When to Buy/In Season:
June and July, although non-organic varieties are available fresh year round.
How to Select:
Plump, fresh, uniformly colored fruit, free of stems of leaves. Avoid fruit that is moldy, crushed, or bruised, or that has leaked moisture through carton. The “bloom” found on blueberries is natural and should be there. Look for nonhybrid, old-fashioned varieties.
Blueberries are well suited to organic growing, free of pests and diseases. They grow best in highly acidic soil, so organic composts make excellent fertilizers. While blueberries are offered fresh year round, organic berries are typically only available during the “natural” season of June and July.
EWG 2009 Dirty Dozen, not listed
How to Store:
While conventional berries imported outside of the natural growing season keep 1 – 2 days in the refrigerator, organic berries store well in the fridge for 1 – -2 weeks.
To Freeze Fresh Blueberries:
Dry Pack: Do not wash blueberries. Washing results in a tougher skinned product. Pack berries into containers, leaving headspace. Berries can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Seal and freeze. Wash before using.
Crushed or Puréed: Wash the blueberries. Crush, press berries 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 containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.
See our Basics of Canning Fruit at Home
Home Canned fruits can be stored for up to 1 year; they may lose quality after that point. Commercially canned fruit can be stored up to 3 years.
Choose large, firm blueberries with deep-blue color. Wash and remove stems. Dip in boiling water 30 seconds to “check” skins. Blueberries dried without boiling first have a puffy appearance. Dry at 130 – 135oF until leathery. Water content of blueberries is 83%.
Dried fruit may be stored 6 – 12 months at room temperature, or indefinetly in the freezer.
Photo Source: giniger
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