom. Actually, this helps with fresh blueberries too but frozen tend to release more liquid.
Here are some of favorite blueberry recipes:
I also like stirring frozen blueberries into steel cut oats. The blueberries will thaw pretty quickly in the hot oatmeal.
Another easy recipe I like using frozen blueberries (in place of strawberries) in is this yogurt parfait. I’ll make these ahead of time and then the delicious blueberry juice will release into the yogurt as it thaws.
How to Freeze Blueberries
Step 1: Wash blueberries and pick off any stems. Remember, it’s easier to clean blueberries prior to freezing. Trust me, thawed blueberries are impossible to clean.
Step 2: Place the blueberries on a paper towel, or clean kitchen towel, to dry. During this time I like to give the blueberries another once over for any stems or rotten blueberries. Let the blueberries sit for a 5 minutes or so to dry.
Step 3: Spread the blueberries out onto a baking sheet and stick into the freezer to freeze for 3 hours or overnight if you can. This is called flash freezing and it’s important to freeze blueberries (and most fruits) this way to prevent the blueberries from freezing together into one big blueberry blob.
Step 4: Place the frozen blueberries into a large freezer bag or portion out into smaller freezer bags. Most blueberry recipes call for 1 -1 1/2 cups of blueberries so I find it helpful to freeze into those portions. Freeze for up to a year.
Again, use frozen blueberries in all of your favorite blueberry recipes.
Supplies to Freeze Blueberries
Half sheet pans – to flash freeze the blueberries.
Gallon or quart size freezer bags – to store the frozen blueberries in. Use the small bag to freeze recipe ready portions of blueberries in.
Here are some of my other freezing fresh fruit and vegetables tutorials: