With summertime around the corner, what better way is there to stay refreshed than with blueberries? If you want to enjoy them in dishes all year long, canning blueberries is a great way to do just that.
To start canning blueberries, all you need are some basic supplies and equipment. First, prepare fresh berries, canning liquid, and a canner. You can then use a water bath canner or a pressure canner to can your blueberries!
Blueberries are a summer fruit, so canning them during their seasonal peak of flavor will deliver the best results. Here are a few tips to help you pick and buy fresh blueberries.
Tip #1: It is best to use ripe berries to get the best flavors. Ripe blueberries are plump and have a deep blue color. Blueberries that are tart and underripe will still be quite firm. So, always make sure that you use only the best blueberries for canning.
Tip #3: Make sure that the blueberries you buy are not smushed.
Tip #4: Ripe blueberries will roll right off the plant as soon as you try to pick them. If you feel some resistance when you try to pluck any blueberries, it is probably still underripe.
We use 8 pounds of blueberries to get 9 pints of canned blueberries in our recipe. However, feel free to use as many blueberries as you need.
When you have your blueberries, sort through them to remove any stems, mushed blueberries, or any other unwanted elements from them. Next, empty the blueberries in a colander and give them a thorough rinse, gently agitating them with your hand. You can even soak the blueberries in water to clean them; however, be warned ripe blueberries may become mushy when soaked.
Like any other canning recipe, you require a canning liquid for canning blueberries. You can either use plain water or syrup. If you are using canned blueberries to make pies, cobblers, or jams, a syrup will give you that extra hit of sweetness. However, plain water is an excellent choice if you use canned blueberries in pancakes, waffles, or any sugar-free dishes.
To use water as the canning liquid, set some filtered water on the stove to come up to a boil. You can even use a kettle to heat your water. Whether using the hot pack or cold pack method, you need to use a hot canning liquid. So, make sure that the water is hot when you are ready to can.
Another way to add a little sweetness to your blueberries is to use syrup for canning. You can use a light to medium syrup for the canning liquid. For a light syrup, combine 5¾ cups water with 1½ cups of sugar and let it come up to a boil on the stove. For a medium syrup, you will need to combine 5¼ cups of water with 2¼ cups of sugar. If the syrup has cooled by the time you start canning, reheat it before using it.
You are free to use pint-sized or quart-sized jars for canning. However, make sure that they can withstand the canning process. For our recipe, we will use nine pint-sized jars.
Prepare the jars and jar rings by washing them with hot, soapy water. Once cleaned, keep the jars in the oven or dishwasher to warm until ready for use. Additionally, soak the canning lids in hot water until ready for use.
In a hot pack, the blueberries are processed before canning. Hot packs yield better results because the blueberries do not shrink after canning, and they retain their color better.
For the hot pack method, bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Once the water starts boiling, add in your blueberries while still letting your water boil. Once the water has reached a roaring boil, set a timer for 30 seconds. You should notice the blueberries get plump in the water. Once the time is up, drain the blueberries and add them to your canning jars for canning.
The cold pack method is a faster and more convenient way to can blueberries. In this method, you add the fresh berries directly to the canning jars without processing them in any way. However, you will notice that the blueberries float to the top after canning. After a few months, you will also see a noticeable change in their color.
Blueberries are acidic, so you can safely use a water bath canner. We will use a large stockpot as our water bath canner.
|Jar Size||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 0-1000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 1001-3000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 3001-6000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 6000+ ft|
|Pints or Quarts (Hot Pack)||15 min||20 min||20 min||25 min|
|Pints (Cold Pack)||15 min||20 min||20 min||25 min|
|Quarts (Cold Pack)||20 min||25 min||30 min||35 min|
|Jar Size||Process Time||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 0-2000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 2001-4000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 4001-6000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 6001-8000 ft|
|Pints or Quarts (Hot Pack)||8 min||6 min||7 min||8 min||9 min|
|Pints (Cold Pack)||8 min||6 min||7 min||8 min||9 min|
|Quarts (Cold Pack)||10 min||6 min||7 min||8 min||9 min|
|Jar Size||Process Time||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 0-1000 ft||Canner Pressure (PSI) at 0-1000 ft|
|Pints or Quarts (Hot Pack)||8 min||5 min||10 min|
|Pints (Cold Pack)||8 min||5 min||10 min|
|Quarts (Cold Pack)||10 min||5 min||10 min|
Your pressure canned blueberries are now ready to be labeled and dated before moving them into the pantry!
You can use canned blueberries in all the dishes where you would otherwise use fresh blueberries. Recipes that require cooked blueberries are an excellent way to use canned blueberries. Canned blueberries taste delicious in pies, cobblers, muffins, bread, jam, and so much more! Honestly, let your imagination run wild and use the blueberries to your heart’s content!
Properly canned and stored blueberries will last 12-18 months without any problems. Once opened, store the jar in the refrigerator and use it within seven days. You should inspect the canned blueberries every few months to check their quality. If you find any broken seals or spoilage, discard them immediately.
Blueberries can be canned without sugar using hot water! If you are looking for an alternative to sugar, you can even use honey as a sweetener. However, too much honey will overpower the taste of the blueberries.
Blueberries are an excellent fruit rich in nutrients and vitamins, and canning blueberries allows you to enjoy them all year long! So the next time you pick up blueberries, do not forget to pick up an extra batch to can. If you want to learn even more canning tips and tricks, check out our ultimate canning guide!
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