Freezing Fresh Blueberries Simplified ~ A convenient and easy method for preparing and packaging fresh blueberries to store in the freezer!
Are you a blueberry fun as much as my family and I are? They are quite tasty and make a fabulous addition to cooked oatmeal, dried cereal, yogurt, pancakes and baking or even just to eat on their own.
Blueberries are loaded with healthy goodness. They are a good source of dietary fibre and high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K. The best part is that they are very low calorie. One cup of blueberries is only 83 calories. For fun I looked up how many calories were in one cup of chocolate chips. Are you ready? One cup of chocolate chips is 805 calories!
It is fresh blueberry season now and they are available in the grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets. I recently returned from the Farmer’s Market with 10 lbs. of blueberries. I used some of them to make blueberry jam, froze about half and have been enjoying the rest while they are so tasty and so fresh.
I love this time of year because of all of the summer fruits that are available. I also enjoy jamming, canning and freezing the fruits. I recently bought 40 pounds of fresh cherries and shared How To Can Fresh Cherries – Beginner Instructions. Blueberries don’t can very well but they are so easy and convenient to freeze. I have tried a couple of different methods over the years. A popular method is to wash the berries and spread them on trays or cookie sheets and put them in the freezer. Then the berries are packaged up in their frozen state. I had issues with this method for a few reasons. The trays took up a lot of room in my upright freezer and there was often not any room for them. I was always worried the trays would topple over and I would have berries everywhere. The other issue for me was that this was a 2-step system. It was a bit of a hassle to find the time to complete the packaging after the berries were frozen. I would rather do a job in one session as much as possible.
So I came up with my own system…
Freezing Fresh Blueberries Simplified
Wash the blueberries in a sink filled with cold water.
Strain and sort the blueberries. Discard any blueberries that are under ripe, mushy, mouldy or don’t look edible. Remove any little stems and other blueberry plant debris. This case of blueberries had a lot of debris but very few blueberries were discarded. Most of them were very plump, very blue and very blueberry tasting!
Soak up the extra water moisture on the blueberries. Place them on cookie sheets covered with a couple of layers of paper towel. Use another couple of sheets of paper towel and gently pat the top of the berries to soak up a little more water moisture. Try to spread the blueberries out into one layer per cookie sheet.
Measure the blueberries in 2-cup portions. I like this portion size. If a recipe calls for a smaller amount I just store the extra in a container to enjoy for snacking or adding them to my oatmeal or plain yogurt.
Pour the berries into freezer bags. Gently spread the berries into one flat layer letting out as much air as possible. Fold over the opening a couple of times and secure with two staples.
I store the fresh blueberries in a clear plastic container. I place the flat packages gently on top of each other. Then I make one label that I slip into the plastic bin identifying what the food time is and the date it was packaged and placed in the freezer. This just saves time by only labeling the bin and not each individual package.
Each shelf in my upright freezer is lined with these clear plastic bins which are actually bins designed for storing shoes. I find they also do a great job organizing different frozen foods!
Why do I like to package the fresh blueberries this way? By soaking up the water moisture as much as possible and storing them so they are not a bunched together they are less likely to stick together and not get mushed up.
Now I have gorgeous tasty blueberries conveniently frozen and ready to enjoy the rest of the year! That is my system for freezing fresh blueberries simplified!
What are your thoughts on blueberries? Is it a family favourite food? How do you enjoy them? Do you buy them in bulk and freeze them? If so, what is your method for freezing fresh blueberries?
Looking for some tasty blueberry recipes? Here are some tasty breakfast ideas I found on the web…
Thanks for stopping by!