When I was a child, we lived in a part of the country where blueberries flourished. (I’ve since learned that this is somewhat rare; you can’t find U-pick blueberry patches just anywhere, although I had no idea how lucky we were at the time.) We spent every summer walking through our favorite U-pick blueberry patch, gobbling up sweet berries as we picked. The owners of the blueberry patch were friends of my parents, and no matter how my mom protested, her friend never let us pay for the berries…picked or eaten! 🙂
When we got back home, mom went straight to work, turning those berries into delicious pies (not quite as good as black raspberry pies, but still very tasty). Then she immediately froze the rest to use in pancakes or plop in cereal bowls throughout the year. I’m so thankful she knew how to freeze blueberries.
This week, I’m carrying on the blueberry freezing tradition. Two grocery stores in my town are selling blueberries for $1/pint, and while that’s not quite the same as “free,” it’s still a great deal, and I quickly purchased 20 pints. Yum Yum. Of course, that meant coming home and processing the berries. If you’d like to put some blueberries away for the coming year, now is the time to check out sales at your local grocery store. (Or, if you live close to a blueberry patch, go pick some!) Bring the berries home and follow these tips on how to freeze blueberries.
How to freeze blueberries
You actually have a couple of options here. You can freeze the berries without washing them, which works great if you plan to add the blueberries to a pie or baked dish and will wash them before you bake them. If, however, you plan to pull a few berries out at a time for a quick snack, you should wash the blueberries ahead of time. Either way, you want to wait to freeze the berries until they’re thoroughly dry.
Since I let my kids grab a handful of berries whenever they want throughout the year (blueberries are chock-full of vitamin C and other antioxidants, so why not?), and since the kids eat the blueberries straight from the freezer, I always wash mine first.
Next, I lay the blueberries out on baking sheets to dry.
After the berries are dry, I label a quart-sized freezer bag with the contents and date, then fill the bag with berries.
Finally, I lay the bag flat, getting out as much air as possible, and seal the bag partway. As a final step, I suck the rest of the air out of the bag with a straw.
All that remains is to stack the bags of berries in the freezer, ready to enjoy all year long!