Age-Old Wisdom meets Modern Tools
Frozen Berries: How to Freeze Blueberries
Frozen berries are a tasty snack and a great method of fruit preservation. Whether you grow blueberries yourself, pick them, or find them at the market, try freezing blueberries (a super-nutritious and easy-to-grow fruit) for year-round enjoyment. Here’s how to freeze blueberries the right way!
It’s important to learn how to properly freeze blueberries so that they don’t all freeze in one giant clump. If you don’t follow these instructions, you’ll be very frustrated when you only want to defrost a handful, and all the blueberries are in a glob! I’ll take you through freezing them step-by-step so that this never happens, starting with our very own blueberry bushes.
We have bushes that we planted over 30 years ago and they are now about eight feet tall and ten feet wide.
If you do wish to grow blueberries, all you have to do is keep them weeded—which is fairly easy, as they shade their own soil (meaning not many weeds grow there anyway).
Our goal was to have so many blueberries that the birds couldn’t eat them all, but last year the birds did get the bulk of the crop. So this year, we covered our two favorite bushes (one of many great ideas for keeping birds off your crops). The harvest is lush and coming in now.
I think that the birds for miles around have discovered our beautiful blueberry bushes. During this particular season, when the blueberries are ripe, all the wild bird poop is blue.
Before you pick your blueberries, check our Ripeness Guide to see whether they’re ready yet. For the picking, I use a yogurt container with a string attached. This allows me to have both hands free for easy access to the berries.
I will often have other containers nearby to dump the berries into, as they can become heavy around the neck when the yogurt container becomes full.
When I am finished picking, I bring the blueberries into the house and spread them out on cookie sheets. There’s no need to rinse the berries; simply put them on the cookie sheets completely dry. (Wash them after you take them out of the freezer.) Inevitably, leaves and stems will end up with the berries, so I go through and clean them up.
If you freeze them on cookie sheets, they will freeze individually.
Then, you can use the amount that you wish. Just putting them in freezer bags causes them to mush together in one big lump. After they are frozen, I put them in their freezer bags. I do this over a bowl, as there are always a few stragglers that don’t quite make it into the bag.
Into the freezer they go for use the whole year long! Like frozen grapes, frozen blueberries can be a delicious treat on their own—think of them as nature’s candy! You can also simply defrost them when they’re ready for use, and they’ll taste as fresh as the day you picked them. The best way to defrost them is to put them in the refrigerator or on the counter for a while—only use the microwave if you’ll be baking with them. Maybe you’ll be making a blueberry pie, yum! Enjoy!
About This Blog
Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at www.celestelongacre.com for details.