Technically, there is no wrong way to freeze blueberries. This is especially true if your goal is simply to keep the blueberries from going bad. Some people recommend just throwing a pint container into the freezer and leaving it at that, and while that is certainly the fastest way to freeze blueberries, it not the best way.
If you really want to preserve your blueberries in the freezer and have individually frozen berries to toss in oatmeal all winter long, there is a better way. This method for preserving berries in the freezer is easy and takes advantage of the blueberries' natural coating.
Freeze As Is
Most instructions for freezing fruits and vegetables ask you to rinse and dry the produce first. This makes sense for most agricultural products that have grown from the earth and are picked, processed, and handled by multiple people along the way. The problem is that any residual moisture from rinsing can cause the fruits or vegetables to stick together when frozen, which then requires salad spinners or parchment paper or freezing on paper towels to combat the issue.
Blueberries, however, have a natural protective coating known as bloom. You've probably noticed this waxy, somewhat cloudy coating on your own berries. Blueberries produce the bloom to protect against pests and bacteria, but it is also naturally nonstick! Do not rinse the blueberries before freezing or you'll remove the coating and have to dry, dry, dry the berries before freezing to prevent sticking.
Learn More About Bloom: What's That Waxy Coating on Blueberries?
Freeze the berries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet so that they can freeze quickly and evenly. Once frozen, you can move them to a freezer-safe container with a lid for longer storage. I prefer to store the berries in a zip-top freezer bag so that I can stack several bags together and easily open the bag to remove just the right amount when needed. Remember to label and date the bag before storing. Frozen blueberries are best within six months, but can be stored for up to 10.
Rinse to Thaw
Blueberries for smoothies or your morning yogurt don't have to be thawed — just give them a quick rinse and toss them right in. When you need thawed berries for a recipe, cover the berries with room-temperature water and thaw for about five minutes per cup. Then drain, dry, and use.
How To Freeze Blueberries
Makes 1 pound
What You Need
1 dry pint blueberries (about 12 ounces)
Rimmed baking sheet
1-gallon zip-top freezer bag
- Sort the blueberries: Spread the blueberries on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Remove any stems and any shriveled or moldy blueberries.
- Freeze: Freeze the blueberries on the baking sheet until solid, about 4 hours.
- Bag and label: Transfer the blueberries from the baking sheet to a zip-top freezer bag. Label the bag with the date and return to the freezer.
- Rinse and thaw: Rinse frozen blueberries before using. Frozen blueberries can be sprinkled directly on yogurt or in oatmeal, or even baked in muffins. Frozen berries can be thawed quickly in a bowl of roo- temperature water — 1 cup of berries will take about 5 minutes to thaw.
- Storage: Blueberries can be frozen for up to 10 months, but they are best when used within 6 months.