If strawberries are the most popular fruit, blueberries are second. People in the United State of America are very fond of this fruit. They are used to make most kinds of cakes here. Blueberries are naturally dark green in color with slight bruising. With such a characteristic color, it is used as decorations for dishes as well as in nutritional vitamins.
Blueberries native to North America are relatively small numbers, but succulent blueberries in the United States of Maine and Michigan state are significant. There are two popular blueberry varieties sold commercially, the “Lowbush” (wild) blueberry variety, which has small fruit. And the bigger size is “highbush”.
According to some nutrition experts, if you intend to change your diet, then it is better to add blueberries. They contain 5 times more antioxidants than other fruits and vegetables. That is why they are considered the queen of fruits.
Why need to Freeze Blueberries?
In the summer, people begin to prepare food for winter and hoard gifts from the gardeners. Furthermore, not all countries are given blueberries by God. Therefore, importing and preserving blueberries for a long time is a popular way for anyone to enjoy this natural gift.
Although the blueberries contain many nutrients, it has a very short lifespan. Blueberries are very sensitive to weather, water and the environment. If you don’t know how to preserve them, blueberries will spoil very quickly, causing waste. In addition, the blueberry season runs from September to January each year, so you also need to have a way of preservation so that when the season is over, you will still have the opportunity to enjoy the great and delicious blueberries.
How to Freeze Blueberries?
Let’s find the best way to save blueberries for winter. Berries are widely preserved in fresh or frozen form. Blueberries are known for their sweet dessert flavor, included with healthy vitamins that help boost immunity. Anyone who wants to enjoy blueberries in winter should familiarize themselves with the methods of preservation.
Step 1: Required for Selecting Blueberries to Freeze
Blueberries can be purchased from markets, fruit shops or domestically grown. Before you start to freeze, you need to choose the right blueberries for preliminary processing. To do this, be guided by the following tips:
- The blueberries must be intact, undamaged – speckled, non-beetle
- The blueberries are dense, firm, but not too soft when be touched
- The blueberries do not stamped or shriveled
It is also important to properly prepare blueberries so that they retain their flavor, aroma and useful properties when they are frozen.
You need to be selective, leaving only the good blueberries. Dispose of damaged blueberries. Besides, the earlier blueberries should be graded, the less moldy they will develop. Then, rinse the fruits and then combine with chemicals like ascorbic acid to prevent the enzymes in the fruit from overripe.
Step 2: Prepare to Freeze Blueberries and Freeze Blueberries
You can place fresh blueberries in a bowl and then wrap them in plastic to keep them fresh longer. When you want to freeze blueberries, put them in a freezer bag and seal it, this will give you a longer storage time.
With this freezing method, the blueberries will retain almost the original properties of the shape and nutrition inside. Because at low temperatures, microorganisms freeze and stop growing so that food doesn’t spoil.
Chain-based freezing of blueberries is a multi-step process. However, it will be shortened when you do them at home. At fruit processing factories, they often use rapid cooling to freeze the product without damaging it.
Frozen blueberries have the best storage temperature from -18 to – 23 degrees C. The best shelf life is 24 months from the date of manufacture. So no matter which season of the year, you can still eat the blueberries when choosing frozen blueberries to use.
Frozen Blueberries Retain Their Nutritional Value
In fact, “fresh” blueberries in the store aren’t always a better choice than frozen blueberries. Most blueberries take a long time to be delivered to the point of sale. So it is true to say that fresh blueberries are harvested for many days before reaching the hands of consumers.
Meanwhile, frozen blueberries are always frozen on the same day of harvest in farms or processing factories. This preserves the most complete natural nutrients and antioxidants.
According to studies conducted by John Hopkins University, freezing newly harvested blueberries helps them maintain optimal nutritional levels for many months. This makes it possible to enjoy delicious blueberries at any time of the year.
In addition, studies performed at South Dakota State University show that freezing blueberries helps the human body absorb the antioxidants in blueberries more easily. This is due to anthocyanins – the blue-green antioxidant compounds of blueberries, found in the peel of berries. Freezing creates small ice crystals that disrupt the cell’s structure, making it easier for our digestive system to absorb anthocyanins.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the health benefits of blueberries?
Blueberries are rich in vitamins and minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and other nutrients. They are also rich in antioxidants. So it will reduce our risk of some cancers.
In a recent study in mice, results showed that blueberries slow down the aging process. Moreover, blueberries have been shown to help protect the retina from unwanted sunlight and oxygen damage.
If you want to improve your memory, include blueberries in your daily diet. When you eat them regularly, they help fight urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and constipation.
2. What are the uses of blueberries?
Both fresh or frozen blueberries can be used in your recipes. And the great thing about frozen blueberries is that even though the fruit is frozen, the fruit does not lose its nutrients. But to enjoy the best blueberries, fresh blueberries are still the 1st choice.
Fresh blueberries can be made into jams, sauces or served with yogurt and cereals. They are good for your body and skin. If you freeze blueberries, you can use them for smoothies, snacks and baking cakes.
3. Should we wash blueberries before freezing?
This is a controversial question. There are a few ways you can store blueberries, but if you want to preserve the taste, don’t wash them before freezing them. This avoids bumps and damage during the wash process, allowing for longer shelf life. Keep them refrigerated or frozen to prevent them from ripening, softening and spoiling.
However, you also can wash the blueberries before you freeze them. Be extremely careful and use a deep tub to avoid crushing blueberries. Then let the blueberries dry before placing them in the freezer.
4. Is it good to eat frozen blueberries?
Blueberries are considered “super fruits” and contain many essential vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. However, many people have concerns about frozen blueberries and how they should be stored.
Both frozen and fresh blueberries are available on the market. In general, many people still hesitate to buy frozen blueberries with the belief that they are not as good as fresh blueberries. Besides, the misunderstanding that fresh fruit is best makes frozen blueberries often “chilled”. However, it is true that frozen blueberries are even higher in nutrients and much easier to store than fresh blueberries.
5. Are frozen blueberries easier to store?
It would be bad if you wanted to sip a few blueberries, and you find out that whole fresh blueberries have been spoiled for so long in the refrigerator just because they were harvested long before you buy and freeze them. It is too late and that freezing has no effect in this case.
Fresh fruits and vegetables have a very short shelf life, so do blueberries. However, frozen blueberries can last for many months without spoiling or fraying and retain nutrients for many months when stored in the freezer.
6. Are there other ways of preserving than freezing blueberries?
There are a few other ways to preserve blueberries, such as making jam.
Make blueberries jam:
- Simply put all the washed blueberries in the pot with the sugar and apple juice and simmer over high heat until the mixture boils, then lower the heat.
- Then, cook for 10 minutes more until the blueberries soften
- Cool the blueberries and place them in a glass jar
- Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator cooler and use gradually.
- Thanks to this way, you can preserve for about 1 year while still preserving the nutrients in blueberries.
7. How to choose to purchase fresh blueberries to freeze blueberries?
It is better to choose to buy at reputable places of supermarkets and imported fruit shops. It is necessary to check the packaging if it is intact, the anti-counterfeiting stamp and the expiry date.
Do not choose a blueberry box with crushed or mushrooms.
Choose fresh, round, thin-skinned blueberries with dark purple or bluish-purple colors. They need to have 2 ends: one end with a stem and one end with sepals. Blueberries coming with a characteristic white chalk coating on the outside of the skin is new.
8. Great dishes made from blueberries?
Blueberries are famous worldwide for their unique taste and nutritional value that few fruits have. According to many studies of scientists, blueberries are considered as a nutritional bag that nature gives to humans, especially for pregnant women and young children.
Here are some delicious blueberry treats for everyone to enjoy: Blueberry Yogurt, Blueberry Smoothie, Blueberry Salad, Blueberry Clafoutis, Blueberry Cheese Cake, Blueberry Ice Cream, Blueberry Smoothie with Butter and Mint, and more.
Hopefully, with the simple tips above, you already know how to freeze blueberries in the right way to preserve and gradually use them any time of the year!