What is grandma’s secret of freezing as well as using frozen berries to create the delicious deserts and yummy pies even in summer?
Start with picking the right berries
It is assumed that pink, red, lavender or green colored blueberries will ripe like bananas, if kept at specific temperature. The tasty berries are the ones that look velvety blue. Many blueberries variety like Chandler, Patriot and Bluecrop hold up well to freezing.
You can even buy fresh blueberries in winter from the link naturestouchfrozenfoods.com.
Wash them only when you want to use them. Blueberries surface offers natural protection coating called blooms that averts them from deteriorating. Rinsing blueberries will remove the natural non-stick and you will need to dry, dry and dry them before freezing, so as to prevent them from sticking together.
Equipment needed for freezing
- The number of blueberries you wish to freeze
- Colander or large sieve
- Paper towels to lay on the counter
- Large pan or cookie sheet
- Plastic wrap
- Level shelf in the freezer all cleared
- Sufficient plastic vacuum seal or freezer bags
- Labels to date
[Bags are great for storing because containers can leave air pockets, which can cause crystallization and freezer burns]
Ready to freeze for long term storage
Freeze them unwashed in single layer on the cookie sheet, so that they freeze rapidly and evenly. Leave them overnight and then put them in vacuum sealed bags for longer storage. In case you use freezer or Ziploc bags then make sure to remove the air using the straw before locking. Label the bag with date prior storing and return them to the freezer. These are best to be used within 6 months but can be stored up to ten months.
This freezing technique will allow the frozen berries to maintain their shape better, when cooked or thawed. As they are individually frozen, there will be no concern about stickiness. Just open the bag, grab some berries and use it to prepare pancake batter or a smoothie without thawing the whole bag.
Thaw or not to thaw
Rinse them quickly before tossing them on your morning yogurt. If you wish to use them for baking then don’t thaw the frozen blueberries because melted juice will make your muffin, cake and pie batter turn runny. In case, you forgot and thawed the frozen blueberries then put them in mixing bowl along with one tbsp. of sugar for every quart or they will over-tart, when defrosted.