As many people know, eating blueberries can bring all kinds of health benefits. Some even call them a superfood. So for anyone who has eagerly bought a bunch of blueberries, it’s good to know how long they will last.
Blueberries’ shelf life depends on when they are picked and how they are stored.
- Blueberries usually last two or three days at room temperature/on the counter.
- They tend to last five to ten days when refrigerated.
- Frozen blueberries can last up to six to eight months or longer frozen.
- Rotten blueberries can usually be identified by appearance or by smell.
Having a general idea of how long blueberries will last can be pretty helpful, but it is still good to know the details of their shelf life, especially if you buy them often.
How Long Do Blueberries Last?
The way you store your blueberries will play a significant part in how long they will last. Depending on how long you need to store them, you have a few options for where to keep them.
How Long Do Blueberries Last Outside
As blueberries are usually seen being stored in a cool place, you may wonder if it is okay to leave them out at room temperature, especially if you prefer to eat slightly warm fruit.
The simple answer is yes – for a short time. Blueberries can last for up to two or three days at room temperature. This means that the counter is fine for short-term storage.
If you have a lot of blueberries or need to keep them good for a little bit longer, the counter may not be a good option for you. Instead, try the fridge or freezer.
How Long Do Blueberries Last in the Fridge
The most common place to store blueberries would probably be the fridge. This is where most people put their blueberries when they bring them home. Most grocery stores keep blueberries in a cold place as well, and for good reason.
If you store them in the fridge, you can expect your blueberries to stay good for about a week. Specifically, they will stay good for five to ten days.
For most purposes, the fridge is the best place to keep your blueberries. However, if you do want to store them long-term, you may still wish to freeze them to keep them good for much longer.
How Long Do Blueberries Last in the Freezer
If you buy blueberries in bulk, or if you are getting them fresh from the farm and want them to last a long time, freezing them may be the best option for you to keep your blueberries good.
Most people will agree that frozen blueberries stay good for at least six months. However, if stored properly, they should remain safe to eat indefinitely, although the quality and flavor may degrade with time.
Freezing blueberries is very easy to do, and so is thawing them. If you need to keep your blueberries good for a long time, freezing them should prove to be no inconvenience.
Although blueberries may not have the longest lifespan at room temperature, it is very easy to extend their shelf life by storing them in the cold.
How To Tell If Blueberries Have Gone Bad / How To Know Blueberries Are Fresh
When your blueberries get toward the end of their shelf life, you might be wondering how to tell if they’re still okay. Here are some things you can check for.
Mold. A very easy indicator that your blueberries are bad is the presence of mold. If mold appears on even one blueberry, throw them all out, as mold can spread quickly and may contaminate others, even if you can’t yet see it.
Color. Blueberries naturally have a blue-purple color, with just a hint of red. If they start to become a very deep purple or dark red, they are spoiling and should be thrown out.
Texture. Lightly squeeze your blueberries. They should be pretty firm. If they become soft or squishy, they have begun to rot, and should probably be thrown out.
Skin. Another obvious indicator of a bad blueberry is damage to its skin. If it becomes cracked or begins to leak, it should be thrown out immediately, as open skin may lead to contamination. Similarly, if they start to become wrinkled, they are going bad.
Odor. Rotting blueberries will usually develop an unpleasant odor. If your blueberries develop an unusual smell, it might be time to throw them out.
Flavor. If you’ve checked everything else and still can’t figure out if your blueberries have gone bad, you can simply taste them. If they taste bad, obviously you should throw them out.
How to Store Blueberries?
The best way to store blueberries to keep them fresh and high quality is to refrigerate them. Here are some tips for refrigerating blueberries:
Don’t wash them first. It may be your instinct to rinse fruit before you put it away. However, if blueberries are stored in moisture, they will go bad rather quickly. Wait until you are about to eat or use them to wash them off.
Dry them first. Because moisture is so detrimental to blueberries for storage, dry them off before you put them away to catch any extra moisture.
Avoid the crisper drawer. Do not store your blueberries in the crisper drawer. The air circulation is poor there, and not good for blueberries.
Can You Freeze Blueberries? How?
One good way to save blueberries for an extra-long time is to freeze them. Fortunately, this is easy to do.
Do not rinse them first. There are many fruits and veggies which should be rinsed before freezing. Blueberries are not one of them. Blueberries naturally have a somewhat waxy covering, which does well to protect them, and should not be rinsed off.
Lay out on a flat surface. Lay your blueberries out on a flat surface to be quickly frozen. A baking sheet is recommended for this.
Let them freeze quickly. Place your sheet of blueberries in the freezer and leave them there to freeze quickly. This typically takes a few hours, at least one or two.
Transfer to a container. Once your blueberries are frozen, you can transfer them to their long-term storage container. This can be a freezer bag or any freezer-safe container with a lid.
Store them in the freezer. Your blueberries are now ready to be stored in the freezer! Place them in the freezer and leave them there until you are ready to use them.
How to Thaw Blueberries?
There are two main ways to thaw frozen blueberries. The first way is to place the desired blueberries in a bowl, cover it, and thaw it five to six hours, or longer – possibly overnight – depending on your preference.
The other way is to place the desired blueberries in a bowl full of room-temperature water. Leave them for at least five minutes, then drain, dry, and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Blueberries’ Shelf Life
Blueberries are not hard to store, but there are still a few questions that pop up regarding their shelf life.
Can I wash blueberries in vinegar to make them last longer? Although blueberries shouldn’t be rinsed before storing, a vinegar wash is actually helpful. Combine one cup of vinegar with three cups of water, briefly rinse your blueberries in them, thoroughly rinse them with water, then very thoroughly dry them and store them in a container with a paper towel at the bottom to catch leftover water.
How long do blueberries last in baked goods and other recipes? If you are using your blueberries in a recipe, when they will go bad depends largely on what they are in. Generally, they will last about as long as the food or drink they are used in. They will not usually be the first thing in a recipe to spoil.
There are plenty of ways to keep blueberries good for a long time. This means that if you like to stock up when they are in season, you can enjoy them all year, as long as you store them properly.