Five Ways to Use Your Blueberry Harvest

Summer is almost here – and that means blueberries!

Depending upon your growing zone, if you haven't seen juicy, ripe blueberries yet, you will soon. Blueberries ripen between late June and August. (Not sure of your zone? Look here.)

Be ready for that fresh harvest with these five awesome ways to use blueberries.

Five Ways With Blueberries

Blueberries are wonderful when they're fresh-picked. But that's not the only way to eat a blueberry! Here's how to use your harvest.

1. Make Blueberry Butter

Mmmm! Blueberry butter is a wonderful take on traditional butter spreads. We love this recipe from Food Network.

Making blueberry butter is so easy. It takes just minutes to prepare; refrigerate to make it more solid before serving, if you wish. Spread on waffles, pancakes or a breakfast bagel. It's also fabulous melted on a halved breakfast muffin.

2. Freeze Your Harvest

Credit: starkbros.com

Freezing is a traditional route for storing berries. Blueberries freeze well and taste delicious if the process is done correctly. Here's how to freeze blueberries and avoid the “clumping” effect:

  • Spread blueberries on a cookie sheet. They should be in a single layer.
  • Flash-freeze for 40 minutes.
  • Place in a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and label the bag with the date. Store in freezer.
  • Continue with batches until all your blueberries are bagged and in the freezer.

They're best if eaten within six months, but frozen berries are perfect for pies, waffles and dessert toppings even if you've had them in the freezer (properly prepped) for nine months or more. You an also add them to a blueberries-and-cream presentation for brunch or stir them into your yogurt.

3. Make Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry sauce is the perfect summer or fall addition to pancakes and waffles. It's also delicious slightly re-warmed and drizzled over ice cream sundaes.

Blueberry sauce can be made to your own tastes, so experiment. The basics are 3 cups blueberries to 2 tablespoons to molasses to a squeeze of lime juice. You can add a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor if you'd like.

  • Place the blueberries into a saucepan and bring them to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, add the molasses and low-simmer, stirring and slightly mashing with a wooden spoon occasionally, until you have a thick sauce texture.
  • Add the lime; remove from heat. Cool and store in airtight jars.

4. Can Your Berries

Credit: Tall Clover Farm

Canning is the go-to method for preserving a variety of summer fruits and veggies. Invest in some quality mason jars, caps and seals. (You can grab these at a steal; check the baking aisle at your grocery store or look online.)

You'll also need two pots: one large and high enough to completely immerse the jars for sterilization and one for cooking. (Tip: If you plan on doing a lot of preserving, invest in a great canning pot.)

Canning pots generally come with basic canning instructions. Follow the directions exactly, or check the internet for tasty variations and “make it all easier” hacks. You'll find that canning is fun and can even be relaxing. And the simmering smells all afternoon are absolutely wonderful!

5. Feed Your Local Wildlife

Blueberries are a preferred food source and a treat for birds and squirrels. If you have berries that have become over-ripe, don't toss them. Put them out along with seed, suet and other goodies your hungry friends will like.

You can also freeze over-ripe berries (be sure to mark the bag) and take them out in the winter, when animals are hungrier and seeking a food source.

Blueberries are delicious, healthy and abundant at this time of year. Don't miss the opportunity to use every last juicy bite. There's never a reason for blueberries to go to waste. Use the above five methods and enjoy the harvest!




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