Quick. Name every blue food you can think of. No. Otter Pops don’t count. Blueberries. That’s about it, isn’t it? And they’re more of a purplish any way.
But hey, you want to know:
“How long will my frozen blueberries last?”
The blueberry conundrum
Because blueberries are so versatile in the breakfast and dessert realms, and because they offer so many health benefits, they are used in a lot of different ways. But, they are only in season 4 months out of the year. If you want to enjoy this fruit in all of its glorious flavors, and reap the benefits of all of its healing powers, you’ll have to buy it in large quantities. And find a way to make them last throughout the year. This is done by freezing.
How long do they last when frozen?
The general consensus is that blueberries will stay fresh while frozen for up to 8 months. Although this can vary greatly depending on how fresh they are when they get to your freezer. Also the way you freeze them makes a difference. Read on for my method.
When freezing your blueberries, if you follow a few simple steps, you’ll get a maximum amount of shelf life.
Choose blueberries that are in good condition. Turn the package over (if it’s a clear container) look for berries that have bled juice, or worse, started growing fuzz. Look for firm, round, not-juicy berries with a nice dusting of whitish haze. This is the “bloom” a wild yeast that I find helps keep the berries fresh. Or perhaps when they are fresh they have more bloom. I don’t know. I just know if they’ve got a good bloom, they tend to be good.
Rinse them clean. You don’t have to go and give them a full wash (you can do that when it’s time to use them).
Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. This is crucial to the quality of your soon to be frozen berries. If you allow them to freeze on top of each other you are going to get a mushy mess of clumped up berries which will most likely ruin whatever you had planned for the berry.
The final step is to freeze them. Once they have frozen, you can then put them in freezer bags (Amazon) so you can use them whenever you want.
Perfectly frozen and ready when you are
Now that you have individually frozen blueberries, you will be able to enjoy them throughout the entire year. Even when blueberry season has long since passed. This method of freezing blueberries will allow them to last around 8 months and honestly, I find I can use them least a couple of months after that.
History of the blueberry
It was not until relatively recently that we were able to figure out how to harvest the blueberry crop. In fact, up until the 1900’s, you could only enjoy the sweet flavor from these berries by finding them in the wild. They are a plant native to the North Americas and readily grow in 38 states, although ten states make up around 98 percent of the commercial product in the US
The best way to get your antioxidants is with blueberries.
The second best way is with this (Amazon).
Blueberries were first revered by American Indians for their health benefits. Now everyone seems to be coming around to how awesome they are.
It is amazing to me that science and studies have only recently told us all the great things some foods can do for us. But somehow, ancient humans were able to harness the power of these exact foods.
Back to the blueberry plant
With all the health benefits of blueberries, combined with the mellow sweet/tart taste, it is easy to see why so many delicious recipes include blueberries. From muffins to pies, jellies to smoothies, crepes to pancakes, blueberries add something truly special to everything they show up in. What’s a blueberry muffin without blueberries? Nothin but a boring old muffin.
Wrap – Up
You may be wondering: Why should I go through all of this trouble to freeze fresh blueberries when I can just purchase them from my local grocery store already frozen?
For me, there’s just one reason: I’m picky. With a frozen bag of blueberries, I have no idea what those berries looked like (or tasted like) before they were frozen. When you freeze your own berries, you’re fully in control of the quality of the berry. Delicious berries in, delicious berries out, even 8 months later.
Blueberry scones and tea? A most excellent combo.
Check out my post on the best teapots for loose leaf tea.
- Wild Blueberries – Frozen Myths Debunked
- NY Times Cooking – Banana Wild Blueberry Smoothie with Chia Seeds
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Jo