10 Ways to Cook with Blueberries

April 30th, 2012 | Fruit Maven

I’m feeling a little blue today, which is due in no small part to the fact that I would prefer to be announcing the availability of my alphabet book today, but due to some technical difficulties with Amazon, I can not. And I don’t know for how long things will be delayed. Sad, sad face. I’m sure it will get all sorted out eventually but for now: frustrating.

However, this does give me an opportunity to dive head first into the blueness and talk to you about one of my very favorite fruit: blueberries! I’ve gone on about them before, so I won’t bore you too much with how much I love them except to say that until this weekend I had never seen one’s like these.

jumbo-blueberries

Those gigantic blueberries surrounding that small normal blueberries are from Melissa’s and are called Jumbo Blueberries. They are practically the circumference of a quarter. Jumbo! They aren’t a specific variety, but are just held and protected on the vine for a longer period of time. This apparently makes them especially delicious. Whereas normally blueberries are a crap shoot – some sweet and luscious, some tart and eye scrunching, these are all full flavored, firm and tender. Yum. I didn’t realize I could like blueberries more than I already did. In fact, I like them so much that I might consider growing my own. (Plants everywhere are cowering in fear at that statement.) Just look at this photo of them on the plant: adorable. How can I resist?
blueberry-plant

It’s the very beginning of blueberry season, so we have plenty of time to play. Here are some ideas beyond adding them to muffins and cold cereal. Enjoy!

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10 Ways to Cook With Blueberries

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Blueberries are light but have an intense, distinct flavor when perfectly ripe. Favorite flavor combinations include cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, lemon, banana, stone fruit (plum, nectarine, peach), berries and cheeses, such as blue cheese, ricotta and cream cheese.

  1. Appetizer: Replace the tomatoes in your favorite salsa fresca recipe with blueberries. Or swap out the mango in a mango salsa. Serve with tortilla chips.
  2. Roasted: Sprinkle fresh blueberries with a tablespoon or two of sugar and some vanilla bean seeds (if you have them). Spread on sheet pan and roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve over pancakes, cake, ice cream, pie, etc. (You can include other berries as well, if desired.) Or just eat them as is, topped with a bit of whipped cream.
  3. Snack: Mix a handful of fresh blueberries with salted cocktail peanuts and eat raw (as discussed here).
  4. Salad: Toss in your favorite salad. Consider romaine, blue cheese, apple, and red onion or a mixed berry salad with strawberries, blackberries, feta and pecans. Top with a poppy seed dressing.
  5. Frozen kabobs: String on to a skewer, roll in fresh yogurt and freeze — like this.
  6. Fresh kabobs for kids: String on to skewer or toothpick, alternating with mini marshmallows.
  7. Main dish: Saute your favorite sausages on the stove top until just brown, then combine with raw blueberries that have been mixed with a touch of olive oil and salt. Roast at 475 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (Very similar to this dish done with grapes.)
  8. Simple syrup: Mix one cup each of blueberries, sugar and water. Bring to boil and then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and cool. Use syrup to flavor iced tea, lemonade, or maple syrup.
  9. Cocktail: Mix a bit of the simple syrup with seltzer water, rum and crushed mint. Serve over ice.
  10. Side dish: Mix blueberries with chopped mango, cucumber and a bit of Italian parsley. Drizzle lightly with a dressing made of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Stir and add to cooked and cooled quinoa, rice, or barley.

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What do you do with your blueberries?

8 Comments

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  • Ann P. Apr 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    It was great meeting you on Saturday at the bake sale, Becky! I love your site; I am learning so much! :)

  • Fruit Maven May 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks Ann! It was great meeting you too! Thanks for stopping by.

  • ARY VacMaster May 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Found your blog when someone shared this article on Facebook. Good info! My wife is from Michigan and we always have blueberries at home, either fresh from “up north” or frozen after she brings a bunch of them back home to Missouri! I plan to use some of these ideas soon! – Jeff

  • Fruit Maven May 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Thanks Jeff! Welcome! I hope you enjoy the ideas. Let me know how they turn out and if there is anything else fun that you do with your blueberries.

  • Mandy May 2, 2012 at 10:31 am

    When I was in Italy I had a pasta dish made with wild blueberries. It had a light cream/wine sauce with some herbs, salty cheese, and blueberries served over linguine. It was out of this world! I wish I could figure out how to make it!

    I plan on making a huge number of blueberry/yogurt frozen treats this summer. Those are my daughter’s two favorite foods. Thank you!

  • Fruit Maven May 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Mandy – That pasta dish does sound amazing. I think blueberries would be fantastic with lemon thyme and I’ve had them with basil. Ricotta salata has a great texture for pasta and is nice and salty and would support the other flavors. Maybe some experimenting is in order!

  • Janice May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I love the recipe for the blueberries and sausage! Also never thought of mixing blueberries with salted nuts. I love love love blueberries! Every Sunday I buy a basket of them at the organic farmer’s market in Claremont. I admit– I hoard them and share poorly.

  • Fruit Maven May 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Haha. Janice – I hoard them too!

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