Slightly tart, juicy and sweet, blueberries are a delightful snack just as they are, or use them to brighten up anything from pies to cocktails.
Fresh blueberries are in season from late May through early October, and fresh-frozen blueberries are available year-round.
When shopping for blueberries, make sure they are dark blue with a silver/white "bloom" and avoid any that are purple or green as these are immature and haven't ripened properly.
Once you find a visually appealing pint of blueberries, pick up a few and see if they're plump and hefty for their size. When you get home, throw away any berries that are soft or squishy because they'll ruin the rest of the pint.
Storing & Freezing
Don't wash your blueberries until you're ready to eat them - berries tend to absorb a lot of moisture. Here's a neat trick for cleaning them: Wash the berries in a bowl with 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Drain them and rinse under cool running water. Next, line a salad spinner with paper towels and spin the blueberries for about 10 seconds or until the berries are completely dry.
It's best to store your blueberries in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to five days, but try not to enclose them in a drawer because the humidity will shorten their shelf life.
If you choose to freeze your blueberries, wash and drain them thoroughly, pat dry and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place them in the freezer until solid, then pack them into freezer storage bags or containers.
Besides being tasty, blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and antioxidants. They're also fat free and one cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories.
Tip: 1 pint of blueberries = 2 cups
Here are a few recipes that feature fresh blueberries: