What I love:

Freeze Dried Blueberries make my “top 5 favorite freeze dried fruit” list.  My kids love them, I love them.  They are fabulous. A few reasons:

  • At $1.72 per 6 oz pint, they are less expensive than fresh or frozen blueberries.  (I can occasionally get a fresh 6 oz pkg for $1.50, but not all year long!)

*Based on Winter 2012 pricing

  • They are easier to use in baking than frozen or canned blueberries
  • They turn your mouth blue when you eat them right out of the can my kids LOVE it, and it makes eating them so fun!

 Health Benefits:

Based off the top 10 health benefits of blueberries from Women’s Fitness

  • Promote the immune system and neutralize free radicals that affect aging (b/c they are full of more antioxidants than any other fruit!)
  • Promote urinary tract health
  • Help reduce belly fat!
  • Preserve vision
  • Keep your brain healthy by preventing and healing neurotic disorders
  • Dissolve “bad cholesterol”
  • Improve digestion
  • Reduce cancer risks
  • Work as an antidepressant

After reading that list, is there anyone who wouldn’t want to eat a good amount of this fabulous fruit?  Remember, the freeze dried version still has all the nutrient of fresh blueberries!

Tips:

  • 1/2 cup freeze dried = about 3/4 cup fresh (one 6 oz pkg).  I figure this out by counting the number of blueberries in each.
  • When baking, you do not need to hydrate them first, just add 1 T. water for every 1/4 – 1/3 cup dry blueberries.  Then, let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes before baking. I’ve found that using this method make the blueberries “leak” their blue color less than canned or frozen blueberries.  For example:
    • If a recipe called for 1 cup fresh blueberries, that is equivalent to about 2/3 cup dry blueberries.  So, I would add the 2/3 cup blueberries plus 2 T water, mix the batter and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before baking.  The blueberries will absorb the extra water and your muffins (or whatever) will bake up just fine!
  • If you prefer to hydrate them first, simply soak 1 cup blueberries in 1 c up water (or 1/2 cup in 1/2 cup) for 5-10 minutes and then drain.

Recipes:

Here are a few recipes to try your freeze dried blueberries in:

Blueberry Truffles
Upside Down Blueberry Cheesecake
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins