Thanks to Darlene at Coupon Gossip for this guest post,
There are two schools of thought on freezing blueberries. Some folks don’t wash them before they freeze them; they just wash them as they use them. Some folks wash them before they freeze them; this makes the berries ready to go when the come out of the freezer. I’m in the second camp. This allows me to make sure I’m not freezing anything weird, getting all the stems off, and sampling the berries along the way. Uhmmm. I mean…making sure the berries are of a quality to freeze. *smile* One of my favorite things is to have blueberries from the freezer (not quite thawed all the way) topped with whipped cream. YUM-O!
I’ve seen where a single layer of berries are frozen on a cookie sheet. Huh? How long would that take for a five pound box of blueberries?! I don’t have that kind of time, so I go with a 13×9 cake pan with a lid. This way I don’t have to worry my berries will get spilled in the freezer or on the floor — you know it’s happened to those cookie sheet folks.
Wash the berries. This is pretty self-explanatory.
Line the cake pan with a paper towel. Arrange the berries in the cake pan. There is no right or wrong amount of blueberries to have on a layer. Just arrange them like you would for tater tots you’d bake in the over. Cover the first layer of berries with another paper towel and repeat this process until you’ve filled up the pan. Snap the lid on, and you’re ready to go!
Put the berries in the freezer. For me, it takes about 1-1/2 hours for the berries to get partly frozen. You don’t have to freeze the berries all the way through. You’re just trying to get the outer part of the berry (and the water) frozen so they won’t stick together in your freezer container or freezer bag.
Transfer the berries to whatever container you plan to store them in permanently in the freezer. I use quart freezer bags — easy to transfer the berries and easy to stack in the freezer. I can get about 1-1/2 pounds of blueberries in each quart bag. This is the perfect size for me to pull out and use without worrying about them going bad.
If you leave the berries too long in the freezer, you run the risk of getting paper towel “fuzz” stuck to the berries when you’re going to transfer them. No worries! Just let the towel sit on the counter for a few minutes. For really stuck on berries, just run the paper towel under a little water and presto! The berries will come right off.
This is a mandatory step! Do not skip this one! After all that prep work, make up a bowl of berries & whipped cream for the “cook” to enjoy.