The blueberries are ready!
With just 80 calories per cup, blueberries offer many noteworthy nutritional benefits. Blueberries are low in fat and full of dietary fiber and phytonutrients. They are packed with vitamin C and an excellent source of manganese and anti-oxidants. For these reasons, blueberries are great for your heart and brain health and they help to reduce cancer risk. (taken from blueberrycouncil.org)
There is no time like the present to stock up on LOTS of fresh blueberries and preserve them so they last beyond their short season. Since I am a believer in buying local produce (and organic blueberries), we usually head to one of the local orchards and pick a case full of them as soon as they are ready. Since blueberries are still on the Dirty Dozen List this year, I find it is best to buy them from farmers who are committed to using more organic methods of pest control for their berries. Now, If you are anything like me you may be left wondering what to do with all these blueberries.
Well to start you may want to freeze 75% of them to preserve them. There are many techniques on how to freeze blueberries but the important thing to remember is to freeze them while they are dry so that they do not freeze in clumps. Although, if you are adding them to a smoothie the clumps wont really matter. I, however, simply freeze them as they were when I picked them and wash them off when I am ready to use them. Another preservation technique is to actually preserve them. While I have no experience with making preserves myself yet, I have included a recipe below. Behold my top blueberry recipes both tried n true and gathered from around the web.
What To Do With All These Blueberries
1. Make a Smoothie
You can always enjoy your blueberries in a smoothie, fresh or frozen. I prefer frozen blueberries so I dont have to add any ice. For a frozen blueberry smoothie add 1 cup of frozen blueberries to 1 cup of filtered water to start. To this you may be inclined to add cinnamon or nutmeg, agave, maple syrup or honey, your favorite nut butter, flax or chia seeds, or even other berries or fruits. Blend on high in your Vitamix, transfer to your Blender Bottle (unless you have the new Vitamix S30) and enjoy your smoothie. Bottoms up!
2. Make a Quick Blueberry Jam
mash blueberries a little with a potato masher, add about a tsp of water and a Tbsp of sugar and bring to a boil in a pot. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir enough so the blueberries dont stick to the pot. Once the consistency is nice and thick, remove from heat and allow it to cool. Transfer over to a jar and refrigerate. This quick jam is not a preserve and must be used with in two weeks time. Boiling fruit helps to bring out the natural pectins so added pectin is not needed.
3. Make Some Dutch Blueberry Pancakes >>>> http://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/590038
4. Create a Baked Oatmeal With Blueberries treat >>>>http://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/160670
5. Make Blueberry Crisp >>>> http://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/1448563
6. Put a creative spin on Blueberry Muffins >>>>http://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/170496
7. Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling (its for more than just pies) >>>> http://www.sbcanning.com/2014/04/blueberry-pie-filling.html
8. Bake a Blueberry Cake >>>>http://www.momspantrykitchen.com/blueberry-pudding-cake.html
Many of the above recipes are taken from my Plan To Eat account. If you have a Plan To Eat account, add me as a friend @MsFrassy
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So what do you think? Did I miss anything? What are some of your tried and true blueberry recipes?