Preserving Blueberries

Freezing ~ Drying ~ Preserving ~ Blueberry Recipes

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Blueberry Recipes      Freezing Blueberries

Drying Blueberries      Fruit Leathers


 

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Freezing Blueberries

Select full-flavored, ripe berries. Remove the leaves and stems as well as any unripe or imperfect berries.

I prefer to Dry Pack blueberries , although some people wash them before freezing. Washing the blueberries results in a tougher skinned berry, you can wash them after freezing , when you are ready to use them.

Frozen Blueberries

Pack the berries into containers, leaving minimal headspace. Berries can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers when they are frozen. Seal and freeze.

If you are going to crush, mash or Purée them. Wash the blueberries. Crush and press the berries through a sieve, or just purée in a blender . Mix 1 to 1 1/8 cups of sugar with each quart of crushed berries . Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pack into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.
















Dehydrating Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to dehydrate . Unlike many other foods they need very little preparation, no blanching, no added sugar, no preservatives.

Drying Blueberries can be done with a food dehydrator, gas oven, or the Sun. I generally use the sun for blueberries and a dehydrator for larger fruits and vegetables.

Fully Dried blueberries should resemble miniature raisins                  The Beginner's Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods: Preserve Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, and Meat with a Dehydrator, a Kitchen Oven, or the Sun Paperback – July 1, 2014

Sun Drying

To Sun Dry your berries place them on a clean non-metallic framed screen, metallic objects will react with the natural acids. Cover the screen or tray with cheesecloth or fine netting to keep insects away. I also have have had success with seed drying trays. Next, you'll need the cooperation of Mother Nature in providing several days of hot sunshine, low humidity, and good air circulation. After several days of hot summer sun ,the berries should be well dried. Of course if it rains you're screwed, unless you get them inside or covered in time.


Dehydrators

If using a dehydrator, you may want to cut the berries in halves as this reduces drying time, It isn't necessary, but is more expedient. Follow the manufacturers instructions for the process using a dehydrator. Blueberries take between 8-12 hours to dehydrate. After about seven hours , it is wise to check on your blueberries. The Berries on the bottom racks will dry out sooner than the top racks , so you may want to see if they need to be "harvested early" or rotated.

Dehydrated blueberries are added to muffins, pancakes, and assorted pastries as well as sprinkled in cereal and other snacks. They are also a tasty part of a healthy trail mix . If drying larger fruits other than berries , you'll need to bring them in at nighttime to prevent them from collecting dew, which will not only hamper the drying process but can lead to mildew.





Fruit Leathers

Fruit Leathers are similar to Beef Jerky , they could be considered "Fruit Jerky" . Fruit leather is easily made if you have a blender /food processor. The leftover fruit pulp from jelly making can also be made into fruit leather. You can store fruit leather in an airtight container. Just roll up the fruit leather into a roll after it has dried, wrap in plastic, and store them altogether in an appropriate container.

Fruit Leather Recipe Process

The fruit leather is like a roll of dehydrated pureed fruit. Applesauce works great for fruit leather since it is already in puree form. Overripe fruits can also be used since these are easily pureed. For an added flare, you can add raisins, poppy or sesame seeds, {Use your imagination} to the fruit leather. If you add any type of garnish to your fruit leather however, you may have to store them in the freezer or refrigerator.

Puree your berries.

Pour the fruit puree about 1/4-inch deep on drying sheets, or drying trays that have been lined with plastic wrap {Microwave safe wrap}.

Since the center does not dry as quickly as the edges, pour the puree thinner towards the center. Dry at approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit until pliable and leathery. The middle should also be dry and have no damp or tacky spots.


Preserving Raspberries         Preserving Strawberries

Pumpkin Preserves         Tomato Preserves




 


Try it - You'll Like it !

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