How to Freeze Blueberries (Unsweetened)
Blueberries are one of the best fruits. It is a berry with multiple healthy properties and it is juicy and delicious. Blueberries are a great delight, especially in summer.
Blueberries can even be used to dye items or craft projects because of their deep blue or purple color. They have been known to stain a finger or two when you eat them.
If you’re familiar with superfoods, blueberries fall into that category. This is due to the natural health benefits that blueberries can bring. You will be surprised how good eating blueberries can be for you, not to mention the fact that they are sweet and delicious.
So how do you freeze unsweetened blueberries? The trick to freezing unsweetened blueberries is to let them dry completely after washing, then freeze them individually on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container for long-term storage.
We encourage you to keep reading to find out everything you need to know about blueberries and how to freeze them without using added sugar.
Freeze Sweet Blueberries
Blueberries are unique berries. They are perfectly small and round, easy to pop into your mouth and savor their flavor. They make a great snack, dessert or meal. Also, you can prepare several types of food with blueberries, making them extremely versatile.
Facts About Blueberries
Blueberries have a ton of benefits hidden in that little blue gem. They are incredibly low in calories and natural sugars and are one of the healthiest treats you can get and are relatively cheap.
Blueberries spread a lot, and you don’t have to eat many at one time to feel full. There are many things you can do with blueberries whether you want to make cupcakes, pies, or other treats.
Blueberries are packed with healthful qualities, here is a list of just a few:
- High content of multiple vitamins (fiber, vitamins C and K, manganese, etc.)
- Low in carbohydrates, sugars and calories
- Rich in antioxidants
- Protects from DNA damage, which could reduce cancer risk
- Helps keep cholesterol low
- Improves memory and brain function
- Helps fight urinary tract infections and promote intestinal health
- Anti-inflammatory, great for inflammatory conditions or after a strenuous workout
- Beneficial for diabetics’ blood sugar levels
- Maintains heart health and reduces the risk of heart disease
- Maintains and reduces blood pressure levels
These are just some of the best known facts about blueberries and what they can do for your health. These facts have a scientific backing that accompanies them. There are many more benefits associated with blueberries and other dark berries that make them a great thing to have on hand.
Before we get into the details of freezing blueberries, let’s discuss some of the pros and cons you can expect in the process. We provide this information to inform you as well as possible about important details.
Advantages of freezing blueberries
- Buy in bulk or grow your own and store them
- They are kept for long periods of time to use them when it suits you
- Blueberries taste great straight out of the freezer.
- Blueberries stay fresh in the freezer for about 12 months.
- You do not have to add sugar or any other preservative agent to freeze the blueberries
- It’s easy to freeze
Cons of freezing blueberries
- Blueberries should be dry when you freeze them.
- Best results are obtained with a two-step freezing process
- If you are going to freeze them, it is best to do it when they are quite cool.
- It is questioned whether freezing blueberries could reduce some of the health benefits they offer.
Freezing blueberries is pretty straightforward and requires very little equipment to do. Keep in mind, however, that freezing blueberries is a bit more complicated than just putting them in a bag and putting them in the freezer.
To ensure that the blueberries do not get squashed or mushy, it is recommended to follow a two-step process to best freeze the blueberries. There are some specific tips that you should follow to ensure the best results.
We assure you that if you follow the guidelines that we detail in the next section, you will be glad you took the time to save those blueberries and have them available for when you need them most.
Your taste buds and your health will probably thank you later.
Detailed Guide to Freezing Blueberries
Whether you’ve found yourself buying a large batch of blueberries that you know you won’t be able to eat before they go bad, or if you’ve grown your own blueberries and had a bountiful harvest, we’re here to help.
There are options for saving those blueberries and saving them for that rainy day, or for that sweet treat, as well as many other options. You can eat your frozen blueberries straight from the freezer, toss them into oatmeal or pancakes, or you can even make them into fresh blueberry pie.
These are just a few of the ideas for things you can do with blueberries, but we’re sure you know you have plenty of options. Let’s talk about blueberry storage.
You can store blueberries in your fridge for a limited time. It is recommended that when you store them in the fridge you refrain from washing them until you are ready to eat or use them. They should also be stored in a place close to the middle of the refrigerator and not in the coldest area or in the vegetable drawer.
Blueberries tend to last quite a while in the fridge, potentially up to 2 weeks if you store them properly and wait to rinse until you use them. But if you’re looking for a long-term storage solution, freezing is the way to go.
How to Freeze Blueberries
As we have mentioned before, freezing blueberries does not have to be a difficult task, but make sure you follow all the steps and tricks that we have provided to preserve your blueberries as well as possible without the risk of compromising flavor or other properties.
- Before freezing, you can rinse the blueberries to prepare them. This is optional, but recommended so you don’t have to rinse after freezing.
- Your cranberries need to be dry to freeze, so either let them air dry or use a towel and pat them dry. Use a towel that you are not worried about staining, as the cranberries could stain the towel.
- Line a baking tray or flat pan with parchment paper.
- Spread the blueberries in a single layer on the cookie sheet . Use more than one if necessary.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and pre-freeze the blueberries . This process takes 2-3 hours and is essential to prevent the blueberries from getting crushed in the freezing process.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and transfer the blueberries to freezer containers or bags.
- Store freezer bags or containers of blueberries in the freezer for up to 1 year.
- When they are ready, take them out and proceed to use and enjoy them.
Defrost or use the blueberries after freezing.
We have great news for you. This part is the best part of the blueberry freeze. It is very simple and means that you can use your frozen blueberries when and how you want.
There are a couple of ways to use blueberries after freezing . There are no specific steps to follow, just multiple options that you can try or use as you wish.
- Take the blueberries directly from the freezer and use them as you prefer . Add them to oatmeal, use as a dip, or eat them frozen plain.
- Place the blueberries in a large bowl and cover with cold water . Let sit for 5-10 minutes and the blueberries will thaw without being soggy or mushy.
- You can also microwave the blueberries to thaw and use . Microwaving will soften the blueberries considerably and may make them mushy. Depending on the use you are going to give them, this may not be a big problem. It is only necessary to heat them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
As you can see, freezing blueberries and using them later is very simple. Blueberries are too good a food choice to pass up saving some for later!
We hope you have found this guide useful in understanding blueberries and the freezing process. We invite you to consult the questions and answers section for additional information.
Do I have to thaw frozen blueberries for baking recipes?
This can vary depending on the recipe you use, but usually the answer is no. You can bring blueberries straight from the freezer to your recipe and get great results.
Should You Wash Blueberries After Freezing Them?
If you washed the blueberries before freezing, there is no need to wash them again. If you didn’t, try the defrosting trick by submerging them in cold water, or simply run the frozen blueberries under cold water in a strainer to clean them.