The fresh season for British Columbia grown blueberries might have passed, but there’s no reason to press pause on your favourite berry recipes! Frozen blueberries perform surprisingly well in dishes that you may have previously only used fresh berries in – from oatmeal to pies, muffins to salads (really, salads!) Here are five tips for using frozen blueberries in your recipes throughout the year.
- If you’re baking healthy muffins like these or a delicious blueberry lemon loaf with frozen blueberries, you might find that they sink to the bottom of the pan. To minimize this problem, toss unthawed berries with a little of the flour listed in the ingredients before mixing them into the batter. You can also layer the berries: pour half of the batter into the pan, sprinkle on half of the blueberries, pour in the rest of the mixture and top with the remaining blueberries.
- There are plenty of recipes that actually work better with frozen blueberries! Smoothies stay nice and cold with frozen berries, and because freezing starts breaking down the skin, they’ll blend up easier too. A blueberry sauce also cooks up quicker and smoother with frozen berries for the same reason. Or try this Quick Blueberry Sorbet recipe – using frozen blueberries means that you reduce the freezing time needed.
- There’s no need to thaw berries that are going to be used in your morning oatmeal – just throw in a handful right at the end of cooking. The heat of the oatmeal will thaw the berries, and as a bonus, they’ll cool down the oatmeal for your kids to eat right away.
- If you’re going to use frozen blueberries in something like this Blueberry Superfood Salad, or this Blueberry Pineapple Salsa, make sure that you buy Grade A IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) blueberries. Once they thaw, they’ll still hold their round shape in your dish.
- The easiest way to eat frozen blueberries is the same as how you eat fresh blueberries: by the handful! For a refreshing beverage, throw frozen blueberries in sparkling water or lemonade and they act as tasty little ice-cubes. Or add a handful to a cup of vanilla yoghurt – you’ll end up with a thin coating around each blueberry that tastes a lot like ice cream!