Look for fresh blueberries that are firm, dry, plump, smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom and free from leaves and stems. Size is not an indicator of maturity but color is—berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black; reddish berries aren’t ripe, but may be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit and any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.
Refrigerate blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash the berries just before use. Use within ten days of purchase.
How to Freeze Your Own Blueberries
The secret to successful freezing is to use berries that are unwashed and completely dry before popping them in the freezer. No need to rinse before freezing simply place berries, still in their original containers, in resealable plastic bags and freeze. Or if you prefer to rinse the berries first, dry them well with paper towels, transfer to freezer containers or resealable plastic bags and freeze. The berries will freeze individually and you can remove just the portion you need. If not washed prior to freezing, blueberries should be rinsed just before using. For best quality, use within 6 months.
Please go to these links for more information about blueberries.
- Great resource for all things blueberry: http://www.blueberry.org/
- National USDA check-off group that promotes blueberries: http://www.blueberrycouncil.com/recipes.php
- Blueberries South Mississippi and Louisiana: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan08/blueberry0108.htm
- The Bible to grow Blueberries: http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1758.pdf