How Long Can Fresh Cranberries Be Stored In The Freezer?

'Tis the cranberry season! Cranberries are an instant classic whether you enjoy the tart fruit all season long or just during holiday feasts with family and friends. The most common fruit varietal is the North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), and though sour, they are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals (via Healthline).

According to Smithsonian Magazine, cranberries have been growing in the Americas for centuries and were a staple in the diets of many Native American tribes and were used to cure ailments and for food and drink. They were essential during the winter when other vitamin-rich foods were less available. Today, cranberries are rarely eaten raw but are instead dried, candied, juiced, and cooked in sugar to make the Thanksgiving-favorite cranberry sauce, and with the holidays fast approaching, it's important to go over things like food safety, storage, and what to do with leftovers. Because cranberries are available and cheap during the holiday season, it's an excellent opportunity to stock up, freeze, and repurpose throughout the rest of the year.

Pack it up

If you are planning on saving any leftover cranberries after the holidays, there are a few things to consider. If you are planning on using the fresh fruit within a month of purchasing, H.E.B says that you should rinse and dry the cranberries, then store them in an airtight container. But if you are planning on saving these cranberries for months, Feel Good Foodie advises first washing the fruit as you would before consuming, then air-drying them to prepare for freezing. Once they're dried, place the cranberries in a single layer on a baking tray to freeze for 2-4 hours (if they are left to freeze any longer, they will experience freezer burn), then move the fruit into freezer-safe, air-tight bags. Michigan State University says that if kept frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius), the cranberries will remain safe to eat and maintain their quality for up to 12 months.