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Cooking with Dried Blueberries. Use this superfruit to create heart healthy blueberry recipes

Updated on July 12, 2011

Blueberries the Superfruit

Blueberries are some of the healthiest fruits that you can add to your diet. They are low in calories and contain almost no fat. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant content of all fresh fruit and most vegetables; twice as much as spinach and three times as much as oranges. The berries contain anthocyanin a compound that neutralize those nasty free radicals in your body that can cause diseases like cancer. They have also been shown to have a positive effect on your digestive system, brain functions, and heart. Recent studies have shown that blueberries may also have an effect on body fat, and help to reduce cholesterol levels.

Blueberries are available fresh during the summer month or in frozen and dried forms all year round. If you have wondered about dried blueberries look no further. This hub will tell you everything you need to know about these dried treats from the different ways they are prepared, to how you can dry your own at home. It also includes a few recipes using these dried blue gems.

Ways Blueberries are Dried

  1. Hot Air Dehydration-fresh or frozen blueberries are infused with a sugar solution and then dehydrated with hot air.
  2. Osmotically Dried Blueberries-blueberries are infused with a syrup that pushes out the moisture. This process produces a moist fruit.
  3. Freeze Dried-blueberries are quick frozen and dehydrated. This process allows the blueberries retain their shape.

If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of fresh blueberries and don't want to freeze them you can dry them yourself. The process is realtively easy if you have a food dehydrator. Simply mix your blueberries with the juice of one small lemon, then spread them in a single layer on the dehydrator tray. Dry for 8-10 hours then store the fruit in an airtight container.

If you don't have a dehydrator you can us the same method of sun drying that Native Americans have used for centuries. Lay the fruit on top of a screen or baking sheet in a well ventilated area for 4 to 7 days. The sun does the work for you and produces a chewy, flavorful nugget that is perfect to use in baked recipes. You can also dry the berries in the oven by baking them at 150 degrees for several hours.

Super Simple Ways To Enjoy Dried Blueberries

Several years ago my husband discovered dried cranberries and fell instantly in love with them. Recently I've introduced dried blueberries into his diet and his is thrilled. He loves the taste and the chewy texture of the fruit. For a quick snack that is perfect when he is on the go we mix the dried blueberries with peanuts, cheerios, sunflower seeds, and pretzel sticks. The crunchy sweet/savory combination is one of his favorites. On days when he craves an additional tart zing-we throw in some dried cranberries. It's easy, delicious, and oh so good for him.

Blueberry granola is also a quick and easy treat made with the dried gems. Simply combine the blueberries with rolled oats, almond slivers, brown sugar, honey, flax seed, and a little vegetable oil. Mix all of the ingredients together and spread onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes. Allow the granola to cool before putting it in a container for storage. This granola is absolutely fabulous to use in a healthy yogurt parfait, sprinkled over ice cream, or even on top of your favorite morning oatmeal or cereal. It's also great to use to coat banana slices.

The dried blueberries are also super substitutes for fresh berries in heavy mixes. Fresh blueberries have the tendency to break or bleed when stirred too vigorously-the dried seeds alleviate that problem. Use them in blueberry muffins, breads, scones, and even pancakes.

If you prefer the look of a fresh berry re-hydrating your dried ones is a snap. Simply place 1lb of the dehydrated fruit in 1 cup of water. The berries will act like a sponge and absorb the water creating "faux" fresh berries.

Yummy Wild Blueberries
Yummy Wild Blueberries

 I hope you find this hub helpful. I encourage you to start of the new year on the right foot and incorporate some dried blueberries into your daily diet.

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    • schoolmarm profile image

      schoolmarm 6 years ago from Florida

      I just love blueberries! I will have to try drying them out myself, sounds like a fun project. Thanks

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Love blueberries and found the idea of using dried blueberries as something I should add to the kitchen cabinet. Thanks for the information.

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks Gus

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 6 years ago from USA

      Hi miki - A fine article and very useful information, too. I like all sorts of fruits, especially the dried fruits. I got some dried blueberries not long ago because they taste great and you can keep them around a long time without having to refrigerate the things.

      Gus :-)~