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10 Ways to Preserve Fresh Blueberries: + Blueberry Mojito Recipe)

10 Ways to Preserve Fresh Blueberries: + Blueberry Mojito Recipe)
Home » Preserving Food » 10 Ways to Preserve Fresh Blueberries: + Blueberry Mojito Recipe)

If you got a great harvest this year and want to know how to preserve blueberries before they go bad, worry not. There are so many ways to preserve these summer delicacies! Let’s have a look at 10 of the tried and true recipes we have tested on our farm.

Award-winning blueberry lavender merlot jam from HeathGlen
Award-winning blueberry lavender merlot jam from HeathGlen

Jump to: RECIPE for Blueberry Mojito | Blueberry Jam | Blueberry Rumtopf | Canned Blueberries | FrozenBlueberries | Dehydrated Blueberries | Blueberry Hot Sauce | Blueberry Drink Syrup | FreezeDried Blueberries | Blueberry Ice Cream | Frozen Blueberry Muffins | Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Blueberry Jam

Jams and jellies are king when it comes to preserving fruits, and this especially applies to blueberries. A nice homemade blueberry jam – with some added vanilla, lemon, cinnamon, or your other favorite flavorings – can be downright addictive! At our farm (Heathglen), we especially love blueberry lavender jam and blueberry pomegranate jelly.

Depending on how it’s prepared and stored, blueberry jam can last for months to a year. Spread it on toast, a warm croissant or Dutch poffertjes, stir it into your morning yogurt or even spoon it over ice cream for a delicious fruity kick.

If you want a shelf stable jam this is a basic jam method using powdered pectin. If you want to use less sugar you can make freezer jam or follow this basic jam method:

  • Use 2/3 cup of sugar for each cup of blueberries.
  • Combine in a saucepan along with your favorite flavorings.
  • Cook over medium heat until thickened. This can take a while if you aren’t using pectin, so be patient or your jam will come out runny!
  • Spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal with a clean new lid/band. Opt for water bath canning to be able to store your blueberry jam unopened for over a year.

2. Blueberry Rumtopf

Here’s an old fashioned way to preserve blueberries and other fruits that you may not have heard of! Rumtopf is a European (mostly German) dessert that combines summer fruits with rum and sugar as they come into season, adding them layer by layer.

As the summer progresses and each fruit comes into season, it’s added to the pot, and the contents just continue to blend fruit flavors into a boozy delight to be enjoyed in the Winter.

Once each seasonal fruit is added and topped with sugar and rum, the pot is closed up and stored in a cool dry place. It is traditionally sampled for the first time in December on the first evening of Advent, but you can certainly sample it ahead of time….just to be sure.

It’s traditionally made in a rum pot but a glass container with a lid can also work. If you want the details, check out this step-by-step method of making rumtopf.

Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with 151 rum in covered bowl for rumtopf.

Blueberries happen to be the perfect addition to rumtopf. The alcohol and added sugar ensure the berries and other fruits keep for up to a year! You can also add strawberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, cherries, and much more.

Once your rumtopf is done, you can use it as a topping for rumtopf waffles, pancakes or ice cream. Delicious, and sure to be a hit during the winter holidays.

3. Canning Blueberries

I mentioned canning earlier, which is a great option if you’ve made a batch of blueberry jam and want it to last longer. However, there’s no need to make jam if you don’t want to: blueberries can also be canned whole.

Jars of canned fruits and vegetables stacked on top of each other.
Fruits and vegetables canned in light syrup

Canned blueberries in light syrup taste fantastic in baked goods like muffins and pancakes, or even just spooned directly into some yogurt. Depending on the canning method, an unopened jar can last for 12+ months!

I particularly like hot packing my berries and then using the water bath method to make them last extra long.

Here’s how to preserve blueberries by canning them in light syrup:

  • Thoroughly clean your jars and lids.
  • Remove any blueberry stems and berries that look mushy or moldy.
  • Prepare your syrup by combining 1/4 cup of sugar for every 1 cup of water and bringing to a boil.
  • Add the blueberries and boil for one minute.
  • Pack syrup and blueberries into the jars. Leave 1/2″ of space at the top.
  • Remove any air bubbles, like with a special bubble popper.
  • Process in a hot water bath or pressure canner. This is what seals the jars and ensures the blueberries stay edible for months to come.

4. Frozen Blueberries

Looking for a quick and easy solution to stop your blueberry harvest from going bad? Luckily, fresh blueberries freeze wonderfully, allowing you to store them until you’re ready to use them in your favorite recipes (up to 12 months).

The trick to freezing blueberries, and most other fresh produce really, is to freeze them on a baking tray before placing them into bags. This helps to prevent them from turning into a solid frozen clump.

Frozen blueberries in plastic bags in freezer.
Frozen blueberries after consolidating into plastic bags for storing

5. Dehydrated Blueberries

If you have a dehydrator, don’t miss out on the opportunity to dehydrate part of your blueberry harvest. You can dehydrate both frozen and fresh berries to open up a whole new range of snacking options. It can even be done in the oven, although a dehydrator is much easier and more energy efficient. I love my Nesco Gardenmaster dehydrator!

GardenMaster dehydrator by Nesco with several tiers.

Mix the dried berries into muesli, add some nuts and seeds to create your own instant salad enrichment mix, or rehydrate later for use in pancakes, muffins and other recipes.

The trick to dehydrating blueberries is that their skins need to be broken beforehand in order to allow moisture to escape properly. This is called “checking”, and it’s easy as pie: just use frozen berries or blanch them for 30 seconds.

Alternatively, you could even just halve all the berries, though this can be time-consuming if you have a lot.

Here’s how you dehydrate blueberries:

  • If you’re not using halved or frozen berries, bring some water to a boil and dunk them for 30 seconds to blanch.
  • Immediately transfer the blueberries to some ice water.
  • Place the berries on the dehydrator trays, making sure not to overcrowd them.
  • Set your dehydrator to 135 °F or the low-medium setting.
  • Check on the berries after 8 hours. How quickly they dry depends on many factors, but it can take up to 18 hours. You’ll want to keep an eye on them to prevent them from turning rock-hard.
  • The berries are dry when they have a leathery feel to them.
  • Store in an airtight glass jar, checking continuously for signs of moisture during the first week.
  • If you haven’t spotted any signs of moisture after around 7 days, your berries are good to store for up to 12 months.

6. Chipotle Blueberry Hot Sauce

When it comes to cooking and preserving food, thinking out of the box is key. In this case, that means not just thinking of your blueberry harvest as an ingredient for desserts and other sweet preparations. They’re also perfect as an accompaniment to a whole range of savory dishes!

We’ve already turned blueberries into blueberry bourbon BBQ sauce here on the blog, but did you know that they’re also the perfect ingredient for homemade hot sauce? The sweetness of these berries goes amazingly well with flaming hot chili peppers. And because they contain salt and vinegar, most hot sauces last for weeks to months.

There are as many hot sauce recipes as there are types of peppers, but I particularly like pairing blueberries with chipotles (smoked ripe jalapeños). Add some sugar, white vinegar, and onion, and just boil together before blending and transferring to a bottle or jar.

Bottle of hot sauce infused with blueberries.
Blueberry chipotle hot sauce

7. Blueberry Drink Syrup

Whether you’re a cocktail lover or just like to spruce up some sparkling water to help you stay hydrated, give turning excess blueberries into syrup a try. It’s hard to find a good blueberry drink syrup in the stores.

When you make your own, it’s much, much tastier and you can customize it to the flavors you like. In addition to cocktails, blueberry drink syrups make excellent Italian sodas!

Blueberry Italian soda in a glass with a pink straw.
Blueberry Italian soda

I’ve tried it with pomegranate juice, with lavender, and with pink peppercorns. All of these flavors were huge hits.

These homemade drink syrups can be made as a simple syrup (berries + sugar water + infused herbs or spices), or you can add vinegar and make them into what is known as a shrub syrup (aka drinking vinegar). If you want more details on making your own homemade shrub syrups follow this step-by-step on making shrub syrups.

To find out how to preserve blueberries by making your own easy blueberry simple syrup or shrub syrup, as well as what to do with them, head over to the full post about making blueberry drink syrups.

Tip: If you want to go the easy route, just infuse blueberries right into the vodka, let it sit and then add to lemonade for a great porch cocktail.

8. Freeze-Dried Blueberries

I love the texture and flavor of freeze-dried berries. You can’t beat that sweet crunch in a nice muesli mixed with yogurt! They also make for perfect light and nutritious hiking or emergency snacks, lasting for years when stored properly.

And did you know that you can even grind freeze-dried berries into a powder? Great to add some extra flavor to a morning smoothie, or even to make colorful, fruity sugar for cocktail glass rims (like the blueberry mojito discussed below).

Blueberry powder  on a white spoon with a few blueberries and a glass jar in the background.
Blueberry powder made from freeze-dried blueberries

There are multiple ways to freeze dry blueberries, but the easiest method is to use a freeze-dryer machine. And yep, they’re are pretty darn expensive – the most popular commercial option for home use is the Harvest Right, which goes for over $2,500. It’s an investment, but it can be worth it for folks who want to preserve a lot of produce.

Here’s how you freeze dry blueberries:

  • Wash the blueberries, pat them dry and remove any soft or moldy ones.
  • Pierce the blueberry skins. As with the dehydration method, this helps with proper drying, so stab each berry with a skewer.
  • Pre-freeze the blueberries for at least a few hours in order to save time later.
  • Place the berries on the freeze-dryer trays.
  • Place the trays in the dryer and select the appropriate settings. The process can take 15 or more hours, but the result is more than worth it!

9. Blueberry Ice Cream

Out of all the options on this list, blueberry ice cream is by far the prettiest. How good does a perfect cone with a scoop of bright purple blueberry ice cream look?! And the best thing is that it lasts for weeks or even months, making ice cream a great way to preserve excess blueberries.

3 scoops of blueberry ice cream in a white bowl garnished with mint leaves.
Blueberry ice cream

Although there are various recipes out there for no-churn ice cream, if you’re a gelato aficionado, you’re best off just getting an ice cream maker. It makes the whole thing so easy, and you can even use your machine for things like frozen yogurt and sorbets.

Blueberry ice cream is made with 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. Heavy cream, milk and possibly half and half are added (and don’t forget your favorite flavorings, like vanilla!). A pinch of salt rounds out all the flavors.

10. Frozen Blueberry Muffins

One of my personal favorite ways to use blueberries is in baked goods. And out of all the various things you can make with them, blueberry muffins might just be the winner. Perfect for breakfast or as a yummy, portable snack.

Obviously, turning your blueberries into muffins doesn’t extend their shelf life all too much. Unless… you freeze them! Yep, muffins in general are great candidates for freezing, and blueberry ones are no exception.

As with the method for freezing fresh blueberries, it’s important to freeze the muffins separately before transferring them to a freezer bag. This prevents them from sticking together.

To enjoy a blueberry muffin that tastes like it was baked this morning, just thaw it overnight and then pop it into the oven or air fryer until warm. Serve with your favorite coffee or smoothie and you’ve got yourself a perfect breakfast.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do blueberries last?

It depends on when and how they were harvested, but in general blueberries last around 2-3 days on the kitchen counter, around 10 days in the fridge if properly stored, and up to 12 months in the freezer. Some of the other preservation methods discussed here allow you to store your harvest for even longer.

Does preserving blueberries affect their nutritional profile?

Luckily, many methods don’t! For example, did you know that blueberries that were frozen immediately have a better nutrient profile than fresh ones that have been sitting for a while? The same goes for freeze-dried. Dehydrated berries lose some of their nutrients, but are still beneficial.

11. Bonus: Blueberry Mojito Recipe

While not a preserve, this refreshing blueberry mojito can be made with blueberry syrup or frozen blueberries if you are making it out of season.

Sip on this fresh cocktail when making your blueberry preserve of choice and all is good.

Tools and ingredients for making a blueberry mojito, including a muddler.
Tools and ingredients for making a blueberry mojito

Illustrated Step-by-Step for Blueberry Mojito:

Step#1: layer the blueberries, lime slices, and mint leaves in a glass and use a muddler to mash the ingredients together

Limes, blueberries  and mint leaves in a highball glass with a muddler on the  side.
Layered fruit for muddling a mojito

Step #2: Add the simple syrup and the rum to the glass of muddled fruit and stir until combined.

Glass of mojito ingredients (blueberries, limes and mint) that have been thoroughly muddled in a highball  glass.
Muddled ingredients for blueberry mojito

Step #3: Add ice to the glass and top off with sparkling water

Blueberry mojito drink in a glass garnished with blueberries and mint leaves with blue dotted background.
Blueberry Mojito

Blueberry Mojito Cocktail

Blueberry mojito drink in a glass garnished with blueberries and mint leaves with blue dotted background.
Blueberries, lime slices, mint leaves and rum come together for a refreshing blueberry mojito.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 197


  • Muddler
  • Glassware
  • Knife


  • ½ Cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ lime
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 3 Tablesoons simple syrup see notes for making your own simple syrup
  • 2 Ounces rum
  • ¼ Cup sparkling water


  • Place blueberries, lime slices and mint leaves in a cocktail glass and use a “Muddler” to mash everything together. Muddle enough that the lime juice is released from the limes and the oils are released from the mint leaves and the blueberries are mashed but still retain a pulpy texture.
    1/2 Cup fresh blueberries, 1/2 lime, 8 mint leaves
  • Add simple syrup and rum to the muddled mixture and stir together. Add ice to glass and top it off with sparkling water.
    3 Tablesoons simple syrup, 2 Ounces rum, 1/4 Cup sparkling water


  • Pour 1/2 C (120g) sugar and 1/2 C (116g) water into small saucepan and heat up, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar is dissolved, just a few minutes. If you want to increase the mint flavor of the mojito, add some mint sprigs to the pot after the sugar is dissolved and cover to steep for 10 minutes. Strain into a lidded container for storage in the refrigerator until ready to use.
**NOTE: If you do not care for the pulp of the blueberries/lime/mint leaves in the glass after it is muddled, you can strain it before adding the rum, the ice and the soda.


Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 397IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg
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