Want to go blueberry picking this year? Here’s how to freeze your catch for year round baking. Post contains affiliate links.
I used to live far from home (hence the blog name) with a tiny backyard. I still grew things there because it’s not the size of the yard, of course, but one of the best parts about returning to Florida where I’m from is all the established plants. We have blueberries, grapevines, and pear trees! This year I planted an orange tree, olive tree, and two pear trees so we’ll see how they’re going next spring.
However, you don’t need your own blueberry bush to freeze enough blueberries to last a long time. There are usually plenty of places around that allow you to go pick as many blueberries as you desire, or until your kids get restless!
I find blueberries to be expensive to buy both fresh and frozen, and was excited that this year’s bush had such a harvest. Here’s how to freeze blueberries so they don’t all freeze together in one big clump, and so that you can use them individually or in serving sizes throughout the year in your baking or smoothies.
Use a sheet. We tried to put a sheet on the ground and shake the blueberry bush, but they didn’t fall easily. That said, if the blueberries are ripe you can grab them in your hand and move them around and they’ll fall easily. I did this around the tree (until I got ant bit because I didn’t follow my four ways to nix ant beds in that area) and my husband stood on a ladder to get as many as we could.
If they’re ripe they should come off easily and you won’t have to do much “cherry picking.”
1. Bring in your blueberries and wash them, getting off all leaves and stems.
2. Put the blueberries in a colander (these are interesting…) and drain.
3. Get out baking sheets, pizza trays, or anything else that’s flat. You can cover the surface with wax paper if desired.
4. Put the blueberries on the cookie sheets in one layer. It’s okay if they are touching each other slightly, you don’t have to spend two hours positioning each berry, but just make sure there’s only one layer and they are essentially going to freeze individually.
5. Put in the freezer for 12 hours or overnight. I actually only did one batch for 3 or 4 hours, but I think overnight is probably best.
6. Take out trays and unstick the frozen blueberries. The water from washing the blueberries will have caused them to stick slightly, but they’ll come away easily.
7. Measure blueberries into desired amounts. I chose to use sandwich bags (since they are the size I was going for) and put one cup of blueberries into each one. I chose one cup because most baking recipes (or pancakes, etc.) will call for around 1/2 to 1 cup of blueberries.
8. Stack in freezer.
- When you use your frozen blueberries, I’d lay them out on napkins to thaw slightly. If you put 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries into a batter without having been thawed, they’ll stick together.
- I didn’t use freezer safe sandwich bags so, you might want to do that. :)
- By simply putting a bunch of blueberries into a big bag fresh, they’ll all stick together as they freeze and you won’t be able to separate them later to get a portion. So by freezing them in my desired amounts I can avoid waste.