Blueberry is an evergreen shrub from Vereskov family, resistant to cold. Her close relatives are blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries. The plant is very useful sweetish dark purple berries. Now you will learn how to store them.
Why keep blueberries? Why is it so useful?
It is hard to believe, but the fruits of this shrub are not inferior to the berries of many tropical plants in the number of useful substances. Blueberries are especially rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) - an antioxidant that protects the body from destructive oxidative processes.
Also, blueberry fruits perfectly fit into any diet, because they do not cause increased secretion of gastric juice, do not provoke appetite.
When to collect? How to choose the most suitable for storage?
For storage is only suitable fully ripe berries - bluish-black, soft to the touch, with a whitish wax coating on the skin. It should be collected a maximum of 2-3 days before storage.
Not fully ripe fruits can be harvested, of course, but they will lose their pleasant taste and most of the beneficial properties very quickly.
When buying a blueberry you need to check:
- is there any damage on it;
- there is no mold;
- Is it large?
Also, fruits should not be wet.
Short (short) storage
At normal room temperature, blueberries will not last long: two or three days - and it will completely rot. But she can prolong her life in the upper (not freezing) compartments of the refrigerator. If the berries are washed, dried, peeled and neatly folded in glass jars in the same layers, they will be edible for about a week and a half. Frankly, not very long. Fortunately, there are many ways to preserve the fruits for much longer.
Basic storage methods for winter
Best of all blueberries for long term harvest using:
- urinating (in ordinary water);
- making jam from it;
- drying (in the oven).
Further on each of the above methods in more detail.
Freeze in the freezer - the easiest way to permanently protect blueberries from rotting.
- Sort it.
- We get rid of all the stalks.
- Rinse thoroughly in running water.
- We give a little time to dry out (if you freeze wet fruits, their skin will become very tough, taste will deteriorate sharply).
- We put equal even layers in a small hermetic container, do not fill it to the top, leave 2-3 cm of free space.
- Add some sugar between each layer.
- Tightly close the container and put in the freezer.
Blueberries most likely will not lose their beneficial properties in the freezer for a few years, but it is still better to use it during the first year after freezing.
Soaking is another interesting way to harvest berries. Thanks to him, blueberries for many months will remain fresh and beneficial to the body:
- Pour out the cleaned and washed berries in jars (ordinary glass).
- With the top, pour boiled water. Water must be cold.
- Boil soaked blueberries. Boiling time is approximately 10 minutes if pollitrovki are used. Litrovki same boil for 20 minutes.
- Tightly close the banks (roll up).
- Put them upside down (this is done in order to disinfect the lids, to make them pasteurized).
Keep soaked fruits in a place where it is dry and cool. The cellar or the upper compartment of the refrigerator is fine.
How to store using sugaring
Blueberries are stored in candied form for a rather long time too - about a year:
- Knead the fruit or send it to the meat grinder.
- Add sugar to the resulting pasty homogeneous mass - put a pound of sugar per kilogram of the blueberry mass.
- This mixture is heated, in parallel we also heat the banks.
- Spread blueberries in cans and begin to pasteurize them. Pollitrovki hold in boiling water for 20 minutes, litrovka - half an hour.
It is necessary to store candied blueberries in the same place as the soaked one — in the cellar or in the refrigerator. In such places, it will begin to deteriorate not earlier than in a year.
We store in the form of jam
Blueberry jam is very tasty and healthy. And it does not spoil for a very long time. Making jam is a snap:
- Carefully sort the berries, clean and wash them.
- Making sugar syrup: take a pound of sugar per liter of water.
- Put the fruit in syrup, put it on the stove and start making jam.
- The fire must be slow. Cook at least 3 hours (4 is better).
- Put the jam in the jars.
- Banks are sterilized by boiling (20-25 minutes).
Blueberry jam will be edible for two years.
Stored by drying
For drying it is better to use a special dryer. But the usual oven is quite suitable:
- We spread the berries on the pans (very thin layer), put them in the oven.
- Set the temperature from +40 to +50 degrees.
- We leave the oven door ajar.
- We regularly check the condition of the fruits and mix them if necessary.
- Dry at a temperature of about +50 degrees and a half to two hours. Then another hour at a temperature of +60 degrees.
Dried blueberries should be stored in sealed containers in the same cellars or refrigerators. Edible, it will not be one month.
Blueberries are very tasty and healthy. With the help of simple storage methods you can not part with a beautiful berry all year round.