Freezing Blueberries for Winter Enjoyment
Recently, I took my five-year-old blueberry picking to one of Boston’s superb farms. He loved it because not only could he choose which berries he wanted to take home with him, he was able learn where food comes from. We collected those gorgeous sapphire spheres for an hour until our arms were full of cartons spilling over. On the way home, we happily popped dozens into our mouths for a delicious yet healthy afternoon snack. I envisioned packing baggies of blueberries for camp lunches, tossing handfuls into their morning breakfast and even possibly baking a blueberry pie. But as many of us have, my ideas were too big for what I was able to accomplish within the needed timeframe. Sure, the kids grabbed plenty out of the refrigerator when they wanted them but in the end, I just had too many to handle all at once. I couldn’t bare to witness our picking efforts wasted in the trash. There must be a way to save these juicy morsels so that we can enjoy them before rotting!
Freezing berries is a technique that every New Englander should learn since our warm summer days and necessary growing temperatures are contained within only a few months. It is imperative that we use freezing as a way to utilize the fruit throughout the year which will save us money, not to mention quality in taste. If blueberries are not properly handled, there’s a high chance of disappointment when we go to thaw a freezer burned bag of tiny prunes. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to munch on your own picked blueberries long after the snow begins to fall again in New England.
Blueberry Freezing Instructions
When you bring your fresh berries home –resist the urge to immediately wash them. Sogginess can result making them messy and squishy.
Find adequate storing containers such as Tupperware that have strong lids that can defend against burning. If you don’t want to use this type of storing vessel, grab some freezer ready Ziploc bags. They work just as well and can be discarded after use.
Place DRY berries in their freezing containers making sure there is as little air as possible trapped inside. Air will age the berries stealing their freshness and tart taste.
Store in the freezer and allow enough time for the berries to harden.
5. When you are ready to eat them, either leave them out to naturally warm to room temperature or stick them into a colander and rinse with cool water.