Blueberries are available in many forms: fresh, frozen, juice, puree, concentrate and dried. Fresh blueberries should be firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned. Ripe berries are deep purple blue to blue-black. Stay away from containers of berries with juice stains, or that contain moldy, soft, watery or wrinkled fruit.
Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Don't wash blueberries until to you are ready to use them.
Preparation: Wash fresh or frozen berries before using them.
Freezing Fresh Blueberries: While blueberries are available year round, they are least expensive when they are in season in your area. Take advantage of your local crop year round by freezing blueberries. That's right, blueberries freeze very well. To freeze blueberries: Do not wash them. Lay a single layer of blueberries on a cookie sheet (or flat pan) and freeze them. Once frozen, pack the berries into containers or freezer storage bags. This method makes it is easy to grab a handful of berries from the freezer for pancakes, smoothies, etc. Wash them before using.
Blueberry Pancakes: A weekend family favorite. To prevent your batter from turning purple and for easier flipping, add the blueberries as soon as the batter has been poured on the griddle.
Dried Blueberries: Available in many stores, dried blueberries are great in scones, banana bread, cookies, trail mix or sprinkled in popcorn or Chex mix.
Blueberry Relish: This delicious and simple relish is great with grilled chicken breast. It is also wonderful on grilled cheese sandwiches.
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