Buying and Freezing Blueberries
When buying blueberries from your supermarket look for berries that are firm and plump. Berries should be relatively free of stems and leaves. Moisture causes berries to mold so fruit should be dry. The berries a uniform blue color. Reddish berries are not ripe but are acceptable for use in baking. Berries stored for too long will begin to look shriveled or wrinkled from dehydration. After purchasing your blueberries they should be stored covered in your refrigerator. Do not wash blueberries until just prior to use. If served fresh, blueberries should be used within 10 days of purchase.
Blueberries are sometimes thought of as a summertime treat. But remember that blueberries can be easily frozen and available for your enjoyment year round. Blueberries can be frozen right in the pint container they are normally packaged in. Just wrap the entire container plastic wrap being careful to cover all holes. Another easy method to freeze berries is to arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen, transfer the blueberries to a freezer container or ziplock bag. Frozen blueberries make great snacks. Do not wash the berries until just prior to using.
Blueberry Baking Basics
Blueberries may change color when cooked. The blue pigment in the berries may turn red in acids (lemon juice and vinegar). Blueberries also contain yellow pigments. In an alkaline environment, such as a batter with too much baking soda, the yellow and blue pigments will turn the blueberries greenish-blue. Using hard, frozen blueberries in batters will reduce the amount of color streaking.
For pancakes and waffles, add the blueberries as soon as the batter has been poured on the griddle or waffle iron. This will give the product a better appearance and make it easier to turn. If frozen blueberries are used, increase cooking time to make sure the berries are heated thoroughly.
Add frozen blueberries last to mixtures with other fruits. This way the blueberry juice will not color the other fruits.
Five Quick Uses for Blueberries
- Sprinkle over hot or cold cereal
- Use as a topping for ice cream
- Mix with cottage cheese
- Add to fruit salads
- Serve in a cantaloupe half topped with yogurt
Blueberry Nutrition News
Blueberries are the perfect choice for a fun, flavorful and healthy snack. Blueberries contain vitamins A & C, iron, potassium and magnesium. They are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, yet they are low in sodium and cholesterol free. One more piece of good news...blueberries only contain 42 calories per half-cup serving.
Convenient Food for Busy Lifestyles
Consumers want healthy foods that are quick and easy to prepare. Blueberries can't be beat! They simply need to be washed and enjoyed. No peeling, coring or cutting is required.