Blueberries are like the smell of summer. It is a treat that summer has in its pocket. With its sweet and fresh taste and also all the nutrients that it carries, many people have included blueberries in their cooking or in their most favorite food list.
During spring time and summer usually blueberries are most freshly picked from the plants. However, these are not the only seasons we can enjoy blueberries as blueberries can also last pretty long depending on how we store them and the time they are picked.
Picking good blueberries can also help prolong the shelf life of your blueberries. Pick blueberries that have deep blue color and have frost on top of it or on its bloom. Blueberries that have tight and smooth skin are also the best ones to pick.
So how long do blueberries last? The fresh whole blueberries can last for 2-3 days at the counter. Its shelf life can be prolonged to 5-10 days if they are stored in refrigerator and even to 8-10 months if they are stored in the freezer
The above periods are an approximate as many factors can also affect the expiration of blueberries. However, usually blueberries that are sold at the supermarket have been prepared and packed with best before date mentioned, so better to follow those dates and check yourself nearer to the date if your blueberries are showing signs that they are rotten.
HOW TO TELL YOUR BLUEBERRIES ARE ROTTEN?
There are several traits that can appear on your blueberries when they are starting to rot such as:
- Discolored skin. Where fresh and fully ripe blueberries usually have purplish blue color with slight of white frost on top of it, rotten blueberries might shows hints of reddish color or probably most of its skin can look reddish.
- Wrinkle skin. Ripe and good blueberries will have firm and smooth skin without cracks or leakage of its juice. So when you buy blueberries, notice if there is any blueberry in the package that is leaking or happen to have cracks as it might make the other berries rotten faster.
- Mold. The appearance of mold on the skin of your blueberries can totally be taken as the sign that your blueberries are rotten. Some molds can still be brushed off from your blueberries, however considering hygiene factor, blueberries with molds should be discarded straight away.
- Mushy texture. If you touch the blueberries and they are not firm, even more tend to be mushy in texture you might want to check the expiry date again as mushy texture in blueberries can also be a sign of rotten blueberries.
HOW TO STORE YOUR BLUEBERRIES?
There are several ways you can store your blueberries depending on the type of blueberries that you buy.
Fresh blueberries that can survive for about 2-3 days or even to a week maximum will need a dry container as its storage. They are dry fruit. Hence never wash blueberries until just before you want to use them. Washing your blueberries way before using them might enhance the growth of molds.
To freeze blueberries, you can take them out from the package and place them on a baking or cookie paper and gently spread them out. It is important to do it gently as any cracks on blueberries can make them humid and make them rot faster. After they are all evenly spread, place them in a freezer for about 2 hours. Transfer the frozen blueberries to a freezer safe bag or an airtight container so then you can keep your blueberries until about 8-10 months. The not-so-good part of keeping the frozen blueberries for too long is that it might create ice crystal due to water that these blueberries contain.
Defrosting blueberries is so much easier. All you need to do is just let the blueberries sit in the room temperature before you use them. However, it is also good to just place the frozen blueberries straight away into your pancake batter or dough. They will melt as you cook your batter or dough.
When storing your blueberries, make sure that you pick only the good ones to store. Putting crack blueberries, even though they are not rotten, might make the other blueberries rotten faster too. Any blueberries with mold or bruise will also need to be discarded before you store the whole package in the refrigerator or freezer.
It is true that washing blueberries with water is not recommended before you want to use them. However, washing the blueberries with vinegar before storing it can also avoid the blueberries from molds as vinegar kills mold spores.
Plucking out the blueberries stem before storing all your blueberries is also recommended, not that the stem can bring you any harm but the stem is bitter in taste and it can also make molds in your blueberries come out faster.
With all the goodness that blueberries have, it is necessary to store your blueberry properly so that they can have nice long life shelf. With good blueberries, you can enjoy eating them fresh and raw or you can add them in any type of your baking products. Salads will also be freshen up with certain amount of blueberries and the option goes on and on Even blueberries that are closer to its too ripe phase can still be enjoyed if you make jam out of it, spread it on your bread or use them as topping of your pancake. Whatever the call, it is all yours to make!