How to Store Blueberries to Keep them Fresh

Blueberry stain removal
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - congerdesign

You don’t need preservatives to keep berries fresh: We’ll show you how to store blueberries the right way, so they’ll keep for up to ten days in the fridge. If that’s not enough time, don’t worry: You can also freeze them.

Follow these steps on how to store blueberries to ensure you keep them fresh for longer.

The When, Where and How of Blueberry Picking

Native to North America and grown in more than 25 states, blueberries have become a staple of the American agricultural scene and diet.

Blueberry growing season is from April to late September. So good news for all you blueberry-lovers out there, as for half of the year, you can enjoy locally grown and organic blueberries. 

Harvesting blueberries also couldn’t be any easier. They are typically ready for harvesting between June and August. But patience is the key here. Wait about 2 days after they have turned plump and dark blue/purple in color. They should almost fall off the branches into your hands. That is when you know that blueberries are ripe and ready for picking – and storing.

Choosing the Best Blueberries

The best blueberries are dark blue/purple, smooth and round. Avoid those with stems or leaves.

Don’t choose red blueberries, as they are not yet ripe. Shriveled blueberries are turning bad, so don’t pick them either.

How and Where to Store Your Blueberries: a Step By Step Guide

1) Inspect your blueberries

Look through the blueberries as soon as you get them to source any moldy ones. If you find any, remove them immediately! Just one bad blueberry can spread mold very quickly to all the others and spoil the whole punnet.

2) Prepare your Blueberries

The best method to preparing your blueberries for storage is to give them a vinegar bath:

  1. Combine 3 cups of cold water with 1 cup of white vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Add in all the berries and swish them around for about 1 minute.
  3. Drain the berries and gently rinse them with cold water. Rinse until the blueberries don’t smell or taste of vinegar anymore.
  4. Spread the berries out flat over paper towels and let them air dry for best results. If you are a little pressed for time, pat them dry with more paper towels, but do so carefully so as not to squish any of the berries (we don’t necessarily recommend this step because it wastes more paper).

3) Storing Your Blueberries

Blueberries love colder temperatures, so store them in the refrigerator for best results.

They are also best stored in breathable containers, much like the one you might have bought them in. Just add a paper towel to the bottom of the container to absorb any excess moisture. Stored like this, blueberries can last for up to 10 days in the fridge.

How to Freeze and Thaw Blueberries

If you are unable to finish all your blueberries within 10 days, freezing them is a great option. Blueberries freeze really well and even double as a delicious sweet treat straight from the freezer.

Freezing blueberries involves these simple steps:

  1. Before storing them in the freezer, ensure the blueberries are completely dry.
  2. Transfer them to a rimmed baking tray and spread them out. Cover with some kind of wrapping. Bee’s wrap paper works great!
  3. Freeze them overnight.
  4. Remove them from the tray and transfer to a freezer bag. These frozen delights will. keep in the freezer for up to 6 to 8 months.

Thawing frozen blueberries is easy but takes time. For best results, simply remove from the freezer the night before you plan to eat them, and place them in the fridge overnight.

If you are short on time, you can place the frozen blueberries in a bath of cold water. Refrain from microwaving them, as this will make them go mushy.

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