Blueberries have many beneficial micronutrients. These berries are used to prevent heart disease and strengthen immunity, which is especially important in the cold season. Also, the product is used to prepare delicious desserts. And people have found several solutions to the problem of how to keep blueberries fresh for the winter. In this state, the berry retains most of its useful properties.
Vitamins in blueberries
By consuming blueberries, a person makes up for the lack of vitamins C, PP, B1 and B6. This product also contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
Blueberries are a natural antioxidant. The consumption of berries helps to strengthen the immune system and accelerates the recovery of the body in case of infectious diseases.
The fruits are also recommended to be consumed to improve visual acuity and prevent cancer. The trace elements that make up the berry increase the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, normalize cholesterol and sugar levels.
Fresh blueberry storage methods
Fresh blueberries cannot be stored for a long time. Even after a few days, the berry loses its presentation and useful properties. And after a week, the collected fruits must be thrown away. The general shelf life of blueberries at home does not exceed a few hours. Therefore, the collection should be immediately placed in the freezer or refrigerator. You can also store the fruits in dried or candied form.
In the fridge
The berries can be kept fresh for one week in the refrigerator at a temperature of +4 degrees. In order for the collection not to lose its beneficial properties, the following recommendations must be followed:
- remove spoiled fruits, leaves and debris from the harvested crop;
- rinse under running water and dry the fruits on a paper towel;
- put the berries in a container and close the lid loosely, thereby ensuring the flow of air.
This storage method requires the use of plastic or ceramic containers. If a metal container is used, the acids contained in the berries will provoke an oxidation reaction. It is recommended to collect and store blueberries separately from other fruits and vegetables.
This storage method allows you to get the product ready to be added to desserts. In order for the fruits not to lose their original properties, several conditions must be met:
- select, rinse and dry;
- grind the fruits with sugar in a 1: 2 ratio (you can use a blender);
- sterilize banks;
- put the prepared mixture in jars and close the lid so that air does not enter the container.
How much to store candied berries depends on the place in which the container is placed. In the freezer, blueberries will not spoil for several months.
Canning in its own juice
Preservation allows you to preserve the beneficial properties of the product for a long period. To do this, you will need to rinse the collected fruits and sterilize the jars in the oven. Then the prepared blueberries should be placed in containers. After that, the cans must be placed in a basin and the mixture must be heated over low heat for one hour. During cooking, it is necessary to periodically report the berries in the container.
At the end of the hour, the jars need to be tightly screwed up with lids, and after cooling the containers with the jam, place them in the refrigerator or a cool room.
Methods for freezing blueberries
If you properly freeze blueberries and observe the storage conditions, the berries will retain their beneficial properties and taste throughout the winter. There are several similar methods of harvesting fruits for the cold season.
An important condition for preserving the beneficial properties of the fruit is quick freezing. But the prepared food should be thawed slowly, at room temperature. In this case, berries, juices and purees will not go bad.
Freezing blueberries without sugar
To freeze, you will need to sort out the collection, removing damaged berries. Then you need to rinse and dry the blueberries on a paper towel. Prepared berries are laid out on a plate (or other suitable dishes, but not iron), covered with cling film. At the end, the collection is placed in a pre-freeze chamber for an hour.
At the end of the preparation, the blueberries are poured into a bag, which is then placed in the freezer.
This procurement method does not differ from the one given earlier. To preserve the collection during the cold season, you will need to sort and rinse the blueberries, lay them in layers in a plastic container and sprinkle with sugar (proportion 1: 2). At the end, the containers are closed with a lid and placed in the freezer. This recipe is suitable for preparations that are used in the preparation of fruit drinks and as an ingredient for pies.
Puree with sugar
This cooking method combines the two recipes given earlier. For mashed potatoes, you need to mix sugar and blueberries in a 2: 1 ratio (if you need a product with sourness, then 1: 1), and then grind in a blender until mushy. The resulting product is finally laid out in containers that are placed in the freezer. This mixture is used as a filling for pies or desserts.
This recipe is no different from the previous ones. The washed and dried berries are pre-crushed in a blender (food processor) to a mushy state. The resulting mixture is then placed in prepared containers, and the tightly closed containers are sent to the freezer. This "porridge" is often used as complementary foods for children.
Frozen blueberry juice
The method for making blueberry juice is quite simple. To get the finished product, you will also need to rinse the berries. Then you need to squeeze the blueberries in a convenient way (it is recommended to use a juicer), and pour the juice into glasses and close tightly. After that, the containers should be placed in the freezer.
In order to avoid negative consequences, it is recommended to pour the juice not to the brim. This is explained by the fact that during the freezing process the liquid expands.
Other storage methods
In addition to the recipes given earlier, you can use a method that involves drying the collection. To do this, you need to remove debris and spoiled berries. Then the fruits are laid out in one layer and dried in an oven or a device designed for this purpose.
In the first 4 hours, the fruits are dried at a temperature of +40 degrees. Then this indicator needs to be increased to +70 degrees. As soon as the moisture is completely released, the fruits can be moved into the appropriate container (bags, jars, plastic containers are suitable). Dried blueberries are stored for two years. In this case, the humidity level should not exceed 70%, and the temperature - +20 degrees.
You can also place the berry collection under a shed or attic if the weather is hot outside and the air circulates well in the room. Drying under these conditions will take 4 days.