Dehydrating Blueberries


| 9/29/2015 10:42:00 AM


Tags: dehydrating, blueberries, food preservation, food storage, drying fruit, Susan Gregersen, Montana,

Dehydrated Blueberries' Many Uses

Most people think of pancakes, muffins, and oatmeal when they think of blueberries. We do, too, but we also use them in smoothies, as flavoring in frosting, and as snacks. Blueberries dry harder than a raisin but they still make excellent tasty snacks.

Sometimes we order blueberries in 10-lb boxes from a local food co-op, but most of the blueberries we dry are a wild berry that are locally called huckleberries. In other parts of the country, a huckleberry is more like a blackberry or black raspberry, but what they call huckleberries in Northwest Montana are actually a blueberry. We go up on the mountains around us and pick three to nine gallons of them every summer. Some of them are canned, but a lot of them are dried.

If you have picked wild berries you'll need to clean them first. Bits of leaves and sticks and sometimes bugs have to be picked out. Whether you buy or pick the berries you should wash them before preserving them. I pour water over them in a strainer basket and work the berries around with my fingers to make sure they're all washed.

Use an Electric Dehydrator or Air-Dry Blueberries

Spread them on dryer screens or racks. Be sure not to crowd them too much so the air can circulate around them, and the moisture has room to escape. If you're using an electric dehydrator with a temperature control, set it at 135 degrees F. If your dehydrator doesn't have a temperature control, you may want to rotate the racks and watch for over-drying (if the dehydrator seems on the hot side). I once had some blueberries start to turn black and crisp on the bottom rack in this type of a dehydrator.

Blueberries can be air-dryed on screens if you live in a dry climate. Spread them on the screens and set them out of the way where they won't be bumped. Check them several times a day and stir them around gently with your fingers for faster drying, and to make sure none are spoiling.




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