Overhead of individually frozen blueberries in a glass bowl.

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.

A bowl filled with fresh berries pours them out onto a baking sheet.

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.

Overhead of fresh blueberries in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Tell me how to freeze blueberries!

Blueberries are the easiest fruit or vegetable to freeze, by far. Here’s what to do:

  1. Wash your blueberries. Rinse gently with cool water.
  2. Dry them off. Dump them onto a kitchen towel and give them a gentle pat to dry them off.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Wholefully Protip

We freeze the blueberries on a baking sheet first to make them easy to measure out small amounts at a time (like for smoothies or muffins!) later.

Close-up of tall glass freezer container with lid on, labeled and filled with individually frozen berries.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Overhead of individually frozen blueberries in an open freezer bag.

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!

Overhead of Hefty freezer bag filled with individually frozen blueberries labeled and lying on its side.

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.

Wholefully Protip

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.

Close-up of individually frozen blueberries in a glass container.

What can I do with frozen blueberries?

 
Overhead of fresh blueberries in a large bowl with a wooden spoon filled with blueberries alongside.

Frozen Blueberries

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups blueberries

Instructions

  1. Rinse the blueberries under cool water, and pat dry.
  2. Spread blueberries out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze.
  3. Once frozen solid, move to freezer containers or bags until use.

Notes

This can be done with any amount of blueberries, as long as you have freezer space.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Comments

  1. Hi Cassie,
    I’ve been packing blueberries in my freezer for 30 some years out of my garden. I have never washed them until I’m ready to use them. I saw your suggestion to wash them in cool water first prior to packing. I was always told to pick through them carefully and never wash them as their natural coat helps to protect them and makes them stay fresh longer. Was I miss guided by old teachings?

    1. Hi Tracy! When we keep our blueberries fresh in the fridge, we wash them just before using. But since we mostly use our frozen blueberries straight from the freezer in recipes, the best time to wash them is before freezing. But we do mention in the post that when we pick the blueberries ourselves (either from a farm or our own blueberry patches) we typically don’t wash them. We like to give blueberries from the store or farm market a quick rinse. If you do decide to wash your berries, be sure to dry them well! Any water left on them will create ice crystals which will definitely degrade the texture of the berries. Hopefully this helps!

  2. Hi there! What do you use to store your blueberries exactly? I am scared to freeze glass because it always explodes, but glass I believe, is the best option!

    1. Hi Adrien! Check out the section in the post above titled, “How do you store blueberries in the freezer?” We give our top four storage methods and some pros and cons for each. That should have all the info you need!