When blueberry season hits, you’ll want to know how long do blueberries last so that you can get the most from this awesome fruit. I’ve provided you with my tips and tricks to keep your blueberries fresh and delicious so that you can enjoy them all year long.
I’m lucky to live in a state that grows blueberries, which means I can go to the farm or farmer’s market and get baskets of fruit to use for cobblers, crisps, salads, biscuits and so much more. Once you’ve brought them home, how long do blueberries last?
How long do blueberries last
- If you leave ripe blueberries on the kitchen counter at room temperature, they will only last for a day or two before spoiling. It is best to keep them refrigerated.
- The best place to store blueberries is in the fridge where the shelf life of blueberries is about 2 weeks if properly stored.
- If you choose to freeze them, they will last for about 10 months. That means blueberries all year long!!
If you’re like me, and you have more berries than you can eat in a day or two, you’ll want to read on for some great tips for keeping them fresh for as long as possible. First you’ll need to know when they’re in season.
When are blueberries in season
Blueberries are always in season in some part of the world which is why we can still get delicious berries in the middle of winter. Blueberries will ripen after they have been picked as long as they weren’t picked while they were white or green. This allows us to get delicious berries at the grocery store in the dead of winter.
In North America, you’ll find blueberries on both the east and west coast along with Michigan, Minnesota and Texas. Blueberries like warm days and cool nights which is why are growing season is early in the summer but will be later in those cooler states. Depending on the climate, the growing season will be from April through September.
How to tell when blueberries are ripe
Whether you’re picking them or grabbing a package from the grocery, you will want to look for deep blue or blue-black berries that are firm and pump with a white grayish sheen. Green, red or white berries are not ripe and will not ripen after they’ve been picked. You should avoid any that have fuzz or the presence of mold.
I’t not uncommon to see red blueberries mixed in, these are not ripe and will not rippen so remove them.
If your berries are not quite ripe, leave them on the counter to ripen or place in a bag with a ripe banana.
How to store fresh picked blueberries
You shouldn’t wash fresh berries until you’re ready to eat them unless you are using a vinegar wash. Wait to wash them until right before eating. Blueberries are a fragile fruit and can be easily bruised with washing, plus the moisture will cause them to deteriorate quicker. Before you store blueberries, follow these steps so that your berries will last a long time.
The first thing you want to do is remove any moldy berries, along with those that are shriveled or un-ripe. You don’t want any bad berries mixed in with the delicious fruit.
Next remove any stems or debris that may have been left in the container.
Place in a container lined with paper towels.
Refrigerate in a breathable storage container. It is important not to store in airtight containers because they need some air circulation to maintain their freshness. The jury is out on whether you should keep them in the crisper drawer or not. I find that I have more room in the refrigerator than my crisper and I haven’t been able to tell any difference.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, just grab a bunch of blueberries, rinse with cool water and enjoy.
How to make blueberries last longer
All berries can carry mold spores which is what will cause them to go moldy so quickly. If you wash them with a vinegar wash made of vinegar and cold water, it will remove the mold and increase their shelf life.
All you need to do is let them soak in the vinegar wash for about 5 minutes then rinse in a colander and let dry completely. This will remove any spores or bacteria.
It’s important to let the berries dry completely before storing. I’ve found the best way is to place them in a single layer on a paper towel lined rimmed tray and let them air dry.
Once they’re dry, place them in a paper towel lined breathable container, not an airtight container, and refrigerate, or place in freezer bags and freeze.
A vinegar wash also works great on strawberries.
How to freeze blueberries without getting mushy
Since blueberries are fragile, you want to treat them gently when preparing them for the freezer. To avoid mushy berries once they have thawed make sure they are completely dry before freezing and flash freeze them.
First wash the berries in a strainer and let them dry on a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet. You can use a salad spinner to remove the water. Once dry, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight. They don’t have to be frozen solid, but they should be at least partially frozen.
Place the frozen blueberries in a freezer bag or vacuum seal them. They will last about 10 months in the freezer if they are vacuum sealed. If stored in a resealable bag, they can get freezer burn if there is any air in the bag.
What can you do with fresh blueberries
- Make some blueberry jam and enjoy them on toast or yogurt all year long.
- Make a smoothie, frozen berries work great.
- They taste great in a mixed fruit salad or a blueberry Salad with Tequila.
FAQs and tips
Blueberries are not good if they are moldy or cracked. You should throw out any that are shriveled or are red.
Blueberries will last about two weeks in the fridge depending on how fresh they are when you purchase them.
You should wash blueberries, but wait until right before eating.
Blueberries are high in antioxidants and have lots of vitamins and minerals. They contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese. They are often called a superfood. At only 80 calories per cup, they’re a great healthy snack.
Vinegar Wash for Blueberries
- 5 ½ cups cold water
- ½ cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Fill a large bowl with 5 ½ cups of water and add ½ cup of vinegar. Add berries and let soak for 5 minutes.
- Place berries in a colander and rinse with fresh water. Place on a paper towel lined baking sheet until dry, about 20 minutes.
- Line a container with paper towels. Place berries in the container and refrigerate.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Be careful not to bruise the berries
- Remove any moldy berries first
- You can use a salad spinner to dry the berries