After you've followed the tips for buying blueberries at the supermarket, here's what to do when you finally get your favourite berries home.
CHECK FOR MOULD
As soon as you get home from shopping, briefly check each fruit and make sure there are no mouldy berries hiding inside. If you see one that has gone mouldy or looks shrivelled up (which means it could be on the verge of going bad), remove it immediately. Mould can spread quickly between berries when they are in such close contact, so even if you know how to store your blueberries properly, a little hidden mould can ruin the whole package.
DO NOT FLUSH UNLESS NECESSARY
The best way to keep blueberries fresh is to avoid rinsing them until they are ready to eat. That said, it is not always convenient to rinse and dry a handful every time you feel peckish. So you can rinse them beforehand, under cold water in a colander, as long as you follow the steps below to make sure they dry out before storing them.
MAKE SURE BLUEBERRIES ARE DRY
If you have rinsed the berries, spread them to dry on a tray lined with absorbent paper and roll them a little until no more water is visible. Then transfer the berries into a breathable container lined with paper towels, like the tray in which the berries were originally packed. The paper napkin will absorb excess moisture and the air circulation will discourage mould.
PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE FOR STORAGE
Place the container in the fridge, but do not keep it in the bottom drawer, where air does not circulate too well. Depending on how ripe they were when you bought them, blueberries will stay good for up to a week if stored in this way.
IF THE BLUEBERRIES ARE TOO RIPE, FREEZE THEM.
Spread the fruit, for example on an aluminium tray, and leave it to harden in the freezer for a couple of hours, then transfer it to a re-sealable plastic bag and put it back in the freezer. They will keep for at least a few months, which means that you can also make the cake from blueberries at Christmas.
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