Who doesn’t love blueberries? I’ve always enjoyed this tasty little fruit but is wasn’t until last summer that I fell in love with them. My friend Alisha who is a teacher at our school and I traveled to Michigan to visit our good friends the Whitted’s. We were blessed to stay a few nights at a lake house in South Haven, which is on the southwestern side of the state. There were blueberry patches everywhere! For this girl that grew up in California only seeing small containers of blueberries in the store it was a thrill! One day all us ladies decided to go blueberry picking. In a little over ½ hour we had each picked over 4 pounds. Unlike the prickly black berries that try to attack you when you pick their fruit blueberries have no thrones and are practically begging you to take their fruit. A eat a bowlful of berries almost every morning for two weeks. Sadly I wasn’t able to can or freeze any to take home with me but if you have easy access to blueberries go for it! What an easy way to put fruit up for the year, so much less labor intensive than blackberries.
The taste and how easy they are to pick aren’t the only great thing about blueberries they are also packed with nutrients and antioxidants like Vitamins C, A, E, K, B12, potassium, manganese and magnesium. That’s just naming a few! Because of blueberries antioxidant power they can help prevent cancer causing cell damages of the body. It is thought that the pterostilbene (another anti-oxidant) found in blueberries helps to lower cholesterol. The high percentage of Anthocyanins present in blueberries are known to reduce cancer and heart disease in humans, it is also thought to combat E. Coli. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other amazing health benefits found in blueberries.
One of the best ways to save blueberries is to freeze them. As long as they are gown with out pesticide and not covered in dirt then there is no need to wash them. Place them in a gallon-sized freezer Ziploc bag and lay flat on a shelf in your freezer. Once they are completely frozen you can layer other bags on top, you just don’t want to do this before or you will squish the fruit. Whenever you want to use the berries there’s no need to defrost them they are perfect to add to smoothie, pancakes, scones, or pies. Lindsay of Passionate Homemaking has a wonderful post on freezing berries.
If you want to retain the most benefit from nutrients found in blueberries then it is best to eat them fresh. Lacto-fermentation is known to ingress the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. I have yet to try that though, since blueberries are not readily available in my area of Mexico. It could prove interesting to try if anyone I brave enough. I’ve love my lacto-fermented apples so I’m sure blueberries would be good as well. I bet they’d make a tasty addition on top of a bowl of soaked oats with a little bit of cultured butter and raw honey.
I love eating blueberries fresh but normally I only can find them frozen. One of my favorite things to add them to is scones and sourdough muffins. Click here to find my blueberry scone recipe.