How To Store Fresh Blueberries To Keep Them for Longer
Summer not only brings an increase in sunshine (and subsequent complaints about humidity), but also an abundance of our favorite warm-weather produce. Plucked and distributed at their plumpest, sweetest, and juiciest, these fruits flourish when chances of rain are high and temperatures are far from low.
But no summer fruit seems to shine more than berries, with the beloved blueberry taking center stage in our favorite seasonal pies, salads, tarts, and muddled adult beverages.
Blueberries, however, are also quite fragile and require somewhat particular storage techniques to ensure that they remain fresh and unbruised for prolonged periods of time. Of course, you can always freeze them to extend their longevity (and even use them well into fall and winter).
Related:How Many Blueberries Are In a Cup?
Here are our top tips on how to store fresh blueberries so that you can enjoy them at a moment’s notice and without all the dreaded mush:
How to Refrigerate Blueberries
There is a three-step process to storing blueberries directly in the refrigerator.
First, you’ll want to check the pint for any molded berries — these fuzzy or shriveled spheres can speed up the molding process with those clustered around them. Be sure to also remove leaves and longer stems, which simply aren’t palatable.
Next, avoid rinsing your blueberries until right before you’re ready to eat them. Water can make them soggy and accelerate the aforementioned bacteria growth, especially in a refrigerator.
And lastly, you can use your own storage container or the plastic clamshell they are sold in, but you’ll want to place a paper towel underneath the fruit to capture excess moisture. Avoid placing your blueberries in a crisper drawer — they’ll need to rest on a shelf that has better air circulation.
Related:This Ingredient Helps Prevent Blueberries From Sinking to the Bottom of Your Muffins
How to Freeze Blueberries
Blueberries are one of the easiest berries to freeze. In fact, like refrigerator storage, you don’t have to remove them from their plastic clamshell containers (though we highly recommend transferring them to a freezer bag for space-saving purposes alone).
Ideally, fresh blueberries are stored in a new container or bag with a bit of room left at the top. Avoid rinsing your blueberries before placing them in the freezer, as the water can create a layer of frost and damage the fruit’s taste and texture.
The most successful method to freeze blueberries is by spreading them on a baking sheet (without touching each other), freezing them overnight, and then gathering them the next day to store them in a freezer bag. This will avoid them sticking together and a bag like this will even last 6-8 months.
Once you’re ready to eat them, simply take out the bag or container of frozen blueberries and put them in the fridge to thaw.
Related:9 Easy Desserts to Make With Fresh Blueberries
If you’re searching for a few creative blueberry recipe ideas to take full advantage of your bounty, check out some of our favorites below:
Classics never die with this sweet breakfast staple, chock-full of blue and accented with a zing of lemon zest.
Start your day with an antioxidant-packed drink to complement that morning coffee. Blueberries, naturally, make excellent smoothie additions due to their soft flesh and tiny seeds.
Step aside, maple syrup. Blueberry sauce is an ideal topper for pancakes and waffles. It can also be made in bulk and stored so that you can enjoy the summer fruit year-round.