Freezing blueberries can be a great way to enjoy at a later date. Fresh, store-bought blueberries, for instance, might not last as long as ones that are already frozen in a sealed package. Sometimes these expiration dates are over a year out.
Do frozen blueberries go bad? Frozen blueberries will go bad after remaining in the freezer for 9 to 12 months. However, how soon your frozen blueberries expire will depend on how you originally bought, prepared, and stored them.
Let’s look at the reasons why frozen blueberries go bad and what makes them last.
How Long Do Frozen Blueberries Last?
Once you put a sealed package or container of blueberries in your freezer, you should plan on using them within a year. However, fresh blueberries that have been in your fridge for a few weeks first won’t last that long.
With fresh fruit purchases, plan on immediately transferring them to the freezer if you need them to last. This means getting the fruit home, washing and drying it, and placing it in a sealed container. Mark the current date on the container and place it in the freezer.
For the best taste, eat fresh fruit you freeze after three to six months. But if you’ve bought a sealed package of frozen blueberries from the store, go by the date printed on the package. Just don’t let them thaw out first if you want them to remain frozen for a while.
How Can You Tell if Frozen Blueberries are Bad?
When frozen blueberries go bad, the first thing you’ll notice is a lot of ice buildup. This buildup will happen if air sneaks into the container. Another way it happens is because of age. The same phenomenon used to happen with freezers that didn’t self-defrost.
A second dead giveaway is a weird appearance, smell, or taste. Bad taste is usually due to freezer burn or spoiled fruit. A wonky odor is also linked to spoiled fruit that has bacteria or mold growth.
Finally, frozen blueberries that appear wrinkled, dried up, or leaky after you thaw them are bad. Don’t try to salvage these. It’s best to cut your losses and throw them out.
What Can You Do to Keep Frozen Blueberries Safe?
The number one thing you can do is seal and mark the container you place your blueberries in. Use bags and containers designed for storage in the freezer. Don’t use any plastic container or plastic bag you have lying around.
Another thing to keep in mind is thawing. You don’t want to thaw out frozen blueberries and then put some of them back in the freezer. After you thaw your frozen blueberries, consume or cook all of them. At the very least, place any unused fruit in the fridge and eat them in a few days.
While thawing frozen blueberries, place them in the fridge instead of the counter. You’ll keep the fruit safer longer and won’t have to worry about leaving blueberries out too long.
What is the Ideal Time to Keep Blueberries in the Freezer?
It’s best to eat fresh blueberries after they’ve been in the freezer for six months or less. This is because fresh fruit can easily spoil and pick up bacteria before it’s frozen.
If you’ve bought pre-packaged frozen blueberries from the store, consume them within nine months to a year.
Should You Always Thaw Frozen Blueberries Before Eating Them?
No, you don’t always have to thaw frozen blueberries before you cook or eat them. For example, you can add frozen blueberries to pancake mix and then cook them in a skillet.
You can also place frozen blueberries and granola on yogurt to make a breakfast parfait. It won’t hurt you to eat frozen fruit as long as you don’t have sensitive teeth or find cold foods difficult to chew or swallow.
How Long Can You Store Thawed Blueberries?
Once you’ve thawed out blueberries and placed them in the fridge, you should eat them within two days. You don’t have to eat them whole or raw. There are several ways to eat blueberries or try them in a new recipe.
Think fruit salads, on top of cereals, on top of toast and pancakes, as part of pancakes, waffles, French toast, or as a puree.
If you thaw your blueberries out on the counter and leave them sitting there the whole time, you need to eat the fruit immediately. So don’t thaw out more on the counter than you can eat right away!
Why Should You Freeze Fruit or Buy Frozen Blueberries?
If you haven’t noticed already, packages of frozen blueberries can cost less than fresh ones. For families, buying larger packages of frozen blueberries or freezing fruit can help extend your food budget. You’ll simply get more bang for your buck.
And you won’t have to eat blueberries in everything for days or weeks on end to get through them all at once. By freezing fruit, you can save your appetite for blueberries and give yourself a treat throughout the year. When blueberries are on sale, you can safely stock up.
As long as you have room in your main or secondary freezer, storing frozen food is a strategy many households use. It helps extend the life of the food you buy and purchase larger quantities when prices are low.
Households that buy in bulk or purchase food from local farms also freeze larger quantities of food to make it last longer.
Frozen blueberries will stay good in the freezer for up to a year. However, you want to make sure you properly seal and freeze blueberries immediately after bringing them home. Fresh blueberries should be inspected before you freeze them to ensure they’re not already spoiled.
Preventing blueberries from going bad in the freezer is simple if you follow basic procedures. Use containers made for freezing and double-check them for leaks. Mark the date you place the blueberries in the freezer on the container.
If you do want to thaw frozen blueberries, place them in the fridge and eat them in a few days.