What is the average shelf life of a blueberry? How long do blueberries last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store blueberries to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:
Shelf Life of Blueberries
|Raw||2-3 Days||3-5 Days||4-6 Months|
Shelf Life of Blueberries
Blueberries are a deliciously sweet and tart treat which happens to be low in calories. The berry is full of wonderful antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure, ward off heart disease, and reduce the signs of aging. Unlike most fruit, the blueberry retains its wonderful properties, even when frozen. Also, the flavor does not change by placing the berries in the freezer. The shelf life of fresh whole berries is about two to three days when stored on the counter. In the fridge, they can last anywhere from five to ten days, and while in the freezer, they can stay fresh for up to eight months. Buy blueberries with a sell-by-date of at least three weeks from the date of purchase.
Blueberries have a vibrant indigo color; any distortion in color means the fruit has started turning bad. The berries have a firm texture that can be felt evenly all around the berry. Inspect the packaging to see if there are any cracks or holes. Air can lead to the growth of bacteria, but permeable packaging allows for contamination. Dried blueberries are sold separately and for a good reason. If the packet of berries you are holding look like they have shriveled up, do not buy them. The decrease in size indicates that the decay process has begun. This being said, berries come in different sizes, and the ripeness is determined by the color rather than the size.
Blueberries can be stored on the counter or in the fridge or freezer. How and when you will need the berries should determine your method of storage. Keeping them on the counter is great if they are going to be consumed within three days. In the fridge, they can last for about ten days. Keep the berries in a resealable container or a ziplock bag. The berries give off an aroma that can be absorbed by other food items. Plus, you don’t want to smell a combination of sweet and savory every time you open the fridge. In the freezer, a zip lock bag or airtight container is needed, as even in cold temperatures, condensation can creep in and provide a suitable breeding ground for bacteria.
How to Handle Blueberries
Blueberries have a deep purple-black color that can stain clothes. Most stains can be removed by washing the article of clothing with hot water and soap. Be sure to check that the clothing can be washed in hot water. Club soda or milk are two other good options for stain removal. Cutting berries do cause the juices of the blueberry to leak. As long as the berries are cut on a chopping board or plate, the size of the mess is greatly reduced. Before eating them, it is absolutely vital to wash the berries. As the fruit grows on bushes, they are open to both natural and manmade contaminants.
Cooking with Blueberries
Frozen blueberries work as a great and refreshing snack. To add a little extra boost of protein, top Greek yogurt with a handful of berries. In baking, berries are usually chopped up, and in confection bakes, the berries release their flavor. After taking a bite, you will instantly recognize the presence of berries without even biting into one. For making jam, the berries are blended into a pulp. Straining the pulp is a matter of preference but does remove the fiber content and affect the flavor profile.