How Long Frozen Blueberries Really Last

Though blueberries are commonly known as a summer fruit, their demand is year-round. From fresh-baked muffins to chilled fruit smoothies and savory glazes, blueberries have become one of the most versatile ingredients for adding a pop of sweetness to any dish.

According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, the blueberry harvest lasts from April to late September in North America. When that coveted blueberry season ends, and you're looking for a way to enjoy these bright berries, we have you covered: Freeze them! All you need is a freezer-friendly container to hoard the berries for future use. Simply place them in a plastic bag or reusable container, and store them in the freezer.

Frozen blueberries are the perfect trick to adding high-quality flavor to your dishes outside of peak season. Plus, they work better than fresh in some dishes, such as baked goods, because they provide a flavor and texture that's consistent. And don't worry about diminishing the fruit's nutritional value; research suggests that frozen blueberries might have greater health benefits than fresh. The British Columbia Blueberry Council reports that freezing the fruit potentially makes their antioxidants more available for humans to process.

Frozen blueberries can last up to 10 months

Like most freezer-friendly items, you'll have plenty of time to use those frozen blueberries. According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, the fruit will last about 10 months in the freezer. Though the blueberries will remain safe to eat past that time, they'll start to lose their quality, and freezer burn will set in.

Once it's time to whip up a recipe, you'll want to thaw the blueberries prior to eating. There are two simple methods: Either let the berries thaw naturally for up to five hours in the refrigerator, per FoodsGuy, or use the quick-thaw method of covering the berries in room-temperature water; leave them out on the kitchen counter for about five minutes.

Frozen blueberries can be used without thawing, too, depending on the recipe. For a cold smoothie or a baked blueberry pie, thawing isn't necessary. However, if you plan to use the blueberries as an addition to salads, yogurt, or other no-cook recipes, it's best not to use them straight from the freezer.