First Blueberries!

Rabbiteye Blueberries

I was happy to harvest the first of my blueberries yesterday! They are a little early this year, due to the hot weather and lack of rain we’ve had. The good thing? They are smaller and firmer, but more flavorful and the birds and squirrels have left them alone.

I have two tips for harvesting fresh blueberries. Hold a basket or light bucket under the branch you are picking, and “tickle” them so the ripe ones fall. Pick them just before they’re dark blue and let them sit out on the counter for a day or two to fully ripen before rinsing and drying them.

Use them fresh, store them in the refrigerator or double bag them and store in the freezer.

One of my favorite quick ways to use them is to put a handful of berries in a tablespoon or two of maple syrup and heat in the microwave just until the berries pop. Use the berry maple syrup to top pancakes, ice cream or yogurt.

Need some recipe ideas? Here are some links to get you started.

Blueberry Jam

Blue Gin & Tonic ~ Sunshine on a Blue Day

I’ll Have A Blue Christmas…Handpie

Drying Blueberries ~ Blueberry Powder

Frozen Fruit Yogurt Sundae

If you happen to get a few pink ones too, don’t throw them out. Let them sit out for two or three days, until they darken a little. I actually prefer a few under ripe berries in my jam or pie fillings as the flavor is a little tart and adds a depth of flavor (similar to using different varieties of apple for your apple pie).

Happy eating!