Freeze Fresh Blueberries in 4 Quick Steps

I love to freeze fresh blueberries so I can add them to smoothies later. Fo this process, place unwashed blueberries on a rimmed baking sheet. Then put this sheet in your freezer for two hours. Once your blueberries are frozen, put them into a resealable plastic bag. Then, place the berries back in the freezer until you need them again.

Can you freeze fresh blueberries?

4 Steps to Freeze Blueberries for Later

1. Prepare Your Baking Sheet

Cover a baking pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. This will prevent the blueberries from sticking to the pan. A standard 14-by-10-inch baking sheet will hold 1 pint of blueberries.

A baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready to be used for freezing fresh blueberries.
Use a baking sheet with deep sides like this one to prevent your blueberries from rolling off your tray.

Use a baking sheet with a rim or deep sides to stop your blueberries from rolling off. Don’t use a flat cookie sheet—the berries are likely to fall off when you are moving the sheet in and out of the freezer.

2. Spread Fresh Blueberries on the Baking Sheet

Spread out your blueberries on the baking sheet you have prepared. Do not wash the blueberries before freezing. This can cause them to become mushy, freeze in clumps, or become freezer burned.

Fresh blueberries on a baking sheet with parchment paper before going in the freezer.
Give your blueberries enough space on your baking sheet before freezing.

When arranging your blueberries, make sure they are not piled or touching. Freezing clumps of blueberries leads to mushy berries that don’t taste as fresh.

3. Put the Blueberries into Your Freezer

Place the entire baking sheet with blueberries into your freezer for two hours. This is enough time to freeze even large blueberries.

A timer on the left with 2 hours and a photo of blueberries on the right that will be frozen for 2 hours.
Freeze your blueberries on the baking sheet for 2 hours.

Your blueberries are ready for the next step once they are hard to the touch. If you shake the pan and the berries roll around like marbles, they’re definitely frozen.

4. Transfer Your Berries to Long-Term Storage

Scoop your blueberries off the baking sheet and into one of these resealable freezer bags. Close the bag and put it back into the freezer. Your blueberries will stay good for six months with this method.

Fresh frozen blueberries in a resealable freezer bag.
Put your frozen blueberries in a resealable freezer bag. I love Ziploc food storage freezer bags.

Because they were frozen separately, the berries won’t stick together in the bag. This makes it easy to get as many berries as you want when you’re cooking.

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How Long Do Fresh Blueberries Last in the Freezer?

Frozen blueberries will last for six months. However, they can go bad more quickly if freezer burn sets in. Mark your blueberry container with the date they were frozen in permanent marker. This will help you track how long they’ll still be good.

  • Blueberries will last 6 months in the freezer.
  • Be sure to write the date you froze the blueberries on the storage container.
  • Permanent marker works best for labeling containers of frozen blueberries.

If you find yourself freezing several batches of blueberries at different times, make sure to keep track of the dates on the bags. Use the oldest berries first, but throw away any that have been frozen for more than six months.

Can You Freeze Blueberries Without Washing Them?

It’s best to avoid washing blueberries before freezing them. However, they do need to be washed before they are used. Follow our steps for washing blueberries to prepare them before eating. This will also help to defrost the berries.

  • It’s best to not wash blueberries before freezing them.
  • Once you take your blueberries out of the freezer, wash them before eating them.

If you do wash them, don’t worry. The good thing about water is that it can be dried away. Dry berries thoroughly with a kitchen towel or paper towel before freezing them. This will prevent ice damage from occurring.

Does Freezing Blueberries Lose Nutritional Value?

Freezing will actually help blueberries retain most of their nutrients. You won’t see any noticeable loss of nutrients until the berries have been frozen for at least one year. However, since the berries will have gone bad long before this, there’s no need to worry.

  • Blueberries won’t lose nutritional content to the freezing process until months after they’ve already gone bad.
  • Freezing is the best way for fruits to retain their nutrients long-term.

Generally speaking, fruit loses most of its nutritional content to blanching. This is when fruit is partially cooked in water. So long as you avoid doing this to your berries (like if you were making jam), your berries will be as healthy as ever. 

Does Freezing Blueberries Destroy the Antioxidants?

If you’re freezing blueberries at home, you won’t lose any antioxidants. Antioxidants are fairly resilient to cold temperatures and your home freezer is not powerful enough to destroy them. You’ll have to reach much colder temperatures for antioxidants to be at risk.

  • The antioxidants in blueberries easily survive the freezing process.
  • Commercially frozen blueberries may lose antioxidants due to experiencing a more severe freezing process.,

However, blueberries that have been frozen by commercial processes may lose antioxidants. This is because commercial freezing can be especially severe. So it’s best to avoid buying pre-frozen berries if you’re hoping to reap the benefits of the antioxidants.

How Do You Freeze Blueberries Without Making Them Mushy?

To properly freeze and use blueberries:

  • Cover a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper.
  • Spread unwashed blueberries evenly on the baking sheet.
  • Put the baking sheet in your freezer for two hours.
  • Transfer the blueberries from the baking sheet to a resealable plastic bag.
  • Put the blueberries back into your freezer.
  • Remove and wash your blueberries whenever you need them.

With these freezing tips, you’re all set to deep freeze your blueberries for up to six months. Try adding frozen blueberries to meals like smoothies and blueberry sorbet.

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