Blueberry preservation can be done by drying, blanching and freezing. If you want to mix it up, you can always try to prepare blueberry jam, marmalade or jelly. Last, but not least, you can squeeze them as juice, make syrup or even liqueur. We'll give you ideas and classic recipes for prepping blueberry jams that will enrich your pantry.
Blueberries are a nutritious, healthy, and delicious fruit, and preparing a sweet blueberry dessert that will make them fresh through winter is an indispensable part of every summer. After the heat treatment, it is important to properly store them to preserve their flavor as long as possible.
We love to eat these delicate, small berries fresh, but also prepared in delicious spreads, in pies and cakes. If you love blueberries, you will be delighted by the delicious blueberry jam that you can eat even during the winter when they are not in season.
Before you start cooking them or freezing them, you need to choose and prepare them properly. Preference should be given to large and ripe berries, without any signs of damage. There should be no traces of insects, stains, or other damage that could make the blueberries rot quickly. The fruit should be firm to touch and not soft at all. When lightly pressed, they should not crumble or burst, but remain whole.
They can be harvested several times during the season because they do not ripen at the same time. Harvesting begins when the fruit reaches its full stage of maturity, which is judged by color, firmness, and size. The whole harvesting process can last up to 8 weeks, depending on the climatic conditions and the ripening itself. They are harvested by hand, very carefully so as not to destroy the fruit.
You can also find them in almost any store because the demand for this fruit is very high. You can also buy them from a local grower or at the market.
For everyone who loves delicious spreads such as delicious jams, jellies, and marmalades, the sweet winter blueberry jam will be a great choice for storing fresh blueberries. Often underestimated because they look tiny and seem like you need a bunch, blueberry jams and jellies have an incredibly rich flavor, texture, and sweetness. The great thing about blueberries is that you don't have to add a lot of sugar and you can make your jams without adding any sweetener, which is ideal for those who prefer a healthy diet or can't eat white sugar.
If you like dried fruits, you will be delighted with dried blueberries. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can dry them in the oven or the air. Check them frequently as they dry until you are happy with the way the blueberries look. Put the dried blueberries in zipper bags and store them in a dark and cool place. You can use them as a healthy snack or breakfast in combination with other fruits in delicious smoothies.
If you are absolutely sure that the berries are dry, you can also store them at room temperature. If you dried blueberries without blanching, you can also store them in the freezer.
Drying Blueberries in an Oven
For this method, you need baking paper, blueberries, and an oven. Before the actual preparation, it is necessary to separate damaged and healthy berries. Use only those that are not damaged. Wash them thoroughly and dry them with a kitchen towel.
Place the baking paper on the tray and the berries in one layer (make a small gap between each berry). Turn on the oven at 40°C and dry them for 3 hours, then increase the temperature to 60°C until the blueberries are completely dry. Take them out of the oven and let them cool.
Drying Blueberries in the Sun
When drying blueberries in the air, they mustn't be placed in the direct sun. Use only high-quality blueberries, wash them thoroughly, and dry them with a kitchen towel.
Place the cloth on a tray and spread the blueberries in one layer. With this drying method, you can arrange them more densely. Dry the berries in the air for at least 3 days, and bring them inside during the night. When you notice that the berries are completely dried, they are ready for use or storage.
Drying Blueberries in a Dehydrator
If you have a dehydrator, the process couldn't be simpler. Follow the instructions that came with the device. Choose high-quality blueberries, wash them thoroughly, and dry them with a kitchen towel. Take a certain amount of berries, weigh them and arrange them in trays in one layer. Return the trays to the dehydrator and set the temperature to 60°C and dry them for 12 - 20 hours. Carefully remove the blueberries and let them cool. After that, they are ready for use or storage.
Blueberries do not need to be blanched before any further processing. If you are satisfied with the taste of beans and peas after thawing (without blanching), you will also be satisfied with blueberries, but if you want perfectly dried blueberries, soak them in boiling water for 3 first, strain, dry and then follow the drying process.
Blueberries can be frozen in several ways and are suitable for further processing after thawing. Wash and dry the blueberries, put baking paper on a small tray (that fits in your freezer), and arrange the blueberries in one layer. Place in the freezer and let them freeze overnight or for at least 12 hours.
Store the frozen blueberries in a freezer container or bag, mark them with the date, and put them back in the freezer. You can store frozen blueberries for up to 2 years.
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