Recipes @ Savor the Sweetness of Blueberries

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Savor the Sweetness of Blueberries

They're rich in vitamin C, contain about 42 calories per half-cup serving, and maintain antioxidants that just may help to prevent certain forms of cancer. Yes, the humble blueberry is certainly one fruit we simply can't underestimate.

Over the span of July and August, fresh, local berries abound at the farm markets and produce stands. When choosing berries, select those that have a full bluish-black hue. Storing fresh blueberries can be tricky, so the best way is to place them between layers of paper towels in a shallow container such as a recycled deli container with holes punched in the lid. Stored this way, blueberries will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator. It's important not to store blueberries in a tall, upright container, since the weight of the blueberries can crush the bottom layers of berries. Once these blueberries become squashed, the others will quickly rot in their juices.

Another way to store blueberries is to freeze them. To freeze fresh blueberries, place them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the blueberries are frozen solid, pack them into airtight containers and store them in the freezer.

Blueberries are natural gems in any dessert you prepare. The small wild blueberries are perfect for additions to muffin or pancake batter. They distribute evenly in the batter and don't discolor the batter like plump, cultivated blueberries. The larger, cultivated blueberries, on the other hand, work best in pies and tarts. To bring out the flavor of the blueberries, add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly grated lemon zest to the blueberry filling. Why not try fresh blueberries in a tasty blueberry pie?

Jacqueline Church, writer for Gourmet Food, shares her recipe.

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