I can’t believe in the 4+ years of this blog I haven’t posted anything about blueberries! To make up for that fact, I’ve decided to create one page where you can find all my favorite blueberry preserving how-tos and links – freezing, drying, canning jams and sauces – as well as some scrumptious recipes to make when blueberries are fresh and in season.
Blueberries are super easy to put up when they’re in season and at their least expensive (or free if you have some plants!) and of course you’ve probably read how good they are for you. There are more and more acres of land being put into blueberries in my part of the world every year, and there are more recipes coming out too – beyond the usual muffin or pancake (though there’s nothing wrong with those!).
How to Freeze Blueberries
- Wash and dry if needed (if grown organically and picked yourself, no need)
- Spread in a single layer in a cookie sheet.
- Freeze until solid
- Place frozen berries in a freezer container for longer storage (they’ve lasted as long as 2 years for us!).
How To Dry Blueberries – (the easy way*)
- Wash and dry blueberries(if needed)
- Lay out on the tray of a food dehydrator in a single layer. If you want to take the time, you can save out all the big blueberries for eating and try to dry berries of roughly the same size so they’ll be done together. Or not – you can see above I usually don’t.
- Dry the berries at 125 degrees (or recommended setting for fruit for your dehydrator model) for 4-5 hours before doing the first check. I pull out berries that are dried (no moisture remaining when pressed) and place into a freezer baggie, before continuing to dry the rest. Check every 2-3 hours after the first check.
- If you are absolutely sure the berries are all dry you can store at room temperature. Since I’m taking the easy way and drying all different sizes without blanching, I choose to store dried blueberries in the freezer. They are perfect on cereal and in baked goods directly from the freezer and I can be sure they will last.
*The ‘official’ way to dry blueberries is to blanch them first to break the skins, but since I’m not a fan of blanching (like beans or snap peas), you can guess I don’t go to the trouble. I’m okay with the slightly more papery end-product without blanching, but if you want a chewier dried blueberry, follow the steps outlined here (which also has oven drying directions if you don’t have a food dryer).
Blueberry Jam & Sauces for Canning (or Fridge/Freezer)
Most of our berries are either frozen or dried, but last year I made a jam/syrup we enjoyed:
- Blueberry Maple Sweetened Jam (used this recipe, but replaced the strawberries with blueberries) – it makes a loose jam that works as a syrup, too, and we like that it’s only sweetened with maple syrup.
Here are some other easy preserving recipes:
- Blueberries in light syrup, Blueberry Vanilla Jam, Blueberry Lemon Compote (all three use less sugar)
- Refrigerator Blueberry Quick Jam
- Refrigerator Blueberry Chipotle Chutney
Fresh Blueberry Recipes
- Blueberry-Ginger Relish for pork
- Blueberry Salad with Smoked Trout
- Grilled Salmon Flatbreads with Fresh Blueberry Salsa
- Blueberry Oatmeal Bread
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- White Chocolate Blueberry Bars
- Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins
- Mixed Berry Pound Cake (Blueberries & Cranberries)
- Triple Berry Shortcake
- Blueberry Crumble Pie
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Other Fun Recipes
- Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
- Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Pops
- Chocolate Covered Blueberries
- Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries