Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits to freeze. The process is stupendously easy, and frozen blueberries are incredibly versatile! We always make sure to have blueberries in the freezer for smoothies, muffins, oatmeals, and crisps.
Whether you stock up during a good sale, pick from a local farm, or grow your own berries, you’ll want to make sure your freezer is stocked with blueberries.
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Should blueberries be washed before freezing?
If I have picked blueberries myself (either from a farm or my own blueberry patch), I typically do not wash them. If I have purchased blueberries from a store or farm market, I give them a quick rinse under water before freezing.
How do you freeze fresh blueberries without them getting mushy?
Freezing will inherently break down the structure of berries and turn them softer. However, using fresh, in-season berries will give you the firmest frozen blueberries. Follow these tips for the best frozen blueberries:
- Use the best blueberries you can. Pick out any that are shriveled, too soft, or still green-ish. If the berries aren’t high quality going into the freezer, they won’t be any better coming out.
- Freeze your berries in a single layer on a baking sheet first. This will keep your blueberries from sticking together in the freezer, so they will be easier to defrost later.
- If you do plan on washing your blueberries, make sure they are completely dry before freezing—any water on the outside will form ice crystals, which can degrade the texture of the berries.
Tell me how to freeze blueberries!
Blueberries are the easiest fruit or vegetable to freeze, by far. Here’s what to do:
- Wash your blueberries. Rinse gently with cool water.
- Dry them off. Dump them onto a kitchen towel and give them a gentle pat to dry them off.
- Freeze! Arrange your blueberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and slide it into the freezer. In an hour or two, they should be frozen solid.
- Move the berries to freezer containers. Transfer your blueberries to freezer containers or bags, and squeeze out as much air as you can. Seal and label.
How do you store blueberries in the freezer?
There are lots of options for freezer containers or bags, and which you choose will depend on a few things: how will you be using your blueberries? How much freezer space do you have? How do you feel about storing food in plastic?
Here are the four top ways we store frozen blueberries:
- Glass Food Storage Containers—Containers like these are great because they are reusable and stack nicely. However, they do take up the most space of all the options.
- Glass Canning Jars—Be sure to choose freezer-safe jars—these are the ones that have straight sides. They are a little easier to squeeze into tight spots of the freezer than the storage containers, but they still take up more space than freezer bags.
- Zip-top Freezer Bags—Freezer bags are super affordable and take up way less space than the glass options. The drawback? They are single-use plastic and your berries won’t last as long as they would in some of the other options.
- Vacuum Sealing Bags—Vacuum bags are by far the biggest space saver, though you will need to buy a special piece of equipment. We don’t recommend using vacuum sealing if you plan to use a little bit of blueberries at a time, like for a batch of blueberry muffins, since it can be difficult to reseal the bags.
Can I eat frozen blueberries straight from the freezer?
You sure can! Frozen blueberries can be super refreshing on a hot day.
How long will they last in the freezer?
Without vacuum sealing, you should enjoy your blueberries within 8-12 months. If you have vacuum sealed your berries, you can get as long as 2-3 years out of frozen blueberries!
Should I thaw frozen blueberries before baking a pie?
If you need to thaw your blueberries before using them in a recipe depends entirely on the recipe. Here is a good rule of thumb: if the recipe calls for fresh blueberries, go ahead and thaw the frozen blueberries before using. If the recipe calls for frozen blueberries, you can usually get by with using them straight from the freezer, unless the recipe states otherwise.
When making blueberry muffins with frozen blueberries, make sure to rinse the blueberries in cold water first to avoid the blueberries staining the muffins.
How do I thaw frozen blueberries?
Blueberries thaw in a flash, so the best way we’ve found is to put blueberries in a colander or sieve, and run under warm water. Your blueberries will be ready to go in just a few moments.
What can I do with frozen blueberries?
- You can use your frozen blueberries to make jam! This is one of my favorite kitchen hacks—I love to make jam in the middle of winter when I’m not scrambling to keep up with the waves of produce coming out of the garden.
- Frozen fruit makes smoothies cool and creamy. Try our Berry Blast Smoothie Without Banana, Blueberry and Lemon No-Banana Smoothie, or Mixed Berry Smoothie.
- Make blueberry muffins with frozen blueberries! Rinse the still-frozen berries a bit under cold water to keep your muffins from turning blue-green.
- Mix frozen blueberries into Blueberry Overnight Oats.
- You can use frozen or thawed berries in Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits.
- Sub in frozen blueberries in our Blueberry Lemonade Frozen Fruit Pops for a refreshing summertime treat.
- Use thawed frozen blueberries in this Wild Blueberry Banana Bread.
- Frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries work perfectly in our Berry Yogurt Pops.
- Switch up grilling season with our Blueberry Barbecue Chicken.
- Frozen blueberries work well (maybe even better than fresh!) in our Blueberry Basil Vodka Tonic.