Home canned blueberries, many people feel, taste better than frozen. They taste as if they were just picked.
They are great over yoghurt or ice cream; you can also use in pie fillings, or in baking.
These directions walk you through the tested procedure for blueberries from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for the highest quality and safety.
See also: Drying blueberries
Quantities of blueberries needed
Numbers are approximate guidelines.
On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need per jar:
- about 175 g (1/2 lb) of blueberries per 1/4 litre (1/2 US pint) jar of canned blueberries;
- about 375 g ( 3/4 lb) of blueberries per 1/2 litre (US pint) jar of canned blueberries;
- about 750 g (1 3/4 lbs) of blueberries per 1 litre (US quart) jar of canned blueberries.
On a larger scale:
- 5 1/2 kg kg (12 lb) of blueberries = 7 litres (US quarts) canned blueberries
- 3 1/2 kg (8 lbs ) of blueberries = 9 x 1/2 litres (US pints) canned blueberries
- 1 x 24 quart crate blueberries = 16 kg (36 lbs) = 18 to 24 litres (US quarts) canned blueberries
1 litre (US quart) whole, fresh blueberries = 750 g (1 1/2 lbs), whole fresh
4 litres (US quarts) fresh blueberries = 3 litres (US quarts), blanched for 30 seconds
1 litre (US quart) blanched blueberries = 1 kg (2 1/4 lbs) of blanched berries
Jar size choices: Quarter-litre (1/2 US pint) OR half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Headspace: 2 cm (1/2 inch)
Processing time: 15 minutes (all jar sizes)
A walk-through of the USDA directions for home-canning blueberries. You may can them with or without sugar.
Wash berries in batches of 1 or 2 litres (quarts) at a time.
Drain, and get any stems off.
Have a pan of water boiling.
Add the berries in small batches at a time so that the water will come back to the boil quickly.
Let the berries boil for 30 seconds, then fish out of pot immediately with slotted spoon or sieve.
Repeat until all berries are blanched.
Divvy berries out amongst jars, leaving 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
Divvy blanching juice out amongst jars, leaving 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
If short of canning liquid, top jars up with boiling water from a kettle.
Debubble, top up with more liquid as required to retain headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process jars in a water bath or steam canner for 15 minutes (all jar sizes); increase time as needed for your altitude.
[Optional] Per 1/4 litre (1/2 US pint) jar, 1/8th teaspoon liquid stevia. Per 1/2 litre (US pint), 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia. Per 1 litre (US quart) jar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia.
Start out with only a small amount of blanching water, just enough to cover the berries, because as you blanch the berries they will release juice and the amount of liquid will increase. That way, you end up with purer and less watered-down juice to use for packing the berries in.
The small 1/4 litre (1 cup / 1/2 US pint / 8 oz) jars are handy for baking; you may wish to can some of those at least unsweetened for maximum flexibility when you go to use them.
The USDA also gives pressure-canning and raw-pack alternatives for canning blueberries.
By the time, though, that you heat and vent a pressure canner, run it and then cool it down, it would take longer than simple steam canning.
Also note that for sugar-free canning of fruit, raw packs are not generally advised.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
For stevia, Better Stevia liquid stevia was the stevia used.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
Berries – Whole. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 2-10.
Serving size: 1/4 litre (1 cup / 8 oz / 250 ml)
Per 1/4 litre (1 cup / 8 oz / 250 ml): 143 calories, 2 mg sodium
Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: Per 1/4 litre (1 cup / 8 oz / 250 ml): 4 points (while fresh blueberries are 0 on Weight Watchers, processed ones may not be.)
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
Cooking with canning
Add a jar of canned blueberries to a jar of your home canned blueberry pie filling at time of usage, for a fruitier pie.