You probably know that fruit is an important part of a balanced diet, which means you may also know that getting fresh fruit isn’t always easy or sustainable during certain seasons. With that said, you might need to prepare your own fruit to have some on hand throughout the year. Whether you like to put them in your smoothies, eat them by the handful, or garnish your desserts, blueberries are one of the best fruits to add to your diet. Consider a few beneficial tips for preserving your fresh blueberries.
Avoid Rinsing Before Freezing
Freezing fruit is one of the best ways to preserve it, but this requires a specific technique to ensure freshness and usability. You should avoid rinsing your berries before freezing them, as they have a natural protective coating on them. Once you wash this away, the berry begins to decompose much faster.
If you want to freeze your blueberries, you can put them directly into freezer bags, seal them, and toss them in the freezer. Once you thaw them to use, rinse them if you wish.
Blueberries don’t clump together in the freezer—you can take a handful out of your frozen bag to use in a smoothie for flavor and extra iciness!
Poke Holes in Them Before Dehydrating
Dehydrated fruit may not be your thing, but if it is, blueberries are excellent when dehydrated. You can add them to your granola, trail mix, and other snacks without worrying about them spoiling. However, you must prep the berries for proper dehydration. Use a toothpick to poke small holes in each berry before putting them in the dehydrator—they’ll dry out much quicker if you break the skin.
Turn Blueberries Into Juice
Blueberry juice is delicious, but it’s not a common choice at the grocery store. With that in mind, you can make your own. Berries tend to spoil relatively quickly, but they’ll last a bit longer if you turn them into juice; here’s how:
- Wash your fresh berries and place them in a pot.
- Crush the blueberries and bring them to a boil. Let them simmer for a few minutes. Strain through a colander into a glass container.
- Once cool enough to touch, strain again through a cheesecloth to remove the pulp.
- From there, you can stop or add your choice of sweetener.
If you make more than you’ll use right away, you can freeze your blueberry juice until you’re ready to use it again.
Bake Them Into Your Favorite Desserts
There’s nothing better than a blueberry muffin, especially one made with fresh berries. If you have more blueberries than you know what to do with, consider baking them into your favorite desserts. Even though muffins, cookies, cakes, and other desserts only last a week or so, you can freeze them for several months. Whenever you want a treat or need something to take to a last-minute gathering, defrost one of your pre-made blueberry desserts.
Growing your own fruit is a great way to ensure you never run out, but gardening can be difficult. Knowing a few common mistakes to avoid when planting blueberries can help you along the way. After all, you’ll be ready to handle a large berry yield with these tips for preserving your fresh blueberries.