Although blueberries are considered one of the most popular and tasty fruits, they are only available for a brief time each year. How long do blueberries last, and what can we do to extend their shelf life? How should blueberries be stored? This question may seem trivial to some people, yet the response can be very different.
The kind of blueberries you buy, how old they are when you get them, and how you treat them all affect how long blueberries last. Let’s discuss how to pick blueberries at the store, what to do to store them, and several methods to extend their shelf life.
General Info about Blueberries
North American plants bears the blueberry variety of berries. When they keep growing, they are more purple or black than blue. Early European settlers gave the berries the name “blueberry” because they thought they grew close to Maine’s shore and were similar to huckleberries. In Scotland, both are referred to as blaeberries, thus it is understandable how confusion could have developed.
Around this time, blueberry farms started to proliferate; some growers even planted their berries close to Boston. Numerous antioxidants present in blueberries have been shown to prevent cancer and heart disease. They also contain elements that support a healthy diet, such as iron, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and zinc. Because of their sweetness, blueberries are frequently consumed with yogurt or cereal for breakfast. Blueberry pies are very popular since the sweet fruit tastes great in desserts.
How Long Do Blueberries Last?
This is a tricky query that depends on a number of variables. The fact that blueberries do not have a “use by” or “best by” date is an important consideration. Look for the day the blueberries were gathered when purchasing packaged blueberries. This can be used as a guide to figure out when you should finish them.
Depending on the temperature they are stored at, the spherical fruits last as long as:
How Long Do Blueberries Last at Room Temperature
So, how to store fresh blueberries at room temperature? Due to their great perishability, blueberries are often not to be kept at room temperature. In actuality, they’ll only keep for a maximum of two to three days, say, on your kitchen counter.
Blueberries do not ripen after being plucked, which is a fun fact. This emphasizes the significance of choosing fruits before they are fully ripe. Additionally, you should not pluck them too early and leave them at room temperature in the hopes that they’ll ripen.
When should blueberries be kept at room temperature? Only do this when you want to consume the round berries that day.
How Long Do Blueberries Last In the Fridge
Blueberries can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks with proper storage. In this instance, the keyword is “correctly.” Fresh fruit can be kept in its clamshell packaging as one alternative. Another choice is to place the fruit in a shallow container and then cover it with plastic wrap.
To extend the fruit’s shelf life, first, remove the leaves and stems. Additionally, discard any fruit that is rotten, damaged, or soft.
The following steps will help you effectively chill the berries:
Step 1: Use a pristine container.
A ceramic bowl or a basket-like box with a few slits or holes is a nice alternative. Avoid using metal containers because the fruit may become stained or discolored if it comes into contact with them.
Step 2: Fill the container with a paper towel.
This will aid in absorbing moisture and stop the growth of mold. The berries should then be added to the container unwashed. To ensure that the fruit is clean and free of debris, only wash it until you are ready to consume or cook it.
Step 3: Avoid keeping them in frigid or crisp locations.
Major problems exist in these locations. The crisper is just too humid and does not have enough circulation. Meanwhile, the coldest parts of the refrigerator may freeze over and harm the delectable berries. As the coldest part of the fridge, particularly if there is a freezer there, be sure not to place them there. The middle or bottom of the refrigerator is a preferable choice.
How Long Do Blueberries Last We Freeze Them
The biggest advantage of frozen blueberries is their extended shelf life of 6 to 12 months. This enables you to consume blueberry smoothies, bread, and pancakes in the dead of winter.
Buying frozen berries or freezing them yourself are both options. The latter can be done as follows:
Step 1: Get the fruit ready.
Eliminate the stems, leaves, and berries that are spoiled or damaged. To avoid sticking or clumping, freeze them first in a single-layer pan. To safeguard the fruit, be sure to cover a metal tray with parchment paper.
Step 2: Freeze the tray.
The little fruit will fully freeze in just two to three hours.
Step 3: Transfer the fruit to a storage locker
Remove the tray from the freezer, then place the blueberries in a bag that can be sealed or that resembles a Ziploc. Restock the freezer with blueberries after that.
How Long Do Blueberries Last If It’s Dried
Blueberries can be dried to preserve them in addition to being kept at room temperature or in fridges and freezers. Either a dehydrator or oven is used for this.
Different methods of using dried blueberries are available. They consist of granola bars, nutritious snacks, and salad toppings.
Once the blueberries have finished drying, you may store them in a bottle or plastic bag in a cool, dark place. The shelf life of these berries is as long as that of frozen blueberries, up to a year!
The methods for drying blueberries in an oven are as follows:
Step 1: Boil the blueberries
Before drying them inside the oven, this is the first stage. A medium saucepan should have a vegetable steamer attachment to it. Fill the steamer basket halfway with water. Add the blueberries once the water is boiling, then let them cook for 30 to 60 seconds.
Step 3: Let the berries cool.
Run chilled water over the berries after removing the steamer basket. This will stop the cooking while also cooling them off.
This procedure before baking could look odd. It is necessary to increase air penetration and split the fruit’s outer peel.
Step 3: Allow the berries to dry.
Place them on paper towels and let them dry for ten to twenty minutes before baking.
Step 4: Move the berries to the baking pans.
The fruit should then be moved to baking sheets. On each baking sheet, place only 1-2 lbs of blueberries in a single layer.
Step 5: Put baking trays into the oven.
Adjust your oven racks so that there is a 1-inch gap between each tray. Set your oven’s temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the oven door slightly open. For gas ovens, this needs to be 1-2 inches, while for electric ovens, it should be 4-6 inches.
Step 6: Dry blueberries for 4-6 hours.
Every 30 minutes, stir the berries with a spatula and make sure to move the baking sheets.
Step 7: Take the berries out of the oven.
Every 30 minutes, stir the berries with a spatula, and also make sure to move the baking sheets.
Step 7: Take the berries out of the oven.
Place the fruits on cooling racks after they have dried. Use airtight jars to keep the blueberries after allowing them to cool down to room temperature.
How Long Can Thawed Blueberries Be in the Refrigerator?
Blueberries that have been thawed from frozen only keep for one week in the fridge. A week is an optimistic estimate, therefore you’ll want to eat them up as soon as you can. Fresh blueberries keep better than thawed fruit.
- Thawed blueberries should only be kept in the refrigerator for a week.
- Blueberries’ skin breaks down slightly when they are frozen, hastening their deterioration after they are thawed.
When blueberries are refrigerated, the water in them crystallizes into ice. The blueberry skin is split by these crystals, which boosts aeration. As a result, blueberries spoil more quickly. As a result, you should often use frozen blueberries as soon as possible after they have been thawed.
How to choose fresh blueberries?
In order to get the best blueberries, go shopping for plump, ripe berries with firm skin. Getting blueberries that are already ripe is essential since they do not continue to ripen after being harvested. Having said that, you also do not want ones that are overripe. Since they have to be harvested, packed, and transported, the majority of blueberries in the supermarket will have already spent a couple of days to a week off the bush.
That will make them less durable. Be wary of anything with wrinkly skin, shriveled fruit, or split skin. Those are indications that the berries are getting close to spoiling. During blueberry season, blueberries can be found at farmer’s markets where they are likely to be considerably fresher and have just been picked. These might give you a few more days to live.
How to extend the shelf life of blueberries
All berries have the potential to harbor mold spores, which is why they mold so quickly. They will last longer if you wash them in a solution of vinegar and cold water to get rid of the mold.
Simply soak them in the vinegar wash for about five minutes, rinse in a strainer, and allow to completely dry. Any spores or bacteria will be eliminated by this.
The berries must thoroughly dry before being stored. The easiest technique, in our experience, is to lay them out in a single layer on a rimmed tray lined with paper towels and allow them to air dry.
After drying, store them in a breathable container lined with paper towels rather than an airtight one in the refrigerator, or freeze them in freezer bags.
Strawberries also benefit greatly from a vinegar wash.
How to identify ripe blueberries
Seek for deep blue or blue-black berries that are hard and plump with a whitish-grey sheen, whether you’re collecting them yourself or purchasing a package at the store. Berries that are green, red, or white are unripe and won’t continue to ripen after being picked. Any that have fuzz or mold on them should be avoided.
Red blueberries occasionally appear in mixtures; they are unripe and won’t ripen, so remove them.
If your berries aren’t quite ripe, you may either put them in a bag with some ripe bananas to ripen on the counter.
FAQs about How Long Do Blueberries Last
What is the best way to store blueberries?
After going grocery shopping or visiting the blueberry patch, immediately put fresh berries in the refrigerator. They can be kept in the plastic clamshell that they are packaged in or in a sizable bowl or container that isn’t covered. Fresh blueberries shouldn’t be kept in an airtight container because this may trap moisture and hasten the growth of mold and rot.
How long do blueberries last in the fridge?
For a maximum of ten days, they can be stored in the refrigerator. They will last longer and keep fresher if you don’t place them in the crisper drawer.
How long are blueberries good for?
If you intend to eat the blueberries within the next day or so, you might leave them at room temperature, and then after that, you should put them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for five to ten days. Of course, if you would like to store them further than that, you might freeze them. About 6 months will pass once the blueberries are frozen.
How to wash blueberries?
It is advisable to wash your blueberries right before eating and keep them in the refrigerator. Berries are delicate and highly prone to spoiling. They may begin to decompose more quickly if you wash them first and intend to keep them in the refrigerator for a long time. Blueberries should keep for at least a week and a half!
Can you freeze fresh blueberries?
Just as readily as the wonderful little berries themselves, fresh blueberries can be frozen. Take them home and put them directly in the freezer! You can utilize even the plastic clamshell packaging that you purchased them in. The best way to freeze blueberries is whole, so there’s no need to rinse them before taking them out of the freezer.
Final Words about How Long Do Blueberries Last
So, how long do blueberries last? Knowing the shelf life of blueberries and the different ways to store this delectable fruit is crucial whether you have just finished picking a whole box of fresh berries from the neighborhood pick-your-own blueberry patch, purchased a few extra containers at the local farmers market, or simply picked some up at the supermarket.
If kept in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 days, fresh blueberries might last up to three days. Put them in the freezer to extend their shelf life a little. Although frozen blueberries can be kept for up to six months, it is preferable to use them within two.
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