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.
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?
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!
10 Ways to Cook With Blueberries
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Snack: Mix a handful of fresh blueberries with salted cocktail peanuts and eat raw (as discussed here).
- 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.
- Frozen kabobs: String on to a skewer, roll in fresh yogurt and freeze — like this.
- Fresh kabobs for kids: String on to skewer or toothpick, alternating with mini marshmallows.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Cocktail: Mix a bit of the simple syrup with seltzer water, rum and crushed mint. Serve over ice.
- 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.
What do you do with your blueberries?