Enjoy cooking with blueberries and make the most of the season with this basic guide to choosing and storing this deliciously healthy summer fruit.

Cooking With Blueberries

Slightly tart, juicy, and sweet, blueberries make a perfect snack just as they are, or use them to brighten up anything from pies to cocktails.

Fresh blueberries are in season from late May through early October, and fresh-frozen blueberries are available year-round.

Shopping for blueberries

When shopping for blueberries, make sure they are dark blue with a silver/white “bloom.” Avoid any that are purple or green as these are immature and haven’t ripened properly.

Once you find a visually appealing container of blueberries, give it a gentle shake to be sure that the berries move freely. Soft, spoiled berries will stick together in clumps.

When you get home open the container and throw away any berries that are soft or squishy because they will ruin the rest of the batch.

Tip: 1 pint of blueberries = 2 cups

How to clean blueberries

Blueberries tend to absorb a lot of moisture, so don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them. That excess moisture will accelerate spoilage.

Before cooking with blueberries, wash by swishing them around in a bowl filled with three parts cool water to one part white vinegar. Drain in a colander and rinse under cool running water.

To dry, we recommend spreading washed blueberries on a clean kitchen towel and letting them air dry. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can line a salad spinner with paper towels and spin them until dry.

How to store blueberries

Store blueberries in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to five days, but try not to enclose them in a crisper drawer because the added humidity will shorten their shelf life.

To freeze blueberries, wash and drain them thoroughly, pat dry, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place them in the freezer until solid, then pack them into freezer storage bags or containers.

Blueberry nutrition

Besides being tasty, blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and antioxidants. They’re also fat-free and one cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories.

Cooking with blueberries: Favorite recipes