Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition

Fresh vs Frozen Blueberries (Nutrition, Storage, and Uses)

Jump to RecipeFresh blueberries next to frozen blueberries.

Whether you have fresh or frozen blueberries they both are so delicious, have many health benefits, and work well in a variety of dishes. This post goes over the difference between the two and when you should use one over the other.

Fresh Blueberries

There is nothing like fresh produce in the summertime. I live in Michigan so we get about 1 month of fresh blueberry season and I try to soak it up as much as I can. There is so much you can do with fresh blueberries beyond just eating them by the handful (which I do too).

Most of the time you can find fresh blueberries in the grocery store throughout the year but I have found that they taste best when they are locally fresh. When they need to get shipped long distances they aren’t always picked at their prime and this can cause a lack of flavor and nutrients.

If that is the only way you can find them they are still delicious, but there is nothing like freshly picked blueberries during the summer months.

Frozen Blueberries

Frozen blueberries are such a great staple to have on hand. They last for a very long time, make it easy to add more fruit to your diet, and taste great! You can buy frozen blueberries at most grocery stores. One nice thing is that they tend to be less expensive than buying fresh.

If you want to freeze your blueberries you can easily do this by adding them in a single layer on a baking sheet and placing them in the freezer until frozen. Then transfer them to a freezer bag (I like these compostable ones) or Stasher bags. I have a whole post on freezing blueberries if you want to check that out.

Difference Between Fresh and Frozen Blueberries

When looking at fresh vs frozen blueberries the main things to consider are the taste, nutritional value, storage life, and how to use them. This breaks down the differences and which option is best.


When eating fresh and frozen blueberries there is a slight difference in taste. Since fresh blueberries are softer, you get that juicy blueberry texture you would expect from a fresh fruit. When eating frozen blueberries you get more of a crisp icy texture. I have found that this makes fresh blueberries seem almost a little sweeter than frozen ones.

Nutritional Value

Blueberries are one of the healthiest foods you can add in to your diet. They are nutritional powerhouses that are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and powerful antioxidants. They are known to be beneficial to the immune system and heart health.

The nutrients of blueberries are highest right after they are harvested at peak ripeness. If the berries are frozen at the height of freshness, they are actually more likely to hold their nutritional content than fresh blueberries. It all depends on the time they were picked from the bush.

If the berries are sitting out for a while or need to travel a long distance before consuming, you might be better off buying frozen if you are looking for the highest nutritional value.

Whichever option gives you the peak of ripeness is the better choice in terms of nutritional value.

Storage Life

The main difference between the two is the storage time. Frozen blueberries will store much longer than fresh, but how much longer? Frozen blueberries are kept in a freezer bag well for up to 10-12 months. I typically pick a ton of blueberries during the blueberry season and then freeze them and enjoy them all the way through to the next year. Some say that they start to lose their peak flavor at around 6 months but I have found that they last a little longer than that for me. If you let them sit for too long they can start to develop ice crystals and lose some flavor, but that typically happens after a year.

Fresh blueberries on the other hand will typically last up to 2 weeks if stored in the refrigerator.

How to Use Them

Most of the time you can use fresh and frozen berries interchangeably but there are certain times you might want one or the other.

Fresh blueberries are best when added as a topping to a meal like on top of yogurt or pancakes. Fresh berries are also great when you are baking something that you don’t want excess water in. For example, when baking tarts or fruit pies, if you use frozen berries there is so much excess water that it might create a soggy crust. This is a good time to use fresh.

Frozen blueberries are great when you are cooking them down. If you are making a compote, jam, or even baking a cobbler frozen berries can get nice and jammy easily. I also love to add frozen blueberries to my oatmeal or smoothies.


Another thing to consider when deciding between fresh and frozen blueberries is the price. You can often find frozen blueberries for much cheaper than fresh ones since they are shelf-stable for much longer. With that said, if you can find them locally during harvest season you might be able to find fresh at a lower price.

Another way to get less expensive berries is to pick them yourself. If you have access to a blueberry farm during blueberry season it is a great option. This is something I do every summer. Most blueberry farms near me let me pick them for $2-3 per pound which is much cheaper than the grocery store.

Fresh Blueberry Recipes

There are so many different ways to enjoy fresh blueberries. They are such an easy healthy addition to so many meals. A few that come to mind are anything that you want the blueberries to be a visual part of the meal. If it is used as a topping or decoration, always use fresh.

I love using fresh blueberries in muffins because they tend to bleed less than frozen so you don’t have to worry about the berries changing the color of the batter. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make when I have fresh blueberries.

A blueberry cobb salad on a platter.

Frozen Blueberry Recipes

Frozen blueberries are much easier to find and have on hand so knowing what to make with these can be nice. Really anything you are baking can use frozen blueberries as a substitute for fresh. Here are some of my favorite frozen blueberry recipes.

A baking dish with blueberry lemon cobbler.

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