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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Seasonal Snippet:  All about Blueberries & How to Freeze ’em for Another Season
Photo: Liz Rueven

Seasonal Snippet: All about Blueberries & How to Freeze ’em for Another Season

Katy Morris

Blueberries are one the most prized gems of summertime, and they have their own little crowns to prove it. Don’t let their humble size fool you – they are loaded with powerful antioxidants and sweet juiciness.

Here’s what you need to know about these revered little blue jewels that rule in breakfast bowls, decadent desserts, and plenty of dishes from sun up to sun down.

Be sure to scroll down for a super simple, berrylicious recipe for blueberry vinaigrette. It will make your summer salads sing the praises of high summer.

 

Tell me about that color!

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

We love that eye-catching indigo, too, but did you know that blueberries’ flesh is actually green? The blue skin is a result of the powerhouse antioxidant “anthocyanin”, which is a potent cancer-fighting quality loaded in blueberries. That’s right – their beauty is much more than skin deep.

 

How can I get the best?

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

 

Take Liz’s queue and venture out to pick your own summer bounty at your local patch. She also found a Blueberry Bounty cooking class at Jones Family Farm in Shelton, CT, where she enjoyed a demo of four recipes highlighting the farm’s berries. Thank you, Chefs Sherry Swanson and Bella Pinelli, for sharing your love of blueberries and the recipes from class.

Scroll down for an easy 4 ingredient vinaigrette that highlights sweet summer blues.

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

Dry, plump berries with a deep-blue hue are your best bets. You know that dusty white coat you see that might cause a raised eyebrow? It’s actually a good thing. That “bloom” is nature’s way of protecting the little berries from the overbearing sun as they are growing. So, when you see berries with this coat still on, it means they were just picked and must be super fresh.

Steer clear of purple-stained punnets (those little baskets they come in at markets), which means the berries inside are likely overripe and have been squished. Pale blue, cream or green-colored blueberries, as well as ones that are very firm to touch are under-ripe and will taste tart.

 

Prep advice?

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

Simply rinse with cool water using a colander, but only when you are ready to use (rinsing can speed up the spoiling process as it washes away its protective bloom). Lay blueberries flat after washing and gently pat dry with a paper towel. If you want to pop them in the fridge to extend its freshness, only do so for about 3 days.

 

I bought too much! What do I do?

There isn’t anything better than indulging in a bite (or two) of summer blues to brighten up those dreaded winter ones. Lucky for us, blueberries freeze very well (and without losing their famed antioxidants!). Be sure to freeze them before they get too ripe. No need to wash beforehand – this can make their skin tough and rubbery when you’re ready to use. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet for uniform freezing and later thawing, and pop in the freezer. Once frozen (usually takes over night), transfer them into zip-lock bags or airtight container, where they should be good for up to 6 months!

 

Time to indulge

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

OH, let us count the ways! Sprinkle them atop your bowl of morning oats or granola parfait, toss them into blueberry peach gluten-free and vegan muffins or a fruity crisp. Toss ‘em into batter to brighten up pancakes

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

or mix into this quinoa salad ( sub in for the olives here) for an added antioxidant health punch.

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

 

The possibilities are as endless as the summer sky.

Special thanks to PK, for braving the heat and humidity while we picked together and for being willing to be my model. xo

 

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