Blueberries are only in season for a short time in midsummer, but they are an enjoyable treat year-round. Freezing the fresh berries preserves their flavor for use later in the year when they aren't readily available. Once defrosted, frozen berries aren't as firm as fresh and they produce more juice. They are better suited to use in baked goods or as an add-in to yogurt or smoothies than they are to fresh eating. Proper thawing retains some of their firmness and ensures they remain safe to eat.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic wrap
Remove the blueberries from the freezer. Place the amount you need in a bowl and return any extra blueberries to the freezer immediately.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set it in the refrigerator to thaw. Thaw overnight if you are using the blueberries in a recipe. If you plan to eat them whole, thaw for four to six hours so they are still partially frozen and firm.
Fill the bowl with cold water and place it on the counter at room temperature to thaw blueberries more quickly. The berries thaw completely in approximately five minutes.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are freezing fresh blueberries, store them in the fridge for two days prior to freezing so they can develop their best flavor.
- Use thawed blueberries within two days.
- Do not thaw in hot water, as the heat causes the berries to release their juice and become shriveled. Hot or warm water also allows harmful bacteria to grow.
- Photo Credit blueberry image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com
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