Learning how to freeze blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and other summer berries can be frustrating without a few important tips. An endless variety of summer berries are filling the markets right now (and filling our mouths as we stuff ourselves silly with them). This is the best part of summer, in my opinion — but berries tend to spoil quickly, especially when it’s warm out.
Small fruits tend to spoil faster than other produce, so if you end up with a ton of them, it’s often easier to learn how to freeze blueberries and other berries instead of storing them like celery or using the my method to keeping carrots fresh. What’s the best way to freeze berries? You’re in luck, because I happen to be a freaking pro at freezing produce. 😇
How to Freeze Blueberries, Strawberries, & Blackberries
Now matter what method you use to keep berries fresh, they will still eventually go bad. That’s just the nature of produce. If you have so many berries you can’t possible eat them all, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, etc, freeze beautifully. And freezing them is a little different than my method for how to freeze vegetables, so I thought I’d lay out the important details here, in a separate post.
(And before someone points it out, yes, I included cherries in that list of berries even though it’s technically a stone fruit. You get the idea.)
The best way to freeze blueberries (along with strawberries and other berries) is in a single layer on a sheet pan. If you try freezing them directly in zip-top bags or plastic storage containers, your berries will freeze into one big lump and you won’t be able to separate them until they’ve defrosted… which is no bueno.
You also need to make sure they’re sealed tightly in a plastic container or sealable bag, or else your berries will develop freezer burn and off flavors. I recently pulled some blueberries out of a friend’s freezer that tasted like… freezer. There was a small hole in the bag, which is all it took to let weird flavors make their way into the fruit. Most definitely NOT good eats.
Here are the simple steps on how to freeze blueberries (and strawberries, etc) so that they’re way, way, WAY easy to use later:
Learning how to keep freeze blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and other summer berries can be frustrating without a few important tips. An endless variety of summer berries are filling the markets right now (and filling our mouths as we stuff ourselves silly with them). This is the best part of summer, in my opinion -- but berries tend to spoil quickly, especially when it's warm out.
- 1 pound Berries, -- blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, or whatever you've got
- Rimmed baking sheet, that will fit in your freezer
- Parchment paper
- Zip-top bags, or sealable containers
Wash and dry your berries completely. Drying them is SO important. If your berries are wet when you freeze them, they'll freeze together in clumps. Having a two-pound block of frozen blueberries is not a fun way to deal with them. Trust me.
Find a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan that will fit into your freezer without having to tilt it. Tilting the pan will cause all of your berries to roll to one side, completely negating the purpose of freezing them in a flat pan.
Line the pan with a piece of parchment.
Spread your dry berries onto the parchment in a single layer. Do not pile them up -- it's a lot better to do multiple batches of berries instead of layering them too thickly. (See above mention re: sad panda block-o-berries.)
Place the baking sheet in your freezer for at least 90 minutes.
Quickly, before they have time to defrost, pop all the frozen berries off of the parchment and place them in sealed containers or zip-top bags.
Use a sharpie to label the bags with what kind of berries you're freezing. Don't forget to write the date on the bag.
Immediately place the bag or container in the freezer. Do not let the bag or container sit around, or you'll have to start all over with wet, soggy berries.
Grab a new piece of parchment and repeat until all of your berries are frozen!
Nutritional analysis is based on blueberries.
I hope this is helpful! Now that you’ve got the berry-freezing skills in your back pocket, you’re welcome to bump me off my throne as “queen of frozen produce.”
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.