I wonder if I would appreciate blueberries as much as I do if it’s season wasn’t so short.
The same goes for peaches and figs.
-Also for these thin skinned fruits, it is best if you use organic.
How I prepare blueberries
After washing them, spread them out over a kitchen towel that you can assume will get a blueberry stain.
Lightly run your fingers over them as if you were pretending to play the piano.
Not “Beethoven’s 5th Symphony” or “Great Balls of Fire”.
More like “Für Elise” or “Chariots of Fire”.
Your fingers will trip over the super squishy ones.
Always pick through your berries to take out the stems and less ripe ones.
The dark, firm perfect ones, set aside for yourself or someone you love.
Click on above picture for Blueberry Buckle recipe
There are set standards, like, one liquid cup of water is 240mL is 8 ounces.
Then there are blueberries.
Are we including the ones with the green tinge as well, or the blueberry raisins?
The little wild blueberries or the ones the size of grapes?
Are they fresh or frozen?
I weigh them myself for recipes, but I have also looked at other resources and used the weight on the packages.
Luckily, when using blueberries as an ingredient is it not a science thing. It won’t ruin your recipe if you come up a bit short. It might change it a bit if you use too much, because of liquid.
I’ll share this because I bothered to do it on my “not legal for trade” scale.
3 cups of frozen wild blueberries is about 1.5 pints, is 420 grams/15 ounces
Therefore 1 cup is 130-150 grams
3 cups fresh regular, not bugungo size is about 410 grams
Therefore 1 cup fresh is 120-140 grams
Blueberries are often talked about being high on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, which is used to show the amount of antioxidants in food.
(So blueberries are high in antioxidants, is what that means)
So are Kidney beans, other berries, cinnamon, but you have to eat a lot, and very dark chocolate, of course.
Blueberries are very good for your eyes and skin. They help prevent and repair cell damage.
Antioxidants protect against inflammation, and inflammation is the root of many deteriorating diseases like Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Inflammation often leads to cancers.
Wild blueberries are not quite as juicy as the large grown ones, but for cooking, they have more flavour. Also more fibre and more of the antioxidants due to the higher skin to flesh ratio.
Wild Blueberries have 2x the antioxidant power of cultivated blueberries to fight aging, help with eyesight and your brain.
Results may vary.
Why Are They So Expensive?
Wild blueberry season is short, and so are the bushes that they grow on, and once picked by the small fairies and brownies they begin to deteriorate quickly in every way. In looks, taste and nutrition.
Fairies and brownies don’t actually love picking them. A few for themselves, sure, but not for North America and beyond, so they are usually picked by the hands of stooped over people.
Cultivated blueberries are also picked by hand, but usually by a harvesting machine.
This machine goes down the rows and gives the plants a shake. The ripe ones will fall off.
Frozen blueberries are great because they are flash frozen individually, soon after harvest, so they keep most of their nutrients, and easy to keep handy.
Frozen berries are less expensive because they are sold in larger quantities often in a large bag instead of 125g in a plastic clamshell, so less packaging costs.
The producers and shippers don’t have to worry as much about handling and time.
They aren’t at that great risk of spoiling quickly.
Click on above picture for Wild Blueberry sauce recipe
A Bit More About
Blueberries are best, like most berries, when picked ripe. Fresh ripe Blueberries will pop, and will not have a soft texture. They will also be a gorgeous dark blue and look like they are frosted.
The bushes take about 2 months to bear fruit after flower and from my experience are best late summer.
Too early and you get too many purplish sour ones, too late and they are squishy. There is a small window for fresh berry recipes and eating as is.
On either side of that window is fine for cooking.
You can get just about any produce now at any season, wherever you may be, but If it is in season in your part of the world, they won’t have been harvested to finish ripening in a truck, or with the help of ethylene gas, the fruit ripening gas. It’s ok, it’s natural.
Fruit produces its own gas, just like us, but sometimes it is added to help, like putting fruit in a paper bag with other fruit, usually an apple.
Blueberries will ripen once picked, but not like bananas do. If the blueberry is green, or white, it isn’t going to get much better.
Click on above picture for Blueberry Dessert Bread recipe