At this time of year, every supermarket, farmers market and produce store is full of blueberries. So how do you pick out the best berries, and make the most of them when you get home? We have five fresh tips for buying, storing and eating summer blueberries.
- Whether you’re at a farm stand or in the produce aisle, choose blueberries that are dry, and "silvery" looking. Avoid those blueberries that are wet, puckered, or dark blue. That means that the protective “bloom” has been rubbed off, and they won’t last as long when you get them home.
- To make sure that your blueberries last as long as possible (that is, if you’re not eating them all right away!), always store them in the refrigerator, never out on the counter. And don’t wash them until right before you’re going to eat them. Washing them will remove that silvery bloom and will quicken the decaying process.
- If you're freezing your blueberries so you can enjoy them throughout the year, all you need to do is take your unwashed berries and put them into an airtight container or freezer bag. Wash them when you take them out of the freezer and are ready to use them. As long as your blueberries are dry, they won’t stick together when you freeze them.
- For hot summer days, try filling an ice cube tray with lots of blueberries before adding water. These make a beautiful addition to summer drinks and cocktails for the whole family, and you can even add them to your pup’s water bowl!
- Make an easy, all-purpose blueberry sauce by cooking down a cup of blueberries with just a tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup over low heat. Keep it chunky to serve over pancakes, drizzle over ice cream, or stir into plain yoghurt. Puree it and reduce further to make a fresh “jam” to serve on toast or with baked goods. Or strain it to make a syrup to add to soda water for a healthy, natural soft drink.
For more ideas on how to use your summer blues, check out our Blueberry Basics page and video here.