Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Freeze Blueberries (and other fruits)

I have 20 pounds of fresh Michigan blueberries! 
Spencer’s Berry Farm has blueberry fields of their own that produce some wonderful blueberries but he ones from Michigan are so HUGE.  Also, the terrible winter we had seems to have affected the blueberry plants at Spencer’s so they have limited picking dates this year.  Anyways, the nice folks up in Michigan pick massive amount of blueberries in the morning, Spencer goes to pick them up in the afternoon, and they are available for pick up the very next day. 
This year I ordered two 10 pound boxes and will be freezing them to make jam and pies later in the year. 
In order to get freezerburn-free berries follow these steps:

Rinse the fruit in hot water.

Dry them in a kitchen towel.

Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet/jelly roll pan or other container with sides.

Put cookie sheet in the freezer and wait at least 4 hours until frozen solid.
Remove cookie sheet from pan and roll frozen berries into food storage bags.

Be sure to label the bags to note how many cps of fruit are included.  I always make a few bags that are labeled as “enough for pie” to distinguish those from the other “for jam” bags.
I take an extra step and put the freezer bags into a large paper grocery bag and roll the top closed.  I have found that the brown paper bag somehow buffers the food against the cold and keeps then freezerburn-free for a much longer period of time. 

This process is a bit time and space consuming since the freezer in my kitchen can only fit so many cookie sheets at once, but its worth doing right.  You can follow this same procedure to freeze any kind of fruit or veg, but the time until its frozen solid may need to be adjusted depending on the size. 

From 20 pounds of blueberries, minus some for dehydrating, I got 10 bags with 4 cups each of frozen berries and one left over bag of 6 cups of berries.  That's going to make a lot of jam!
One half bushel equals 63 peaches!
I also picked up half a bushel of peaches at the farmers market this Saturday.  I will be blanching them to remove the skin and then cutting them in half before freezing them for later jam sessions. 
Check me out on the Barn Hop!

1 comment:

  1. We love freezing blueberries!! I love having them on yogurt during the winter. A little bit of summer when it's freezing outside! :-)