Bursting with tangy sweet flavor, blueberries are at their peak during July—just in time for National Blueberry Month, making it the perfect time to enjoy these nutritious gems.
Not only are blueberries bursting with flavor, they are bursting with health benefits too. Blueberries have less than 100 calories per cup, are fat free, sodium free and provide a good source of dietary fiber. Plus, they contain antioxidants –natural compounds that may help prevent a number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.
Selection & Storage
Look for berries that are plump, dry, have a dusty blue color and are uniform in size. Blueberries should be stored in the fridge, unwashed, and used within 10-14 days.
Not sure you’ll use your berries right away? No problem! Choose frozen berries or freeze them yourself. Just wash and blot them dry with paper towels, then place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Freeze the blueberries until they’re hard, then remove from the freezer, place in freezer-proof, re-sealable plastic bags, and return to the freezer. Use within nine (9) months. To thaw, place the filled bag in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.
For that perfect taste of summer, nothing beats a bowl of fresh, ripe blueberries. They add flavor and are a healthy addition to pancakes, waffles, muffins, fruit salads, smoothies. They can also be used to top low-fat ice cream or yogurt. But don’t stop there! Blueberries work great in sauces for meats and marinades, adding a hint of sweetness to savory dishes.
- Stir gently when adding blueberries to baked goods to avoid breaking the skins and expelling the juice.
- Add frozen blueberries to batters at the last minute without defrosting to keep them from “bleeding” into the batter.
- Drain and pat canned blueberries dry with paper towels before adding to batters.
- Recipes that include baking soda can turn blueberries an unappetizing greenish-brown color. Baking soda is usually in the recipe to counteract acid ingredients like buttermilk or yogurt. To prevent the color change, substitute an equivalent amount of milk for buttermilk or yogurt and one (1) teaspoon of baking powder for every 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
Manager of Health and Wellness
Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Video Center: Selection, Storage, and Preparation of Fruits & Vegetables.