A mouthful of blueberries in the silvery wintry month would bring back the memories of the long sunny summer days. Blueberries are highly nutritious and healthy berries that help to
- Lower cholesterol
- Prevent the risk of heart disease
- Keeps the free radicals at bay as it has antioxidants
- A rich source of potassium and vitamin C
Since it has the afore mentioned health benefits you should preserve some blueberries for making smoothies, jellies, jams, pancakes, muffins, waffles and other desserts in the months when these berries are not available.
Blueberries can be preserved in several ways. Please note that its always better to use fresh and crisp fruits for preservation.
Ways To Preserve Blueberries
- Freezing Blueberries
Use only plump and fully ripened fresh blueberries for freezing. It’s not necessary that you need to wash these berries as they may become tough-skinned and mushy. These can be washed later when you thaw them. Remove any visible dirt before putting them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer compartment. You can pull them apart when you want to add it to the muffins, pancakes or any other recipes.
- Dehydrating Blueberries
These berries can be dehydrated and stored as dry fruits. They can be used in your cereals as a substitute for raisins or muffins. To get a pound of dehydrated blueberries you need close to 7 pounds of fresh berries. Dried berries have a shelf life up to six months and they will retain all the nutrients of fresh berries. The dehydrated berries can be re-hydrated by soaking in warm water for a couple of hours.
Poke the skin of the berries with a needle and lay them on the dehydrator trays and place them in the oven at 115 Degrees F. Else you can boil them in water till the skin breaks. Remove from the water and air dry for an hour on the kitchen towels before putting them on the dehydrator trays. Also note that the process of dehydration takes around three to seven days and this depends on the thickness of the skin of the berries as well as the size of the berries.
- Canning Blueberries
Blueberries can be canned in sugar or non-sugar syrup and used in pie filling or made into jam. These berries can also be infused in vinegar and can be used as salad dressing.
Stay tuned for more on blueberries.