It’s always good to have fruits in the home. One of my favorite fruits are blueberries. Apart from eating it raw, I usually put it through other processes like blending to make a fine delicious smoothie. Blueberries are highly recommended for their health benefits; they contain large amounts of vitamin C and potassium.
In fact, consuming blueberries in the right amount can significantly reduce the chances of developing heart-related sickness and cancer. Clearly, the blueberry is a worthy addition to your diet.
Because of how much I love blueberries, I usually stock up on them. One particular reason to purchase blueberries in bulk is that they are cheapest when they’re in season. This way, you get to buy blueberries at their lowest price and store them for use in other seasons.
Having a large stock of blueberries also provides you with an immediate snacking option and raw ingredients for anytime you wish to make a smoothie – however, stocking up on blueberries means that you’ll need a reliable storage method.
This brings us to the question: can you freeze blueberries? Yes, you can freeze blueberries. They are safe to freeze and don’t usually lose their texture after months of freezing. If you follow the right steps to freeze your batch of blueberries, they’ll last in the freezer for up to 12 whole months!
This timeframe provides you with quality storage and access to fresh blueberries whenever you’re craving a smoothie or just want to chew on raw delicious blueberries.
Refrigeration is usually a short term alternative to freezing that preserves your blueberries for about 10 days. This option is best used for smaller batches of blueberry that you can finish at once. So, if you’re not interested in short-term storage, your best option is freezing.
Once you’ve purchased your large order of blueberries, you’ll be able to preserve them for many months till they’re in season again. Considering how beneficial they are to our health, it also won’t be fair to waste a good batch of blueberries – even leftovers from some cooking or a smoothie. It is best to get fresh local blueberries instead of imported ones. Typically, fresh blueberries can be left to sit at room temperature for about 5 to 10 days before they start spoiling. If after some days you still aren’t ready to consume the blueberries, just pack them and keep in the freezer.
How to Freeze Blueberries
There are a couple of easy steps to follow when you want to freeze your batch of fresh blueberries. It is important for you to properly follow these steps if you want the best results.
Step 1: Wash the Blueberries and Dry Properly
People often ask if blueberries should be washed or not before freezing. Blueberries don’t actually need to be washed before you put them in the freezer; you can always rinse them later on when you bring them out of the freezer for consumption. However, if you’ll be washing your blueberries before freezing, you must dry them properly after washing. Failure to dry any water off the body of the blueberry will cause ice crystals to form on its exterior and compromise the original texture of the blueberry.
Also, I’d like to advise you to select fresh, in-season blueberries for your batch to be frozen. This is because the freshest berries will have better solid form that won’t rapidly turn mushy after being frozen for some time.
Step 2: Pre-Freeze the Blueberries on a Baking Sheet
Grab a baking sheet and spread out the blueberries on the sheet in a single layer. However, make sure that the blueberries you’ve selected for freezing are the freshest in the batch – discard the ones that aren’t fresh and solid.
After spreading the blueberries on the baking sheet, put them in the freezer and leave them there for a while. Once the berries are properly frozen, take them out of the freezer for the final packaging.
The reason for pre-freezing your blueberries on a baking sheet is that you don’t want them to stick together when you freeze them over a long time – If that happens you’ll have a tough time defrosting them later on.
Step 3: Transfer the Blueberries into a Freezer-Safe Bag
Once the blueberries have been properly frozen on the baking sheet, take them out and start transferring them into a resealable freezer-safe bag. If one bag won’t be enough, you can get more bags to hold the pre-frozen blueberries. Make sure you remove as much air as possible from inside the bags. If you have an automatic vacuum and seal machine, it’ll make things much easier.
After the air has been removed from the freezer-safe bags, seal the bags tight and write the present date on them. Writing the current date will help you keep track of how long the blueberries have been frozen for.
How to Defrost Frozen Blueberries
This is a fast and easy process. In fact, you may not even need to thaw your frozen blueberries if you plan to use the as an ingredient in a smoothie. However, if you’ll be thawing the berries, simply place them in a colander and allow warm tap water run on them for some time.
After defrosting your frozen blueberries, you may go ahead to use them in fruit and yogurt parfaits, wild blueberry banana bread, blueberry barbecue chicken, vodka tonic, and many more delicacies.
How Long Do Blueberries Last in the Freezer?
Blueberries actually freeze pretty well. The nature of their outer coat makes them more durable to freezing conditions. If packed properly before freezing, your blueberries can be preserved in the freezer for up to 3 years! However, this 3 years window is achievable when the blueberries were vacuum sealed. If they weren’t vacuum sealed before freezing, you’ll get about 12 months of preservation.
Can You Eat Frozen Blueberries without Defrosting?
Yes – You don’t necessarily have to defrost your frozen blueberries before eating them. You can toss the delicious frozen blueberries in your mouth and chew away without any worry – except if your teeth might ache from the low temperature of frozen foods.