drying blueberries

Gail H
Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

It is the height of blueberry harvest in South Jersey and I'm getting ready to dehydrate a batch. After many years, I think I've come up with a pretty efficient process that preserves the nutrients.

Most sources will tell you that you need to checker the waxy coating on blueberries in order for them to dry properly. One look at the water left over from the process and you'll see a lot of phytonutrients you won't get to enjoy. You will also have a blob of mushy berries.

Here is my process:

Get a friend to chat with or put on a podcast, video or audiobook you enjoy. Nothing that requires note taking. :o) Conscripting one's children is a good option, too.

Put a large bowl or roaster pan at your feet to catch your blueberries.

Thread a clean needle with button thread (a tapestry needle works well) and start impaling blueberries. Don't go through the "poles" of the berries, but make sure that you pierce the skin twice with your needle. Let the end of the thread dangle into the bowl; if some berries slip off, don't worry about it. After you have quite a few berries on your thread, slide them off the thread and into the bowl. Keep going until you run out of berries or dehydrator space.

Pour berries onto a dehydrator tray. They will roll around like ball bearings and can be coaxed into a single layer pretty quickly. Dehydrate as usual. There are always a few stubborn individuals that won't have dried. You can either take them as your treat or poke them again and give them another trip through the dehydrator.

By the way, this doesn't work with cranberries. Those need to be sliced in half on the equator.


  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have so many blueberries. Our freezer is full. I'm going to do this. Thanks!!

  • John
    John Posts: 163 ✭✭✭

    Super! Having a good crop this year and wondering what could do to preserve them-going to try this. :)

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @Gail H thank you so much for sharing your experience. I plan on having blueberries, someday. We did plant 2 this year but they just flat are not doing a thing. They've grown less than an inch in height and only added one or two leaves. We are careful to keep them well watered if we don't have rain, the soil had been amended over a two year period, and we wait.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @dottile46 They are acid loving. Coffee grounds may bring them around.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,203 ✭✭✭✭

    @dottile46 I raised blueberries for years and used cedar needles (dry) mulched in around the plants. Also this will sound strange but water with 1/4 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide to 1 quart of water. Or you could use that mixture and spray it on the plant. It works beautifully. Let us know if the blueberries are doing better in a month.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @Gail H and @dipat2005 I'll do your suggestion. Can't water them right now, we just received between 2 and 3 inches of rain in the last 2 hours. I can still do the coffee grounds and we do have several cedar trees. Thank you both.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    So funny you mentioned doesn't work with cranberries. I dehydrate those every year and learned by experience I needed to slice them in half. Your idea sounded faster/easier and I was thinking of trying it next time. Always good to learn from others experience :)

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @Gail H Thanks for the advice!! I’m canning blueberry pie filling today and freeze most of the rest but I want to dehydrate some. What do you do with your dehydrated blueberries?

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy The usual dried fruit stuff. I put them in granola, muffins, etc. Once a jar gets opened, it's hard to keep them around for long! I make a special granola to give away at Christmas that has a lot of home dried fruit in it.