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Blueberries: Freezing and Nutrition Facts

Fresh Blueberries at Farmers Market

Blueberries are a delicious fruit full of flavor and a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K.  A 1//2 cup serving of blueberries contains:  42 Calories; 0 grams of Total Fat; 0 grams Saturated Fat; 11 grams Total Carbohydrates; 1 gram Protein; and 1 milligram Sodium.  Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables therefore adding them to your diet may help to prevent damages caused by cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.  They may also lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of inflammation. Research has indicated that adding a half cup of fresh blueberries daily to an average healthy diet would essentially double the body’s antioxidant level.  This is a great reason to include blueberries in your diet.  Frozen blueberries are great in smoothies and they go well with lemon, cinnamon, cloves, pecans, peaches, yogurt and mint.

Purchasing, Storing and Preparing Blueberries

LOOK for blueberries that are:

  • Firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned
  • With a silvery surface bloom and no leaves or stems

    Purchasing fresh blueberries at a farmers market

  • Size isn’t an indicator of maturity but color is
  • Blueberries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black

AVOID blueberries that look:

  • Soft or shriveled
  • If they have any signs of mold.
  • If they are bruised. Bruised fruit will have juice stains on the container

Storing Blueberries after you purchase

  • Wash your blueberries just before you eat or use them
  • Do not wash blueberries before you refrigerate or freeze
  • Refrigerate fresh blueberries either in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or container.
  • Eat or freeze within 10 days of purchase
How to Freeze Blueberries
  • Select full-flavored, ripe blueberries.
  • Remove leaves, stems and immature or defective blueberries.
  • Spread the blueberries on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Place in the freezer for 2 hours.
  • Transfer the frozen berries to a freezer bag or airtight container.
  • Label with the following information: Date, Name of Product, Form of food – e.g., halves and Number of servings
  • Store in upright freezer, chest freezer, or refrigerator-freezer combination can be used as long as it can reach a temperature of 0˚F or below.
  • Blueberries will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • To defrost: Empty the berries into a bowl (to catch the juices).
  • Wash blueberries before you eat them

 Dry Pack –Crushed or Puréed     

  • Crush or press blueberries through a fine sieve, or purée in a blender or food processor.
  • Mix 1 to 1 1/8 cups of sugar with each quart (2 pounds) of crushed berries or purée.
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pack into freezer containers, leaving headspace.
  • Seal containers and label with the following information:  Date, Name of Product, Form of food – e.g., halves and Number of servings
  • Store in upright freezer, chest freezer, or refrigerator-freezer combination can be used as long as it can reach a temperature of 0˚F or below.

If you do not have your own blueberry bushes at home visit your local farmers market or u-pick farm today and enjoy some Fresh Florida Blueberries.

For more information contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/ 

References:

The National Center for Home Food Preservation:  https://nchfp.uga.edu/

 So Easy to Preserve Book order form: https://setp.uga.edu/6thed_SETP_orderform5_May2019.pdf

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