In addition to their sweet, delectable flavor and visual appeal, blueberries are jam-packed with good nutrition. They're a convenient little berry-at home in pies and pancakes, salads, smoothies and sauces. Or, simply wash and eat with no peeling, pitting or slicing needed!
How to buy blueberries
Fresh blueberries are most plentiful during the summer months, but you will find them in the market all year round, along with frozen, canned and dried blueberries. When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen. Size doesn't matter, but color does, reddish berries aren't ripe, but can be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit, or any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.
How to store blueberries
Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase.
How to freeze blueberries
The secret to successful freezing is to use berries that are unwashed and completely dry. Discard berries that look bruised or shriveled. Place the berries, still in their original plastic pack, in a resealable plastic bag. Or, transfer berries to freezer containers or resealable freezer bags. The berries will freeze individually and you can
remove just the portion you need. Remember to rinse them before using.
Blueberry serving suggestions
- Add blueberries to your favorite muffin recipe try 1 cup for each batch of 12 muffins. Gently stir in the blueberries at the end (unthawed, if frozen).
- Dot pancake batter with blueberries as soon as batter has been poured on the griddle.
- Make a breakfast parfait by layering blueberries with flavored yogurt and granola cereal in a tall glass.
- Sprinkle blueberries and chopped walnuts over dressed mixed greens.
- Serve blueberries with sour cream or yogurt or with a scoop of cottage cheese.
Blueberry nutritional facts
- Only 80 fat-free calories per cup, blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.
- Blueberries rank high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related
- Researchers have found compounds in blueberries that help prevent urinary tract infection.
- Just one-half cup of blueberries helps meet the recommended 5 to 9 servings a day of colorful fruits and veggies.
For more tips and recipes visit the
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council