Due to its composition, blueberry has proven itself as an effective anti-inflammatory and healing agent. It is used in the treatment of diseases of the liver, eyes, digestive organs and genitourinary system, and even oncological diseases. Blueberries are a unique combination of low calorie content (57 kcal per 100 g of product) and a huge amount of useful substances. The collection of blueberry leaves is possible at any time from the moment of their appearance, and berries begin to be stocked in July. About how to store blueberries after harvesting: where, in what, how best and for how long – we will tell you more in our informative article.
Blueberry (lat. Vaccinium myrtillus) is not just a useful berry, it is a source of health. It began to be used for medicinal purposes many centuries ago, and until now herbalists-healers have not found blueberries a worthy replacement. Few people know that there is a blueberry monument in Ukraine, and a few years ago this wild berry was featured on postage stamps.
Methods of storage
Like any berries, blueberries spoil quite quickly. If you plan to eat it fresh and without sugar, then it is better to do it right away. Blueberries cannot be left even for a few days, otherwise they will lose their appearance. Just a few hours – that’s how long blueberries are stored without a refrigerator. So, the methods of storing the fruits of this shrub are as follows:
- in the fridge;
- in the freezer;
- harvesting of berries;
- you can store dried blueberries or pureed with sugar.
In the fridge
Blueberries cannot be stored fresh in the refrigerator for very long. But still, the berry will be stored there a little longer than at room temperature.
Up to 10 days – this is how long you can store blueberries at a temperature of 4 °C. It cannot be placed in the compartment for fruits and vegetables, the middle or lower shelf is optimal for berries.
Before sending fresh blueberries to the refrigerator, the raw materials must be prepared:
- clean from roots, twigs and other debris;
- remove berries that have started to spoil or get bruised on the way (how many days they will keep their freshness is affected by their original condition);
- before keeping blueberries fresh, you can not wash them (or wash them, but then dry them thoroughly);
- the shelf life will increase somewhat if you wash the berries with a solution of vinegar (dilute 1:3 with water, respectively) and dry them on a towel;
- blueberries must be placed in a glass jar, plastic container or ceramic dish, but not metal (otherwise it will oxidize);
- the container with blueberries should not be closed tightly, it is necessary to ensure weak air circulation.
In the freezer
This is another good way to preserve blueberries for the winter, so the preparation of berries should be very careful. Before sending them to the freezer, you must:
- sort through berries, remove garbage;
- rinse and spread on a towel in one layer to dry completely;
- spread the berries on a small tray or plate (preferably cover it with food film or cellophane) at a short distance from each other;
- put in the freezer for 2-3 hours;
- when the blueberries are completely frozen, they need to be placed in a food bag, removed from the air and sent back to the freezer for long-term storage.
One year is how long frozen blueberries are stored. Moreover, after shock freezing, this term can be extended by a couple of months.
Dried blueberries are stored in paper or wooden containers, but not in canvas bags or plastic bags. Like all dried fruits, it is very fond of insects. The bottom of the container is lined with paper and placed in the pantry, it will be too wet in the basement.
The optimal conditions for storing dried blueberries are a temperature of 20 °C and air humidity of no more than 70%.
In order to prepare blueberries for this method of storage, it is necessary to do the following:
- sort through berries, remove garbage;
- no need to wash, spread in one layer. Dry at a temperature of 40-70 °C – in an oven or fruit dryer;
- in hot weather, you can spread the berries under a canopy or in the attic – there is the most optimal air circulation and temperature regime for drying berries;
- in the oven or dryer for berries, the temperature should not exceed 40 °C for the first 4 hours, after which it is increased to 70 °C and left until the berries are completely dry;
- properly dried blueberries are stored under optimal conditions for 2 years.
Given how long it is stored at room temperature, it is wiser to prepare various tasty preparations from it. Let this berry be wild, but compotes, jellies, syrups, jams, jams, pastilles are no less tasty from it than from domestic fruits. Blueberry blanks can be stocked up and enjoyed all year round.
Blueberries with sugar
Most people are interested in whether it is possible to preserve vitamins in berries, because it is in them that the value of blueberries lies. One such way is to mash blueberries with sugar. Moreover, such delicacies can be frozen or sealed in glass jars. Fresh blueberries are sorted, washed, dried and covered with sugar in a ratio of 1:1. If you plan to store pureed blueberries in the freezer, you can take a quarter less sugar. Blueberries and sugar are crushed with a blender or passed through a meat grinder. It will be very delicate if you rub it through a sieve. Ready pureed blueberries with sugar are poured into sterilized jars. They are stored for up to 1 year at a temperature of 2-4 °C, i.e. the refrigerator is the right place for them. These can be ordinary cans with twists, there is no need to close them with disposable lids.
Frozen blueberries rubbed with sugar will last as long in the freezer. It is previously placed in a plastic container and tightly closed with a lid. Of course, mashed blueberries are not subjected to any heat treatment beforehand, so all dishes must be clean. Such blueberries retain most of their useful properties, and the taste remains the same as after picking.