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Blueberries: Freezing and Nutrition Facts

Fresh Blueberries at Farmers Market

Blueberries are a delicious fruit full of flavor and a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K.  A 1//2 cup serving of blueberries contains:  42 Calories; 0 grams of Total Fat; 0 grams Saturated Fat; 11 grams Total Carbohydrates; 1 gram Protein; and 1 milligram Sodium.  Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables therefore adding them to your diet may help to prevent damages caused by cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.  They may also lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of inflammation. Research has indicated that adding a half cup of fresh blueberries daily to an average healthy diet would essentially double the body’s antioxidant level.  This is a great reason to include blueberries in your diet.  Frozen blueberries are great in smoothies and they go well with lemon, cinnamon, cloves, pecans, peaches, yogurt and mint.

Purchasing, Storing and Preparing Blueberries

LOOK for blueberries that are:

  • Firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned
  • With a silvery surface bloom and no leaves or stems

    Purchasing fresh blueberries at a farmers market

  • Size isn’t an indicator of maturity but color is
  • Blueberries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black

AVOID blueberries that look:

  • Soft or shriveled
  • If they have any signs of mold.
  • If they are bruised. Bruised fruit will have juice stains on the container

Storing Blueberries after you purchase

  • Wash your blueberries just before you eat or use them
  • Do not wash blueberries before you refrigerate or freeze
  • Refrigerate fresh blueberries either in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or container.
  • Eat or freeze within 10 days of purchase
How to Freeze Blueberries
  • Select full-flavored, ripe blueberries.
  • Remove leaves, stems and immature or defective blueberries.
  • Spread the blueberries on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Place in the freezer for 2 hours.
  • Transfer the frozen berries to a freezer bag or airtight container.
  • Label with the following information: Date, Name of Product, Form of food – e.g., halves and Number of servings
  • Store in upright freezer, chest freezer, or refrigerator-freezer combination can be used as long as it can reach a temperature of 0˚F or below.
  • Blueberries will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • To defrost: Empty the berries into a bowl (to catch the juices).
  • Wash blueberries before you eat them

 Dry Pack –Crushed or Puréed     

  • Crush or press blueberries through a fine sieve, or purée in a blender or food processor.
  • Mix 1 to 1 1/8 cups of sugar with each quart (2 pounds) of crushed berries or purée.
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pack into freezer containers, leaving headspace.
  • Seal containers and label with the following information:  Date, Name of Product, Form of food – e.g., halves and Number of servings
  • Store in upright freezer, chest freezer, or refrigerator-freezer combination can be used as long as it can reach a temperature of 0˚F or below.

If you do not have your own blueberry bushes at home visit your local farmers market or u-pick farm today and enjoy some Fresh Florida Blueberries.

For more information contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/ 

References:

The National Center for Home Food Preservation:  https://nchfp.uga.edu/

 So Easy to Preserve Book order form: https://setp.uga.edu/6thed_SETP_orderform5_May2019.pdf

2 Comments on “Blueberries: Freezing and Nutrition Facts

  1. I have always heard don’t wash your blue berries..I do and have no problem. I love bb fresh..not a problem to grab a handful and give them a wash..frozen? that’s a problem!
    When I had my bushes I’d pick every few days put them in the sink (bowl, pot whatever) give them a swim..that’s when you see how dirty they can be..then put them on a terry tea towel, gently spreading them into one layer. They would stay on the counter until they were dry. Occasionally I’d lift the towel to roll them about to hasten the drying. If the towel is really wet change it out. When they are dry put them in an appropriate container with a folded paper towel on the bottom, another mid way and one on the top. There ready to eat and easy to see if one may be going bad.

    • Hi Carol,
      I understand this may be a practice you use however our recommendations are based on guidance from the USDA and National Center for Home Food Preservation. We must follow their guidelines and protocol for proper food safety. Please see the statement below from the National Center for Home Food Preservation and their link as reference in my article on washing blueberries before freezing.

      Freezing Blueberries or Huckleberries
      Preparation – Select full-flavored, ripe berries. Remove leaves, stems and immature or defective berries.
      Dry Pack – Do not wash blueberries. Washing results in a tougher skinned product. Pack berries into containers, leaving headspace. Berries can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Seal and freeze. Wash before using.

      https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/blueberry.html

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