Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and more!
Blueberries are high in antioxidants. Enjoy 1 cup of blueberries and you've got your recommended daily amount of:
Vitamin C 24%
Vitamin K 36%
Blueberries are low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Oh, and blueberries are delicious.
Easy to use!
Blueberries picked dry and kept cool will usually last 10 days or more. If they are wet, use or freeze within 24 hours.
You generally do not need to wash berries you pick. If you are going to wash them, wait until right before you use them.
Preparation is easy: Just look for any little stems that you want to pick off. Then:
plop a handful in your mouth
stir into to fruit salads
add to cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal at breakfast
make toppings for ice cream, pancakes, and waffles
preserve as blueberry jam
To freeze, just put them in a bag. (Do not wash them first.) If they'll be in the freezer for a while, consider using a specific freezer bag to better protect against freezer burn.
Frozen blueberries are perfect for fruit smoothies and can be used in cooking.
Use blueberries as the main ingredient for nutrition-packed smoothies. For a basic smoothie, simply blend together:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana
1 cup liquid: yogurt or fruit juice (apple, grape, anything) or milk or soy milk or whatever you like
If you have a strong blender, you can put the berries and banana directly from the freezer into the blender with the liquid.
Otherwise, you can let them thaw a bit first. (In a hurry, you can even microwave them just a tad.)
Bananas can be frozen as well. Let them get fairly ripe first. Then peel them, wrap each one in wax paper, and put them a freezer bag.
Experiment with variations on your recipe. You can spruce up the taste or nutritional value of your smoothie by adding things like:
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup almonds or walnuts
1 tablespoon flax seed
strawberries, raspberries, or other berries
Fun to pick!
Most blueberry bushes are a few feet high, making them very easy to pick (for example, compared to strawberries that are low to the ground).
Blueberries are usually in small clusters, and a few ripen at a time, like this:
Sometimes you'll find large clusters:
You'll want to pick only the ripe berries that are all blue, and leave the green and pink ones to ripen for your next visit.
Blueberries from The Berry Patch
Our blueberries are usually ripe from early July through mid August
You can pick your own (PYO) or buy them picked for you
We harvest 12 acres of blueberries at the Berry Patch
See Farm hours and markets (Des Moines, Ames, Nevada, Johnston)
More information and references:
Blueberry Basics, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service includes helpful hints for cooking with frozen blueberries
(All blueberry photos on this page are actual berries from The Berry Patch! Smoothie photo used with permission from Meal Makeover Moms.)