How to Preserve Blueberries

Jan 14, 2023, 12:00:00 PM

Blueberries are known to have a variety of health benefits, and they also taste amazing! Blueberries are considered a superfood because of their nutritional content. Stock up on these antioxidant-packed blueberries with our Bluesfest! Blueberries can be made into syrup, jam, canned, or frozen to retain their freshness and nutrition.

Freezing Blueberries

Freezing blueberries is simple and ensures you always have some on hand for smoothies or muffins. You don't need to rinse your blueberries; however, if you do, make sure that they are thoroughly dried on a paper towel before freezing. If frozen without washing, they will just need to be washed right before being used. Spread blueberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze for 3-4 hours. Then you can pop them into a gallon bag for long-term storage. Make sure to label your blueberries with the date, and use them within 10 months for maximum nutritional value.

Pureed Blueberries

Pureed blueberries make an excellent pancake, waffle syrup, or freezer jam. Crush and press washed berries through a fine strainer or puree in a blender or food processor. Mix 1 to 1 1/2 cups (depending on the sweetness of the blueberries) of sugar for each quart (approx. 2 lb.) of crushed berries or puree. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Use water to thin if the mixture is too thick. Fill regular or wide-mouth freezer jars. Allow 1 inch of headspace in quarts and ½ inch in pints. Seal, label, and freeze.

Canning Blueberries - Raw Pack

Prepare a water bath canner or pressure canner, pint jars, and lids. Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for 10 minutes. Pull jars and lids out of boiling water with a jar lifter and place them on a towel.

While the jars sterilize, make the light syrup. Use 1 1/2 cups sugar and 5 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Use more sugar if you would like sweeter berries and less if you want the berries tart. You can also use fruit juice like apple or white grape juice if you would like to avoid white sugar.

Fill each warm jar with raw blueberries, carefully shaking it or taking a nonmetallic spoon to the berries so they settle into the jar to remove any air pockets. Watch for any stems, leaves, or underripe (or overripe) berries, and remove them as you work.

Cover the blueberries with the light syrup, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid of the jar. Use a nonmetallic utensil, like a plastic knife or wooden chopstick, to remove any air bubbles. Using a clean cloth, wipe away any blueberries or syrup that might have splashed onto the outside of the jar while it was being filled before putting on the lid. Screw on the lids until finger tight. (Not so tight that you need effort to screw or unscrew the ring).

Load jars into a water bath canner and ensure that the loaded jars are covered by at least two inches of water. Once the water has come to boil, set the timer and process jars for 30 minutes. Maintain a gentle and complete boil by covering the water canner with a lid.

When done, let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the still-hot water. Carefully lift jars out of the canner with a jar lifter, ensuring not to tilt them. Place them onto a towel to finish cooling. To prevent breakage and shock, avoid placing the hot jars on a cold surface or in an area with drafts. The jars should sit for 12 to 24 hours or until they reach room temperature. As the jars start to cool, you should hear a "popping" sound as the lids seal. Do not tighten the ring bands or push down the center of the flat metal lid before the jar and its contents have cooled. After 12-24 hours, test whether the jar has been properly sealed. Press down on the lid; if it pops at all, the jar is not properly sealed. A lid on a jar that is appropriately sealed won’t move. (Don't do this step until fully cooled because it may create a false seal when hot.) If the jar is sealed correctly, the rings can be removed and jars labeled with the date and contents to store for up to one year.