Fresh-picked BlueberriesYou know you want some!
Wehave closed the blueberry field for the season.
PICKING BLUEBERRIES Different varieties have different characteristics. Some blueberries are small and grow in clusters, while others are larger and tend to grow more spread out on the branch. All are equally delicious and nutritious! When selecting berries look for plump berries with a light gray-blue color. A berry with a hint of red hasn’t fully ripened. White and green colored blueberries will not ripen after they are picked, while blueberries that have already turned purple, red or blue-ish usually DO ripen after they are picked if they are kept at room temperature. The easiest way to pick blueberries is to hold the bucket under the branch, then rub the clump of berries. The ripe ones will fall off into your bucket. It is hard to not pop a few into your mouth at this point. If you are picking to make jam, a few slightly unripe berries will increase the pectin levels in the jam and will make it thicken quicker. Conversion Chart: 1 pint of fresh blueberries weighs about ¾ of a pound 1 pound of fresh blueberries is about 2 and 2/3 cups of berries Blueberry pie takes about 4 cups of blueberries Blueberry jam (normal batch) takes about 5 pints of berries
TAKING BLUEBERRIES HOME
- Let the berries cool down as soon after picking as possible, do not place in a closed container, as the moisture will build up, refrigerate as soon as possible
- Do not wash berries until just before using them
- Berries can be frozen individually on a tray then the frozen berries gathered and stored in an air tight bag
- Blueberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of blueberries has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease!
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2∕3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar,divide
Pinch salt, optional
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained, if frozen)
8 slices (1-¼ inches thick) Italian bread
1∕3 cup sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 400°F
- Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray
- In a medium bowl beat eggs, peel, juice, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt until well blended 4. Pour into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan
- Set aside 6. In a small bowl combine blueberries and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar
- Set aside
- With the tip of a sharp knife, cut a 1-½-inch wide pocket in the side of each bread slice
- Fill pockets with reserved blueberry mixture, dividing evenly
- Place filled slices in egg mixture
- Let stand, turning once, until egg mixture is absorbed, about 5 minutes on each side
- Arrange bread on prepared baking sheet
- Sprinkle with almonds
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning slices after 10 minutes.
Blueberry Chocolate Clusters
1 package (11 ½ oz) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
¼ c. butter
2 c. fresh blueberries washed and dried
3 dozen 1 ¼ in. candy liners
Directions: Melt the chocolate chips and butter over hot water in a double boiler. Be careful to not overheat the chocolate mixture. Gently stir in the blueberries until well-coated with chocolate. Spoon evenly by rounded teaspoonfuls, into candy liners. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set. Yield 3 dozen clusters. These are delicious, try them!!