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All About Blueberries

blueberry  

Blueberries are nature's convenience food, they need no peeling, hulling or pitting. Each blueberry is hand picked, quality sorted, graded and packaged with great care. Each variety grown is selected for its flavor and nutrition value.

Buying and Storing Tips

  • Ripe blueberries range in color from light blue through to a mauve blue/black and have a waxy, powdery grey protective coating like grapes call 'bloom'.
  • Store unwashed blueberries covered, in the refrigerator.

Briefly store blueberries, covered, in the refrigerator. Never wash berries until just before using. Washing removes the protective outer layer that helps preserve flavor and nutrients.

Seasonality

North American season, June—Oct. peak season July—August. Winter season (New Zealand fruit) December—April, peak season January.

Varieties

About 150 varieties are under production in the United States. Among the most important fresh varieties grown and shipped are Bluecrop, Duke, Nui, Toro, Spartan and a few new varieties because of their great taste and overall fruit quality.

Preparation Tips

Be gentle. To wash, place in a strainer and use a gently spray of cool water. Remove stems after washing so no water soaks into the berry itself. Allow the berries to dry on a paper towel or in a strainer before serving fresh or cooked. They can also be used to create jams and jellies, and they are irresistible in salads, parfaits, cobblers, or blueberry pie.

blueberries  

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups blueberries (mash 1/2 cup with a fork)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 12 regular muffin cups. including the area between each cup, or use foil baking cups.

In a medium-size bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix mashed berries into batter.

Fold in half the flour with a spatula, then half the milk. Add remaining flour and milk. Fold in remaining blueberries. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg sugar.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let muffins cool at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing.

 

After School Shake

Ingredients

  • 1 C fresh blueberries
  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Method

Blend in blender until smooth.

Yield 2 cups.

 

Blueberry Peach Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 large can or 1 qt jar canned peach halves
  • 2 C fresh blueberries

Method

Arrange peach halves (drained) on bottom of deep dish pie plate. Cover with the blueberries.

 

Topping:

  • 1 C flour
  • 1/2 C rolled oats (raw)
  • 1 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C melted butter

Method

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Use a fork to stir in butter to make a crumble. Sprinkle topping over filling and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.

 

Provided by Driscoll's

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

 
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Modified March 2007


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