‘Tis the season for frolicking through sunflower fields, harvesting strawberries, and scoping out the plumpest blueberries on the bush. With blue-tinged fingers and buckets filled to the brim, you may be wondering how to preserve your harvest. While blueberry season is short, preserving blueberries in the fridge or freezer will allow you to indulge all year-round!
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Preserving Blueberries in the Fridge
Step 1: Wash the Blueberries
Wash your berries for one minute in a mixture of 1 part white distilled vinegar, 10 parts water.
Step 2: Dry Them Off
Gently dry the blueberries with a clean towel. Lay them out on a separate towel for an about an hour, or until the outsides are completely dry.
Step 3: Prepare the Container and then Store
Place a paper towel or a small clean towel into the bottom of an air tight container. I like to use 32 oz mason jars for this! Gently place the blueberries into the container and then seal it up. The blueberries should last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
Preserving Blueberries in the Freezer
Step 1: Skip the Washing
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wash your blueberries before freezing them. Their natural chalky coating (aka bloom) has properties that prevent them from sticking together. If you wash the bloom off beforehand and don’t dry them well enough, you’ll likely be left with a solid block of frozen berries instead of individuals. Simply wash each serving of berries as you’re ready to use them, which also helps with the thawing process!
Step 2: Freeze the Blueberries
Lay the blueberries on a flat, freezer-safe surface such as rimmed baking sheets. Sort through the harvest to remove stems and any berries that are mushy or moldy. Pop the baking sheet into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until completely frozen.
Step 3: Store
Choose an air-tight container that’s freezer safe to store the blueberries in. Many people opt for gallon size freezer bags, or you can use a large, glass storage container to avoid the use of plastic! The blueberries will last about a year in the freezer.
Step 4: Wash and Use
NOW you can wash the bloom and dirt off! When a recipe calls for a larger amount of blueberries, colanders help to simplify this washing step. (Please note that a natural occurrence from thawing out frozen blueberries is they’ll be a bit mushy, and there is really no way around it. Fortunately, most recipes allow frozen berries to be used in place of fresh berries anyway!)
Now it’s time for the best part – putting these babies to use! These little fruits are packed full of fiber, flavor, antioxidants, and vitamin-C. Enjoy them in cobbler, topped on oatmeal or a parfait, or consume them solo as a healthy snack!
Have fresh basil in your garden? Check out my post on How to Preserve Fresh Basil!
- Clean bowl or colander (For washing)
- Rimmed baking sheets
- Freezer-safe storage container
- Sort through the blueberries and remove any that are mushy or have mold
- Lay berries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet
- Allow berries to freeze completely (about 2-3 hours)
- Store berries in a freezer-safe container
- Wash & Enjoy!