Jul 6, 2023
Blueberries are awesome, especially when they’re in season – which happens to be now! We bought boxes of them really cheap. Since we’re going camping, we went ahead and freeze-dried them for snacking on the trip.
For freeze drying, you will need:
Once you have got them ready, it’s time to start the freeze-drying process.
We washed the berries thoroughly under running water, then let them dry. They’re not totally dry in our video, though. It’s best to have them totally dry to avoid unnecessary crystallization during the process.
Another important thing to consider when you’re freeze-drying blueberries is the skin. Anything that has a thick outer membrane will take longer to freeze dry. So the fastest way to freeze dry the blueberries is to cut them in half or at least pierce the skin.
This is easy when you’re doing large fruits like kiwis and bananas. But if you’re going to cut blueberries, especially the large box that we had? It’s already the Second Coming, and you’ll still be nowhere finished.
Some suggest you pulse the berries in a blender or food processor just to break the skin. Still, that won’t give you consistent results, and you’ll end up with smaller-sized berries with big ones.
Others say you could use a new, unused doggie brush and pierce the berries with the bristles. The self-cleaning ones make the job easier since you don’t have to frequently stop to clean as you go.
Yeah, it can be an iffy idea, so others use a meat tenderizer instead. Not the heavy metal ones that have blunt edges. There are ones with sharp spikes that you can use. Unfortunately, they’re not as fine as the brush, so you might end up with mashed berries while you’re getting the hang of it.
Pre-freezing can help shorten the freeze-drying time. It’s especially useful during the summer or times when the temperatures are hot.
Some (like us) don’t pre-freeze their blueberries before the process, and it’s okay. Maybe you’re in a hurry or need to do something else. Because when you pre-freeze blueberries or any food, you need to keep the freezer closed and undisturbed for at least 24 hours or until the food is frozen. If you have a family with kids, keeping them from opening the freezer door will be a challenge.
Why do you need to keep the freezer door closed? Because opening and closing interrupt the freezing cycle, causing undesirable crystals to form in the food. These crystals interfere with the consistency of the food, especially when you’re freeze-drying ones with high water content.
If you’re going to pre-freeze, use the tray you’ll be using in the freeze dryer. This way, the berries, and the tray are at freezing temperature and ready for the freeze dryer.
But it’s okay if you don’t have the time or the capacity to pre-freeze your blueberries. Just load them in the freeze dryer and let it do the work for you.
Once you’ve got your blueberries ready, it’s time to start freeze drying!
The berries should have some crystallization (because of the high sugar content) and be crunchy. When
you press them, they pulverize on pressure. So when you eat it, it should have that light, airy texture with a satisfying ASMR crunch.
They’re really good and sweet. Kind of like eating crunchy candy that’s airy at first and then explodes with flavor once it gets rehydrated in your mouth. It’s no wonder why kids love them. A tray of blueberries wasn’t enough for them, even if they had some other fruits during the camping trip.
Freeze-drying blueberries can be a long process because of the skin. So either you freeze-dry a big batch to make the most out of it. Or do like we did and freeze dry other fruits for an economical freeze drying. Just remember to take out the other fruit trays as they don’t need the same number of hours for freeze drying.
There are different ways to use the berries.
For a satisfying breakfast, you can add them to cereals, pancakes, or waffles.
Others make colorful and tasty frosting by grinding the freeze-dried blueberries into powder. You can also add them whole to your cupcake or bread batter. Just remember to add in additional water because they’ll suck in liquid.
And since the season’s kind of hot, why not make a refreshing drink out of it? Grind them into a fine powder and make your own blueberry mix drink.
Got some questions on how to freeze dry blueberries? Let us know in the comment section!
Also, don’t forget to follow us on YouTube for more freeze-drying tips and videos!