Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Do You Use Them Up?: Blueberries

So it's time to start talking about ways to use up the stuff that's overflowing at the farmer's markets right now. First step, blueberries, for two reasons: that's what GeeWhizMcGee specifically mentioned and she's the only one that commented (for shame!), and that's what J and Fawn have taking over in their kitchens right now due to J's small blueberry farm out back.

Now, as already mentioned, my primary way pf using up blueberries is dessert. I know, I know. Believe me, I know - I probably gained at least five pounds in the process! So any suggestions for a more healthy way are more than welcome.

So, desserts. We begin:

Pancakes - a classic use for blueberries. My two favorite recipes are Clark Gable Pancakes and Good Old Fashioned Pancakes. Whole grains tend to make these too heavy for my taste, so instead I add wheat bran if I want more fiber. It delivers the fiber of whole grain without weighing it down; I replace ¼ or less of the flour with it. Also key when making pancakes from scratch: get non-aluminum baking powder. Argo makes a version that you can find in most grocery stores, or you can make your own at home - add two parts cream of tartar to one part each baking soda and cornstarch.

Matt also likes to add blueberries directly to his cereal or oatmeal. Since I don't personally like them raw, and don't like oatmeal either, this is lost on me.

Of course if you make your own yogurt - I haven't done in a while, but I'm about to start back up - you can add them there, too. Either cook them with a bit of sugar for something closer to the store yogurt, or just pop them in raw with some honey.

Now for some recipes that I haven't personally tested. But again, these are from, and each have four stars or more. For more recipes over there, just search the word "blueberry." A ridiculous quantity of them will pull up.

My preferred method for using up a ton of berries at the moment, though, is freezing them for later. Blueberries are really simple to freeze - clean them up and freeze them, done! But I found more elaborate instructions for the process here for those who are annoyed by, say, the blueberries getting frozen together in a lump. I'm kind of laid back about that sort of thing in my kitchen. But I also enjoyed the instructor's "voice" here, especially when talking about how he/she likes to use glass containers but they have their pitfalls: "If you use glass, do not attempt to thaw contents by placing the container in hot or boiling water. Glass does not appreciate such treatment, and may break and harm you in retribution." (emphasis mine). LOL.

Last of all, I'm going to try drying them. I really want to incorporate these berries into this year's Christmas giving, but I don't want to just hand out baked goods. I usually try to avoid that because people receive so much of that kind of thing during the holiday season that it can become a burden. So it seemed to me that dehydrating would be the way to go. Then I could whip up some homemade pancake mix to give away.

Of course there's always canning - but blueberries aren't nearly acidic enough for straight canning, so they need to be either made into preserves or pressure-canned. Either of these are beyond the scope of this blog at the moment.

ETA: Fawn pointed out the New England Blueberry Coffee Cake as an option, too.


  1. Don't forget the New England Blueberry Coffee Cake ~ trying that one this weekend!

  2. Great! Come back an give us a review after.

  3. I just dribbled a little, on my shirt.