Dehydration is a great way to preserve fruit and turn it into a healthy and convenient snack!
But how to do it with frozen blueberries, do you need some special machines or what?
If you have a pack of blueberries in your freezer, give them a try!
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Are Blueberries Good For Dehydration?
Well, yes, they are, blueberries are small and fairly uniform in shape, so they dry out fairly evenly. This is an excellent method for storing your favorite berries and using them whenever you want!
Difference Between Fresh And Frozen Blueberries Dehydration
There is no difference, you can dehydrate both fresh and frozen blueberries and get the same results. You’ll see there is no big difference between dehydrating fresh and frozen blueberries.
Fresh blueberries are perishable, so you can leave them to dry and dehydrate them. First, you need to rinse them to get rid of any impurities, then leave them to dry, place them on the food dehydrator trays and leave them to dry for about 16-20 hours.
So, How Does Dehydration Affects The Blueberries?
This process concentrates the fruit’s sugar dramatically. Sugar levels rise, so many people call dehydrated fruits sugar bombs. Also, dried fruits have six times more energy than their fresh equivalent. Dehydrated blueberries are more intense in flavor and crisper.
When it comes to the preservation of nutrients, dehydrated blueberries keep them very well. They stimulate the nerve system, may prevent cancer, may prevent type 2 diabetes, promote urinary system health, etc. We can conclude that consuming dehydrated blueberries have numerous health benefits.
Big Question – Do You Have to Blanch Blueberries Before Dehydrating?
Technically not. Some people skip this step, but I recommend doing it. If you did both blanched and unblanched blueberries, you’ll clearly see the difference.
Unblanched dried blueberries have very little flavor, are overly dry, and are bland. They aren’t tasty and enjoyable. Blanched blueberries are full of flavor, vibrant in color and have more nutrients. Blanching them helps break the skin, which gives a softer dehydrated blueberry.
If you dehydrate fruits often, you should know that you don’t need to blanch every type of fruit.
How Long Do Dehydrated Blueberries Last?
They can last for 6 to 12 months. It is very important that they are completely dry and not exposed to moisture in the air.
How to Dehydrate Frozen Blueberries – 3 Methods
There are three methods you can choose from depending on your equipment, time and amount of blueberries.
1. Food Dehydrator
Learning how to dehydrate frozen blueberries is actually easier than drying fresh blueberries.
- Okay, let’s start. First, there is no need to thaw them before blanching.
- To blanch, place a large skillet or pan on the stovetop on medium-high heat. Bring just enough water to a boil that will slightly cover the berries. (for example, if you blanch 4 cups of berries, use 5 cups of water)
- Prepare a large bowl with 5 cups of cold water and 2 cups of ice. Set aside and blanch the blueberries for 30 seconds.
- Then remove the berries from the water and place them in the bowl of ice water. Leave them in ice water for 30 seconds.
- Use a slotted spoon and remove the berries from the water and place them on paper towels. It is very important to let them completely dry, approximately 1-2 hours. You want as little moisture as possible.
- Once dry, place the berries on the dehydrator racks, and make sure they aren’t touching.
- Dehydrate the blueberries at 125 °F (of 51 °C) for 30 hours. If you use small berries, it could take less time (18-20 minutes).
- When done, remove the dry berries from the racks.
2. In The Oven
For those who don’t have a food dehydrator, there is an oven method. This method works well but uses more electricity than the previous one.
Use a cookie sheet with parchment paper and add a layer of blueberries. Bake them at 135 °F (of 57 °C) for 10 hours. You can also heat them at 200 °F ( or 93°C) for 7 hours and get them done in one day. But be careful and check them frequently.
3. Air Fryer
This is another great method if you don’t have a food dehydrator and have small batches. It uses less electricity than an oven.
Place the prepared blueberries on the tray of the air fryer. They should be a single layer and not crowded. Set the temperature to 120 °F (48 °C) and let cook for 15 hours. After 10 to 12 hours, check them often.
Vacuum seal and/or add oxygen absorber for long-term storage.
How to Tell When Blueberries Are Dehydrated?
Blueberries must be properly dehydrated. Any moisture left will cause mold to grow and that’s what we want to avoid. So, properly dehydrated blueberries will be crunchy. They will be hard and have an almost leathery feel.
You should be careful with big berries, they might not be completely dry when the smaller ones are. It is perfectly fine to remove small ones and dehydrate the larger beans longer.
Can You Use MIcrowave To Dehydrate Frozen Blueberries?
Since antioxidants found in blueberries can help to prevent oxidative stress, when they are microwaved for 5 minutes, this capacity is diminished. So it’s not a good idea to use the microwave for dehydration when it comes to the blueberries.
But you can thaw frozen blueberries in the microwave and here’s how – Place the blueberries in a single layer with plenty of space between the berries on a paper towel-lined, microwave-safe plate. Turn on the defrost setting for 30 seconds, then check the blueberries. Repeat until the blueberries are defrosted.
Store Them Properly
Let the dehydrated blueberries cool completely to room temperature before packing them. It is best to store them in the jars with plastic lids and keep them in a cool and dark cupboard or the basement.
Watch the sealed containers for the first few days for any sign of condensation. If condensation occurs, dehydrate a bit more. Label jar with the name of the product and date. For the longest storage life, store them below room temperature.
Healthy Benefits of Dried Blueberries
Dried blueberries pack a nutritional punch. They are low in sodium and calories, offering 127 calories per 1/4 cup. They contain no cholesterol. Blueberries are rich in vitamin K which plays a crucial role in your bone health.
They contain vitamin C. Our body needs this vitamin for repairing and maintaining teeth and bones. Also, it builds collagen which limits the damaging effects of free radicals.
Dried blueberries are a good source of fiber, which keeps your digestive system healthy. Also, they are a rich source of anthocyanins that help fight free radicals.
Why Dehydrate Them?
First, dehydrating frozen fruits, such as blueberries, saves freezer space, and just space in general. Drying blueberries is an easy process that results in the most delicious dry blueberry snack – it’s super healthy and full of antioxidants. Dried blueberries are great in trail mix, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal and yogurt.
Are Fresh Blueberries Better Than Dried?
There is a study published in Research Gate that tested for potential changes in anthocyanin and anti-oxidant effects after freezing or drying blueberries. And findings showed no notable changes or decrease in anthocyanin and anti-oxidant after three months of storage.
The conclusion was that there is no difference in blueberries in frozen, dried or fresh forms.
How to Rehydrate Dried Blueberries?
To re-hydrate, your blueberries place in enough room temperature water to cover. Depending on the size of the berries, they should be ready in about 15-30 minutes. The water that you use to reconstitute your berries will have a delicious flavor – and can be used for pancakes, muffins, etc.
To Wrap It Up
Blueberries are delicious and good for your health. They are tasty and can be used in many recipes. Dehydrated blueberries will last longer and save your valuable freezer space. Choose among these three methods and prepare your dehydrated blueberries like a pro!