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Blueberries: Betty’s Favorite Tips, Tricks and Summer Recipes

Updated June 23, 2023
Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, blueberries are not only delicious but a nutritious superfood. Fresh blueberries hit their peak in the summer months, making this small but mighty berry the perfect seasonal ingredient. From picking to storing and baking, we have easy-to-follow blueberry tips, tricks and recipes that are perfect for summer desserts, smoothies and more!

How to Pick Blueberries

There are two main types of blueberries: lowbush and highbush. Both types are tasty and a cinch to add to your summertime recipes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when picking your berries in the wild (lowbush) or at your favorite grocery store (highbush).

Lowbush, or wild, blueberries occur naturally in northern areas and are in peak season from late May to mid-August. A few general rules of thumb when picking wild berries:

  • Look for clusters of berries not only on the front of the bush or vine but also on the underside of branches.
  • Go for the berries that are plump, firm and frosted indigo in color. Blueberries do not ripen after picking, so avoid the firm or reddish-tinted ones.
  • Gently roll the berries between your thumb and the palm of your hand — the ripe ones will easily fall off.
  • Baskets are better for berry picking vs. bags because they allow the fruit to breathe until you bring them home for refrigerating or freezing.

Highbush, or cultivated, blueberries are the ones you’re likely to find in the grocery store. Here are a couple of tips for choosing the perfect pint:

  • Look for smooth, blue skin. If blueberries are fuzzy or leaking, they’re no good. If firm or tinted red, they’re not ripe and will likely taste too tart.
  • One pint of blueberries is equal to 2 cups. Keep this in mind for your recipes!

How to Refrigerate Blueberries

Try to pop your blueberries in the fridge as soon as you can. Fresh-picked blueberries will keep up to two weeks, but for ideal taste and texture, it’s best to eat them within one week.

  • Avoid washing blueberries until just before using or eating. If you store them wet, they’ll get mushy.
  • Sort through the blueberries, removing any moldy ones to keep the whole bunch from spoiling.
  • If store-bought, you can keep your blueberries in the plastic clamshell. If picked fresh, place them in a covered container.
  • Store blueberries toward the back of the fridge where it’s cool and airy, not in the crisper drawer.

How to Freeze Blueberries

Freezing blueberries is easy and they should last up to 10-12 months in your freezer. Once frozen, they’re even easier to add to your favorite smoothies and baking recipes.

  • Blueberries have a waxy coating that protects them when frozen, so you don’t need to wash them — especially if you want to add them to baked goods later. (When frozen wet, blueberries will add too much moisture to your batter).
  • Spread blueberries on a cookie sheet or baking pan in a single layer, removing any leaves, stems, etc. Freeze until frozen solid (about four hours).
  • Once frozen, put them into a freezer-friendly container or plastic bag and store them in the back of the freezer.
  • If you’re planning to use frozen blueberries in baked goods, the color may bleed into the batter. Just make sure the berries are frozen solid before stirring them into the batter just before baking.

Blueberry Recipes

Whether you’re looking for a sweet dessert for a summer BBQ or an easy way to add fresh fruit to your breakfasts and snacks, blueberries — and Betty — make it simple! We’ve compiled our favorite summer recipes below. Just pull your blueberries right out of the refrigerator or freezer (remember to give them a quick wash and pat dry) and you’re good to go!