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Preserving Blueberries

Blueberries are a very good source of vitamins A and C. They are also a good snack or dessert for calorie-conscious people, providing 42 calories per half-cup of berries. Choose plump, firm berries that are free of moisture. Fresh blueberries keep longer than any of the other berries. Store them uncovered or covered in the refrigerator for up to twelve days. Wash just before using, making sure not to soak the berries.

Blueberries can be easily frozen. Without washing, place blueberries in moisture-vapor proof freezer containers or freezer bags. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace for expansion during freezing. Berries can also be frozen first on a tray, then packed as soon as they are frozen. Label and date packages. At the time of use, blueberries will be individually frozen. Wash just before using. Blueberries should not be frozen with sugar since they get tough and will be mushy when thawed. Sugar may be added when the berries are served.

When drying blueberries, sort, wash, and leave whole. Remove stems. Because of tough skins on blueberries, a boiling water blanch is often used to crack the skins and improve the drying process. Dip in boiling water for 15-30 seconds, then dip into cold water. Drain on absorbent material. Spread in thin layer and dry at 130-150 degrees F. until leathery. Store in dry air and vapor proof containers.

Blueberries can also be canned as whole berries, juice or jam. To learn more about preverving blueberries, check out these two free publications – Canning Fruits and Preserving Berries

Adapted from: Blueberries, by Joanne Austin, former WSU Extension Faculty, WSU Extension Skagit County and So Easy to Preserve, 6th Edition, Bulletin 989, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

This information was originally posted by C. Koehler on the WSU Grays Harbor County Extension website.