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In this video and article, I work through dehydrating frozen wild blueberries. I show you the entire process, as well as the results.
Dehydrating Frozen Wild Blueberries
I started off with a 2lb 8-oz bag of Great Value Frozen Wild Blueberries. I hadn’t thawed them at all.
One reason I decided to dehydrate these blueberries is because I recently dehydrated a frozen cherry-berry blend. It’s really delicious. In fact, it’s one of the favorite things I’ve ever dehydrated. BUT the cherries took a really long time to dehydrate, and the blueberries dehydrated a lot faster. Even though I love the mix, I’m thinking it’s probably better to dehydrate the different fruits that are more or less the same size. Hopefully, it will go a little faster.
This is my first time dehydrating frozen WILD blueberries. I don’t think I’ve ever even purchased them before. I wasn’t really sure what the difference is between regular frozen blueberries, and frozen wild blueberries, but they look to be quite a bit smaller than other frozen blueberries I’ve purchased.
Put a Fruit Leather Tray on the Bottom of the Dehydrator
On the bottom, I put a fruit leather try to catch any juice that might drip down as the berries thaw. This will make clean up easier!
Note: In this article I’m using my Nesco dehydrator. Check out my Nesco Dehydrator Review for more information on this dehydrator.
Put Mesh Liners on the Dehydrator Trays
I typically put mesh liners on the dehydrator trays whenever I dehydrate fruit, because the fruit tends to stick less on the mesh liners compared to when I put the fruit directly on the dehydrator trays. Also, in this case, the berries are very small, and since they’ll shrink as they dehydrate, I knew that without the mesh trays, they’d fall right through.
I decided to use four dehydrator trays since this was a relatively small amount of blueberries to dehydrate.
Spread the Frozen Blueberries on the Dehydrator Tray
I started off by pouring the frozen wild blueberries on the dehydrator tray.
I spread them out, and tried not to overlap them very much, if at all. However, I decided right from the beginning that I was going to dehydrate the entire bag, even if they ended up overlapping a bit.
I Loaded the Top Dehydrator Tray with More Blueberries
I loaded the final tray a little heavier, because I needed to do so to fit all of the blueberries I had. The good news is, with that tray being on the top, I knew it would likely dry faster than the lower trays that are further away from the heat.
The Nutritional Aspects of Dehydrating
Lately I’ve been reading up on the nutritional aspects of dehydrating. Since dehydrating is something I want to do a lot more of, I want to learn more about it. The Nesco Dehydrator recommendations are to dehydrate fruits and vegetables at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. And because of that, that’s the temperature that I’ve used. However, from what I’ve read, dehydrating at a lower temperature helps to retain more nutrients.
Many suggest dehydrating at a temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, so I decided to dehydrate these frozen blueberries at 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
I put it on to run right before bed. Especially since I decided to dehydrate these at a lower temperature, and since they were frozen to start with, I doubted they would be dehydrated when I got up in the morning.
Frozen Blueberries after 10 Hours in the Dehydrator
The next morning (after about 10 hours in the dehydrator) you can see how much they had shriveled up. But they were still pretty soft, sticky, and quite moist.
Now remember that the top tray (which is what is pictured) was just LOADED with blueberries.
Frozen Blueberries after 17 Hours in the Dehydrator
I turned the dehydrator back on, and checked on them periodically. They were perfectly dry after about 17 or 18 hours.
So, it took a long time, even though they were small. No doubt the long drying time was due to them being completely frozen when I started and dehydrating them at the lower temperature.
When it comes to nutrient preservation, dehydrating is a good option, but often fruits and vegetables lose their vitamin C content if you dehydrate at too high of a temperature. So that’s why I plan to research this more and dehydrate at lower temperatures, even though it takes longer.
Dehydrating Wild Frozen Blueberries Vs. Regular Frozen Blueberries
Here are my thoughts on how the dehydrated wild blueberries compare with the dehydrated regular blueberries.
After dehydrating, the frozen wild blueberries are REALLY small.
In the image above, you can see the drastic size difference between the dehydrated wild blueberries and the regular dehydrated blueberries.
Another issue with these is that they REALLY stuck to the trays. This is common when dehydrating fruit, but these were more extreme, due to the small size. There are some places where they even stuck down into the holes in the mesh liners. So, it was a lot of work to dig them out.
In terms of yield, from 2.5 pounds of frozen wild blueberries, after dehydrating, I ended up with a little less than a pint of dehydrated blueberries.
Whether or Not I’ll Dehydrate Frozen Wild Blueberries Again
The frozen wild blueberries are so tiny after dehydrating, that at least for snacking, I do NOT plan to dehydrate them again. They are just too small. Having said that, they could work great for putting into pancakes and muffins. They are small enough that they may also work well in blueberry pancake and muffin mixes, since they won’t take as long to rehydrate as the regular size blueberries.
I will obviously use these, because I don’t like to waste things, but if I were to dehydrate just one type of blueberry, it would definitely be the regular size ones.
Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above.