Did you know that blueberries are the only blue food? Natural blue food that is. There are certainly plenty of artificially colored blue items out there, and when given the choice, my kids always lean toward anything blue. Gatorade, freezer pops, and ice cream… it baffles the mind! But according to research, people are drawn toward brightly colored food. I just wish it was always brightly colored REAL food. I digress…
Are blueberries really blue?
In truth, even blueberries aren’t actually blue. They’re dark purple! True story. Blueberries contain a pigment called anthocyanin, which is what gives them their purple/blue color. The darker the berry, the more anthocyanin is present, and the sweeter the taste.
The Healthy Fruit
While fruit is across the board considered healthy, blueberries in particular are always a great choice. They are naturally high in antioxidants, and in comparison to other fruits, they are low in sugar. In fact, berries in general are low in sugar, making them a fantastic choice for those who may be diabetic or on a low-carbohydrate diet. Blueberries have the most sugar of all berries, but the sugar content is still much lower than other types of fruit.
Blueberries also contain around 4g of fiber per cup. This is the same amount of fiber found in a cup of collard greens, and I’d rather eat blueberries (no prep and easy to grab)! These are all great reasons to stock up on blueberries when they’re in season. Or better yet, a great reason to plant blueberry bushes in your yard! They can easily be incorporated into your landscape.
How to Freeze Blueberries
- Begin with “dirty” (unwashed) blueberries. Pick off as many stems as you can because this will pay off in the long run. Spread out unwashed blueberries on a sheet pan in a single layer.
- Place sheet pan in freezer, and leave for at least six hours. I usually end up forgetting and sometimes leave them for several days… they’ve ended up just fine! Either way, you want the blueberries frozen through.
- Once the blueberries are frozen, take them out of the freezer, and use a scoop to place them in freezer bags or containers. I have used both in the past. Freezer bags are nice, because they lay flat, and don’t take up much space. Containers are easy if you’re planning to use a few at a time. My kids like to eat rinsed, semi-frozen berries with lunch. So the containers make it easy to take off the lid, pour a few into a strainer and close them back up.
- To use your frozen berries, simply remove them from the freezer, rinse with lukewarm water in a mesh strainer or colander, and you’re good to go!
Frozen blueberries are perfect for muffins, smoothies, and of course, blueberry pie (see the recipe in the link)! I’d love to know if you’re preserved blueberries this way, and if you had a great blueberry harvest this year! Have a great week and happy gardening!