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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 11:10 am 
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It's probably the skin. I put some that I picked in the dehydrator for 18 hours and still they are as plump and moist as ever.

The dehydrator works fine..just finished doing a bunch of veggies and meat.

I can buy them in the grocery store..how do they do it?


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 11:53 am 
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I have never tried it but I think you may have to cut the skin in a least one place.

Bill

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 12:08 pm 
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Blueberry plants are adapted to dry land, rocky and sandy soils - the berries probably resist drying, so that they'll be eaten and dispersed by wildlife even if there are droughts during midsummer.

I've picked blueberries growing in rocky outcrops during dry summers, they were still juicy enough to be edible... there couldn't have been much water in the rocks where these plants were growing.

Trying to dry out a cactus in a dehydrator might produce the same results.

:wink:

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 12:17 pm 
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I buy frozen ,wild blueberries to dehydrate for pancakes,etc. I have never had a problem with dehydrating them. Overnite usually does it.


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 12:23 pm 
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Can't figure that one out. I used to be in the produce business and I know for a fact that blueberries will shrivel up and dry out without a dehydrator. They even do so in refrigeration, which is very drying (contrary to the beliefs of many folks).

When we pick our bushes in the summer we try to get them before the birds want them so they are a little on the unripe side. They ripen fine on the counter, but if we forget a batch for a few days they start to get quite shriveled all at once and then dry up fast.

Maybe you can try just leaving them spread out on the counter for a few days and put them in the dehydrator once they start to shrivel. Just some thoughts, I've never dried them on purpose.

Another thought just came to me. I've always noticed that the berries that the birds peck at but leave on the bush dry out while they are still on the bush, usually by the next day. Maybe there is some thing about breaking the skin, which would explain why Esther's method works for her since freezing will rupture the skin.

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 1:05 pm 
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Hillbilly wrote:
I have never tried it but I think you may have to cut the skin in a least one place.

Bill


I suspect HB has the answer... I'd suggest pin pricks ... one or two.

Blueberries in dry weather "raisinize" from within... suspect the sheath
is a vapour barrier.

Let us know?

Regards

Sundown


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 1:05 pm 
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I believe they need to be frozen first as it will crack the skin.

I think your blueberries have 'case hardened' - the outer layer dries up and forms a seal, preventing (or at least, slowing greatly), the migration of moisture...

Thanks

Brian


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 1:45 pm 
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either frozen or a quick steam blanch seems to always work for me - I dry my blueberries on the lowest setting too - case hardening can happen sometimes and a lower temp can help with that


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 2:20 pm 
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Pricking is out of the question; they are wild gathered in my neigbors field. There must be a couple thousand per quart.

BTW the supermarket wild blueberries are not the same strain. They are actually a derivative of a wild blueberry but are cultivated. I dont know more than that which was passed along by a Washington County cousin who picks.

I put them in frozen and the 18 hours was at 105 F.

Guess I'll just get some at the store.

Gotta get back to packing and shovelling; not much time left to dehydrate


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 4:55 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:

I put some that I picked in the dehydrator for 18 hours

Pricking is out of the question; they are wild gathered in my neigbors field. There must be a couple thousand per quart.

I put them in frozen and the 18 hours was at 105 F.


Missed the word "picked" when I first read it, so they were obviously frozen first (unless you have some real everbearing strain). Yeah, the thought of pin pricking thousands of tiny blues by hand is a pretty funny image.

All I can say is that you've got some pretty tough-skinned berries on your hands. Maybe even weapons grade. :lol: Let us know how the store variety pans out.

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 8:30 pm 
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BK you just ferret around in the veggie section..there are all kinds of dried fruit in the produce section at Hannafords.

They are dried Maine Blueberries but I wonder about the "wild" since they are about the size of a currant. Mine if they would behave would be the size of a poppy seed.


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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 8:32 pm 
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Add your blueberries to a pot of freshly boiled water and let stand for several minutes until the skins all break, but don't boil them or they go mushy. Then dehydrate them.
Do the same with cranberries if you are planning to dry them..

The process is called "checking" ... a more moderate version of blanching.

The ones you buy in the store have been checked with hot water to break the skin and then treated with either a sugar solution or corn syrup (high fructose corn syrup is the sweetest ) and works well before drying.

If you dry bluberries or cranberries without adding a sweetener they will dry to a crispy fragile material .. which is OK if that is what you want but for eating directly you may want to experiment with a sweetener. The crispy ones can be rehydrated and are good for adding to bannock or bread.


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