Properly storing dried blueberries is the best way to preserve the fruits for a long period of time. When fresh, blueberries are perishable because of the juice. Without the juice, you can store dried blueberries, and use them later without getting spoiled.
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How to Store Dried Blueberries
Properly stored dried blueberries will help preserve the fruits for a much longer period of time compared to storing them fresh.
Pack dried blueberries into air-tight containers
After completely dehydrating the blueberries, and allowing them to cool down at room temperature, pack them into air-tight containers. Glass is the ideal container to use since the material doesn’t react with the acids in the blueberries.
Store the container
Store the containers in a dark, cool place to lengthen the shelf life even more. However, in hot and humid areas, storing dried blueberries in the refrigerator or freezer may be necessary to preserve the fruits’ shelf life, and keep them in their best quality.
If you want to achieve the best quality for your dried blueberries, keep them constantly frozen in the freezer at a temperature of 00 F. This way, you can keep the dried fruits safe and in good condition for an indefinite period of time.
Otherwise, even when packed in sealed containers, the dried blueberries may easily spoil under hot and humid conditions.
When you need to use the blueberries for cooking, you can just rehydrate them by soaking in water for a few minutes to half an hour.
To determine if your dried blueberries are still in good shape, or they have gone bad or are spoiled, use your senses of smell and sight. Discard the ones that bear an off appearance or smell. Discard them as well if you see mold.
How Long Can Dried Blueberries Last?
There’s no question that dried blueberries last a long time. For how long, it will depend on the storage conditions. When properly stored, meaning in sealed glass or plastic containers, and kept in a cool and dry place at room temperature, dried blueberries can last for around 6 months to a year.
Because fresh blueberries can spoil because of their juice, storing dried blueberries is the best way to enjoy the tiny and sweet fruit for a much longer period of time. Just make sure to keep the tips in this post in mind when storing dried blueberries.
How to Dehydrate Blueberries
If you are planning to store dried blueberries that you have dehydrated yourself – here is how to dehydrate blueberries at home.
Sun-Drying – The most natural and traditional way of drying blueberries, the sun-drying method was first used by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. The process doesn’t cost anything since it only needs the heat of the sun.
The disadvantage is that it takes a long time to complete the drying process, and would often work only in areas where the summer season is hot. Even then, the process would need 3 to 4 consecutive days at 1000. Thus, if you live in an area where it doesn’t get hot enough even during summer, then this drying method may not work for you.
Using a food dehydrator – The use of a dehydrator to dry blueberries is fast and simple. It also produces the best results among all methods. The dehydrator is the appliance of choice when you want to remove the moisture from fruits, veggies, and meats to preserve them. It minimizes the foods’ water content with the use of a source of heat and airflow.
Usually, the fruits’ water content is anywhere between 80 and 90%. Prolonged moisture causes the growth of bacteria, and can make the food rotten. By eliminating moisture, you extend the lifespan of the food.
Using an oven – You can use the same oven intended for baking. While this method is not often used for food dehydration, it is also a viable option if you don’t want to invest in a food dehydrator or if you live in an area with cold temperature, and sun-drying is not an option. Because you’ll be using the oven below 200 F with an open door for proper air circulation, however, the process isn’t energy-efficient. Ideally, the fruits should be laid down on mesh baking racks, but if this isn’t possible, cookie sheets will do.
To check if the blueberries are completely dry, squeeze them to see if there is even still a squishy feeling left. If there is, then you need to dry the fruits some more.