Blueberries are a delicious and low-maintenance fruit that you can use in baking, toss into a salad or yogurt or eat plain as a healthy snack. However, knowing how to store blueberries properly so that they can retain their maximum freshness is important. Otherwise, your blueberries can result in anything but tasty.
If you don’t want to end up having moldy and mushy berries and keep them fresh for a longer period of time, this article will show you how.
How Long Do Blueberries Last?
It simply depends upon the method you use to store your blueberries. If you plan to eat them the same day or the next day, then you can leave them at room temperature. But if you want to keep them for several days or even months, you’ll need to transfer your blueberries to the fridge or freezer.
How to Store Blueberries
It’s not difficult to consume a bunch of blueberries in one go, but they can deteriorate in a shockingly short time. Consider using the steps mentioned below to keep your berries fresh for as long as possible. The following procedure is essentially a guarantee that you will never have to discard your healthy and tasty berries again.
Step 1: Buy Good Blueberries
Even the best storage method won’t do any good if the blueberries you buy are in poor condition. So, what should you look for when buying blueberries? You’ll find them in their best condition during summer from fruit shops and markets. Here are some tips for buying the best ones:
- Choose the blueberries that are undamaged and intact.
- The blueberries must not be too soft, in fact, they should be firm and dense.
- They must not be shriveled.
- Pick the blueberries that do not have a stem or leaves
- Make sure their color is blue-black or a bluish deep-purple.
- Go for blueberries that boast a healthy bloom (silvery-white substance on the surface) are the best. It’s a natural coating of the fruit that keeps it from moisture loss and rot.
Don’t be surprised if you find some damaged or unhealthy pieces in the container of beautiful blueberries after getting home. All you need to do is to pick out the damaged pieces and get rid of them right away.
Berries with poor health can spread the disease very quickly to spoil even the best of the bunch. Discard each berry that shows mold or is super squishy.
Step 2: Wash Only the Blueberries You Want to Eat
It’s important to wash your blueberries before eating them. But it’s important to make sure that you wash only the ones you want to eat immediately. The blueberries are more likely to become mushy and moldy after getting in contact with water even if you store them in your fridge.
Step 3: Prepare Your Blueberries Before Storing
In order to make sure that your blueberries retain their freshness, aroma, flavor, and health, you need to prepare them properly for storage. The first step is to choose the right storage container.
For optimal shelf-life and freshness, your blueberries need a little room to breathe but at the same time, they must not be exposed to moisture. That’s why using an open container that’s not air-tight is your best bet.
Step 4: How to Store Blueberries
Warm storage environments such as room temperature will result in overripening the blueberries. So, you don’t want to let your berries soak up the sun by sitting on the counter. If you want to achieve the best result, then consider storing the fruit in your refrigerator.
It’s also important not to use the crisper drawer of your refrigerator to store the blueberries. That’s because this compartment usually has little air circulation and high humidity that suits most vegetables and fruits but blueberries aren’t one of them.
Your refrigerator will keep the blueberries fresh for up to 10 days.
If you have bought blueberries in a larger amount and it’s not possible for you to finish them within 10 days, then freezing the fruit is an excellent option. For this method, you’ll need to place your berries in a freezer-safe bowl with a cover or a freezer-safe storage bag.
It’ll allow your berries to retain almost all the original properties including nutrition and shape. Freezing will keep the microorganisms from growing and the fruit won’t get spoiled.
Don’t forget to mark the container with the date because your frozen blueberries will be edible for up to 6 to 8 months. Storing your blueberries in a freezer will allow you to enjoy the fruit regardless of the month of the year
How to Thaw Your Frozen Blueberries
Once your blueberries are frozen, you’ll need to thaw them before eating. The best way is to transfer them from your freezer to your refrigerator a night before you want to eat them. The next day, your blueberries will be ready to eat.
If you are short on time, then you can also place the container of your frozen blueberries in a cold water bath. It’ll thaw them faster without affecting their nutrition or shape. Whatever you do, don’t use heat like using a microwave to thaw your frozen blueberries as it will cause mushiness and affect their taste as well.