Yard Larder: Wild Blueberries

Wild-blueberries

These little gems are rock stars in the yard larder!  They flourish every two years, and in my neck o’ the woods, this is the “on”  year.  I’ve done a preliminary check on my local sources, and I can’t wait ’til the end of July, when they’ll be ready to pick!  Smaller than their high-bush counterpart, they pack a bigger flavor punch, in my estimation. They’re a job to pick by hand, but they freeze beautifully.  Unlike wild strawberries, they can be put immediately into freezer containers, and they won’t stick together!

If you’re going to venture into wild blueberry harvesting and never have before, be aware that there is more than one low growing blue berry.  If it doesn’t have the trademark “crown”, it ain’t a blueberry!

Ideas for using wild blueberries include the standard muffins, pancakes, jam and pies, but also think of sprucing up a salad with some wild blues.  Frozen and put in a smoothie, wild blues add substance AND big flavor!  On top of ice cream, mixed with yogurt, and even stirred in with vanilla pudding, a handful of wild blues can add an antioxidant boost to dessert.  A blueberry sauce can really add a twist to grilled chicken or pork, too.  Don’t be limited in your imagining tasty uses for wild blueberries!

Photo credit: Ben Stephenson

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