Blueberries were once known as star berries because of the pointy flower calyxes on top of the berries. Blueberries have grown in North America for thousands of years. Native Americans dried the berries in the sun and crushed them into a powder to be used as a rub on meats. Whole berries were added to soups, stews, and to other ingredients to make a pudding call sautauthig.

Blueberries from a Central Florida hobbiest farm. UF/IFAS Photo: Sally Lanigan.uthig.

Luscious, sweet blueberries have a nutrition profile. Blueberries are low in fat and a good source of fiber and vitamin C.  Blueberries are very high in antioxidants.

Look for fresh blueberries that are firm, dry, plump, smooth skinned, and relatively free from leaves and stems. Color should be deep purple blue to blue-black; reddish berries are not ripe but may be used in cooking.

Blueberries will keep a day or two at room temperature. They will remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Cover berries to prevent dehydration. Reddish berries will be sour but will ripen if placed in a container with a few ripe berries and left uncovered at room temperature for a day or two.

Fresh berries should be stored covered in the refrigerator and washed just before using. Use berries within 10 days of picking or purchasing.

Blueberries are easily frozen for later use. Freeze unwashed blueberries in airtight, resealable plastic bags. If thawed, keep refrigerated and use within 3 days.

Next time you are shopping in the produce department, add fresh blueberries to your shopping cart and enjoy the delicious flavor of the berries.

BLUEBERRY PANCAKE STACKS

  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Dash of nutmeg

In a mixing bowl, stir together the milk, oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to the milk and stir just until mixed (batter should be slightly lumpy). Gently fold in the berries. Spoon the batter onto a griddle or pan greased with vegetable oil and heated to medium-hot (dollops should be about the size of a silver dollar). Let the batter cook until the tops of the pancakes begin to bubble, then flip and cook until done.

Stack and serve immediately with softened margarine and warm syrup.

Makes about eighteen 2 ½” pancakes.

BLUEBERRY SYRUP

Combine 1 pint of blueberries and 1 cup of maple syrup in a saucepan.

Heat to boiling, then lower the heat and simmer until most of the fruit has burst. Remove from heat and use a fork to smoosh the berries. The syrup will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.