How to make fresh blueberries last twice as long. This simple food hack can keep your blueberries fresh and tasty for weeks and helps fight food waste.
Native to North America, the blueberry harvest runs from April to September, with late spring and early summer being the best time to enjoy fresh blueberries. The only blue balls I say yes to! California blueberries are harvested from April through June and is home to over 9,000 acres of blueberries.
Berries, in general, are not the longest-lasting produce you’ll purchase, but my food storage hack can keep them fresh and flavorful for a couple of weeks or longer!
It starts off with purchasing the right kind of berries.
How to Choose Blueberries
Choose blueberries that are even in size and also have an even deep purple to nearly black color. The whitish coating, called the bloom, is completely normal. The berries should be plump and firm. Avoid reddish berries as they are not yet ripe.
Containers with berry stains indicated bruised or overripe fruit. Avoid those too.
Best Way to Store Berries
There are a few key tricks to storing blueberries. And yes, before you tweet me, this pretty much works for other berries, too, like strawberries and blackberries.
Remove Bad Fruit
This is one of those birds of a feather things. Bad fruit leads to other bad fruit. It just takes one, and next thing you know, they’ll all be hanging out past curfew, getting into trouble. So once you bring them home, inspect them and discard any that don’t meet the requirements above.
Wash the Berries
You simply cannot see all of the bad stuff on the blueberries. Produce is covered in dirt, mold spores, and other nasties that cause it to spoil. Blueberries are especially sensitive to these things. So you need to wash them.
Soak the blueberries in a vinegar bath with 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Soak for 15 minutes. Then strain the berries. Do not rinse them. They will not taste like vinegar.
Dry the Berries
This is a very important step. Moisture is the enemy of all home-stored produce. Yes, the grocery store sprays produce all day long, in an open space. Your fridge likely has doors and is a closed space. You don’t want to store wet berries.
You can line a salad spinner with a towel and spin them dry. You can lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and place them near a breezy window. Hell, put your blow dryer on low and have at it. Just make sure they are completely dry.
Store the Berries
Once they are dry, store the berries in a towel-lined container that you can cover. Something slightly breathable is best. Airtight containers can trap moisture, and we don’t want that. That also means keeping them out of any drawers that create excess humidity.
No joke. I have had blueberries last for just about 3 weeks this way.
Don’t worry; this hack will not make your berries taste like vinegar. They are mostly water, so you would have to soak them in a vinegar solution for hours and hours before the blueberries would absorb that flavor. However, even though you washed them before storing them, I suggest rinsing them again before eating.
How to Freeze Blueberries
If you aren’t going to eat them in time, you can freeze them. Lay them out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 3 hours. Transfer the berries to a freezer container. They will keep for about a year.