Freezing blueberries is ridiculously easy. Especially if you get your berries from Eggers where they are grown completely pesticide free. You don't even have to wash them. Just go over them lightly picking out any stems and leaves. If you get your berries somewhere else try to determine if they've been sprayed. If they have been or if you don't know, fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water and add the berries. Swish them around and then let them settle. Lift the berries out of the water and into a colander to drain, then spread them out on a clean towel to get as dry as possible. You can place a desk top fan to blow on them to help evaporate the moisture. The drier the berries are going into the freezer the better they will store with less chance of freezer burn.
Once the blueberries are dry spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. I sit jars in each corner of the sheets so I can stack another tray on top and go vertical in my freezer.
Preparing the blueberries for drying is a little more complicated. Well, not complicated but time consuming and mind-numbingly boring. If you're doing a large quantity of these have an audio book playing and a friend to share the
To dry blueberries and other thick-skinned berries you must "check" them first. "Checking" is nipping or piercing the skin so moisture can escape while the berries are drying. I know the blueberries I picked were large for blueberries but when it came to checking two quarts of them suddenly they looked a lot smaller.
|See the little stabby marks?|
I set the dehydrator at 135F and 8 hours of time. Then another 8 hours of time. Then another 4 hours. Finally they were dry.