The Easiest Way to Freeze & Store Berries

This is the Easiest Way to Freeze and Store Berries. Hands down. Buy berries in bulk and store them for year round munching!

I guess this post could also be called  ”How to Freeze Berries Without Having Them End Up in One Big Clump!”

or “The Easiest Way to Preserve Berries.”  Because I’ve tried other ways and this is just well–simply the easiest.

We love berries.  And though we are all on sugar-free and even fruit-free diets due to candida, blueberries are fairly low in sugar and so this year we decided we just had to go picking.

We live in Michigan, one of the great states to live in if you like blueberries and we even have a large wild raspberry bush in our backyard.  Well, it really is in our neighbor’s yard but it cascades into ours and it’s a house that gets rented out to students and the owner is fine with us claiming the berries as our own.

We are all too happy to oblige :-).

Over the past 5 years or so we have made it a tradition to go to a U-pick farm and pick too many a lot of blueberries.  And sometimes raspberries, but they don’t transport as well.

There is a great organic blueberry farm that has the most delectable berries, but this year, the crazy weather made it so that they weren’t offering the U-pick option.  So we had to go to our old standby–a farm that isn’t organic but at least doesn’t spray.

In years past, this farm had recordings of birds to scare other birds away, but this year, as we were driving up to the farm, we saw two huge birds fly away.  I suspect that they were falcons, seeing as this seems to be a new technique that berry farmers use to scare smaller birds away from their crops.  Interesting, huh?

Anyway, we had limited time this year due to a ton of rain and a busy schedule, but in 1.5 hours of picking time, we managed to pick about 17 pounds of berries.  (And we ate a few as well :-).)

So–now it’s time to do something with ‘dem berries.  And though I’d love the thought of dehydrating them in my faithful preservation companion, the Excalibur Dehydrator (click here for the best savings on an Excalibur), I didn’t have great luck with dehydrating cranberries, and really prefer how nicely berries freeze.

That is, if you freeze berries the right way.

Put them all in a bag and freeze them and you might end up with a big chunk of berry mush that you’ll need a jack hammer to break apart.

Here’s how to freeze berries and how to store berries once they are frozen.

 

How to Freeze Berries | How to Store Berries

1.  Wash berries and drain.

2.  Dry gently with a towel (not necessary, but makes the berries completely ice free).

2.  Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

Freeze Berries

3.  Place in freezer until frozen, about 7 hours, or overnight.

4.  Transfer berries to a sturdy plastic bag.  Squeeze most of the air out and store in freezer.  Those Twixit Clips that you see on the bag below are one of my most favorite kitchen tools.  I use them for all my plastic bag storage needs.

5.  Frozen berries are best used within 6 months, but we’ve eaten some out of our deep freeze after a lot longer time than that!  (Freezer tip: If you store food that you won’t be using for a long time in a manual defrost freezer, they will last longer.  More on that in another post sometime :-).)

6.  Enjoy!

 How to use frozen berries:

Just couldn’t resist adding this photo.  Now you can see why we went blueberry picking.  Just couldn’t say “no” and miss seeing that smile!

More Ways to Preserve Your Garden, U-Pick, or CSA Harvest:

Have you ever frozen berries?  What’s your favorite way to eat them?

This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclaimer here..

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  1. I would love to know the name/place of the blueberry farm! My mom used to freeze her blueberries this way. After rinsing my berries, I actually roll mine around on a microfiber towel on a bar pan and put them in a freezer bag to freeze. No frozen together chunks of berries.

  2. I have heard that rinsing berries in water with a bit of vinegar will prevent mold from growing on them, so you can store them in the fridge longer. Have you ever tried that? This is a great tip–it is more time consuming to pre-freeze the berries, but so worth it!

  3. Both my girls love eating frozen blueberries. We don’t have anywhere around here to pick them, so just buy them already frozen. They’re great mixed with homemade yoghurt (no other sweetener necessary), whizzed into smoothies, sprinkled on pancakes or just eaten as a snack of there own.

  4. Thanks for the article. Really helpful one!

  5. Mmm… I love me some blueberries! Thanks for the info. :)

  6. Yummmm! My mom is growing blueberries in her back yard. I have a feeling they aren’t going to last long enough to freeze though! ;)
    A few years back my in-laws and I went to a U-Pick blueberry farm. I had blueberries coming out of my ears. I froze most of them, but they did tend to stick in a giant clump. Thanks for sharing your method at Living Green Tuesdays!

  7. great post! i love frozen berries! i love making smoothies with them!

  8. Open freezing berries really is such an excellent technique – it works really well. Thank you for sharing this really helpful tutorial!

  9. We do all our berries like that…but I didn’t think to pat them dry. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Great post, Adrienne!

    I also buy fresh fruit and freeze it – especially in the summer. It’s a big part of keeping my kitchen green.

    Just a tip for your readers that don’t use plastic in their kitchen: after you freeze the berries, they can go right into an air-tight glass container. The berries will keep for weeks in there (if they even last that long).

    And that picture is just too cute, Adrienne.

  11. I’ve done this too but lately I just freeze then single layer in a gallon Ziploc baggie, then add more when they are frozen. They stay individualized.
    Choose life, Deuteronomy 30;19

  12. This is what I do too except I don’t think I’ve ever froze anything for 8 hours. I usually just wait an hour or two. Does the longer freeze time make a difference?

  13. My parents own a blueberry farm and we have four bushes. I love blueberries, even just eating them frozen from the freezer. I do rinse mine, but I don’t freeze in a single layer. I simply dump them in a bag after their rinsed and plop in the freezer. I’ve always been able to take them out individually without them sticking together.

  14. I love it! First of all though I am jealous of the amount of berries you can get. I so wish I could have a full tray of them. I will totally use and share this idea with my friends though!!

  15. We have been meaning to go blackberry picking for a week and a half, with the intent to freeze them. THANK YOU for this post! (I found it on Sorta Crunchy’s Your Green Resource.) You make picking blueberries sound like fun and I know where a U-Pick farm is here (we’re in California) so maybe I’ll talk the husband into taking me up there sometime (he’s not much into blueberries, but I like them!).

  16. I love freezing berries this way, too! This way I can stash all the great summer fruit that is ripe and delicious right now! Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips at Fit and Fabulous Fridays! :)

  17. This is how I freeze my berries too. I am featuring this post as part of my H&S Highlights this week.

  18. There is a place locally that I pick organic berries and they only charge 6 dollars a gallon. I have always been told by the blueberry growers that it is best not to wash berries. Just stick the berries in a ziplock bag and freeze. I’ve been doing it that way for years.

  19. I freeze as much as I can in mason jars. Actually in mason size jars. We buy yogurt in 1 quart jars at Whole Foods, and the company that makes it is so nice to make them fit standard mason lids :) My dh eats about 2 of them per week (every morning for breakfast with oats etc) so we have tons! We freeze all our fruit in them since we have so many. We pick blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries and try to freeze about 30 quarts of each. Blueberry farm that let us pick closed down, the next nearest one sells at discount if we buy 5-6 gallons at a time. We usually buy about 10 in a season 5-6 at once. I can’t freeze them on sheets like that because I just can’t when I have 5 gallons to freeze, but I wash and drain them in a colander for a few minutes and fill mason jars. They are never clumped up. I can easily loosen them up with the handle of a wooden spoon. Strawberries on the other hand are impossible to unclump from the jar. We usually don’t need them to be loose. We use frozen fruit for smoothies on Sunday pancakes, so we just have to remember to thaw them night before. It’s really nice to have them frozen in glass (no toxic plastic stuff) and when they thaw, I don’t feel bad about drinking the strawberry juice as well.
    I must say, your blueberry idea helped me not with freezing blueberries, but with freezing beans. Since cans are lines with BPA (and those that are BPA free are lined with BPS which is just as bad but less publicity has been given to that bad boy) I stopped buying beans in cans to use as my emergency quick food: quick millet + beans and frozen chucks of veggies is quicker that pizza delivery and so much healthier. I started cooking large amounts of beans at once. Saving some for meal, freezing the rest for later. The baking sheet allows me to freeze them loose, then I transfer them to my mason jars. This way, I can make rice or millet, saute veggies and pour out frozen beans. As soon as they thaw, meal it ready!

  20. I put ours in the bowl to our salad spinner fill with water and a tablespoon of vinegar let soak a minute then drain rinse in the basket to the spinner and then spin the berries dry before we put them in the freezer bag.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Which organic/no-spray U-Pick farms are you referring to!? I am also in Michigan and haven’t been able to find one (although I do recall finding an organic farm that didn’t offer U-pick last year.. lol probably the same one you’re talking about…) Fresh Michigan blueberries are the best! :-)

    • Post Farms is apparently no spray. Looks like the organic blueberry farm we used to go to is closed now. Very sad. Probably the same one you were looking at – Irvine.