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Freezing Blueberries and Other Berries

Blueberries Frozen

Freezing BlueberriesFreeze just harvested blueberries and also raspberries, elderberries, currants, huckleberries, blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, mulberries, and strawberries for thawing and using just as fresh next winter.

Freeze blueberries and other berries individually—called dry pack—or in sugar and syrup or unsweetened.

Use thawed berries in desserts, in pies and other desserts and in smoothies.

You will need ¾ to 1½ pounds of berries for each 1 pint you freeze, 1 to 3 pounds per quart. You will also need freezer containers, bags, or Mason jars.

Preparation and freezing will take you less than an hour.

The berries will easily retain their fresh-picked flavor for 3 months.

How to Dry-Pack Freeze Berries

1. Wash the berries carefully in ice water then drain thoroughly and allow to completely dry.

2. Arrange the berries in a single layer without touching each other on a baking sheet.

3. Place the berries on the baking sheet in the freezer and fast freeze them for 1 hour.

4. Pack the frozen berries into freezer containers (no need to leave headspace). If you use freezer bags squeeze out air; seal, label and return to freezer.

To dry-pack berries with sugar, fill the containers with berries to within 3 to 4 inches of the top. Pour dry granulated sugar over the top; use ½ cup sugar per quart of prepared fruit. Squeeze out air; leave 1 inch headspace. Seal, label, and freeze

How to Pack Berries in Syrup for Freezing

You can also freeze berries in sweetened or unsweetened syrup. Use 1 cup of syrup for each quart of prepared berries.

1. Wash the berries carefully in ice water then drain thoroughly and allow to completely dry.

2. In a saucepan combine 2½ cups granulated sugar and 4 cups water. Bring the mix to a gentle boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently for 3 minutes. Allow the mix to cool.

3. Fill pint or quart freezer containers or jars with berries to within 3 to 4 inches of the top. Pour syrup over top of the berries leaving 1 inch of headspace. Mix gently. Use 1 cup syrup per quart of prepared fruit.

4. Squeeze the air out of bags. Seal, label and freeze.

Note: You may want to vary the amount of sugar you use according to how tart the berries are. As a guide: mix ¼ cup sugar to quart of raspberries; ½ cup sugar to quart of blueberries, elderberries and huckleberries; ¾ cup sugar to quart of all other berries.

Packing Crushed Berries for Freezing

You can pack crushed berries as easily as whole berries.

1. Crush the berries using potato masher; crush the berries in a non-reactive bowl; or for puree press the berries through a fine sieve into a non-reactive bowl.

2. For every quarter of crushed berries add about ⅔ cup granulated sugar, depending on the tartness of the berries. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pack into freezer containers, leaving 1 inch headspace; seal, label and freeze.

Also of interest: How to Plant, Grow, Prune, and Harvest Blueberries.

 

 

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

Comments

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  1. At least for freezing blueberry’s this doesn’t make any sense. We freeze about 200 liter wild-picked, Norwegian blueberries each year.
    1. Remove the leaves from the berries (if you use a picking device)
    2. No need the wash: nothing is cleaner then a forest
    3. Place berries in any plastic box or plastic bag and put in freezer.

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