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Cooking with Extension Arkansas Fresh Series: Blueberries

by Original Author: JoAnn Vann, Clark County | Adapted for Blog: Torrie Smith, Van Buren County

It is the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, its Arkansas blueberry season, June-July. When selecting berries, choose those that are plump and firm with a light silvery “bloom.” This bloom is a natural protective wax on the berries. Select ripe blueberries since unripe berries do not become sweeter after they are picked. Ripe blueberries have a light blue to blue-black color. The deepness of the blue color depends on the variety. Red or green berries are not ripe and have a sour flavor. Blueberries should be refrigerated immediately after harvest. Decayed or moldy blueberries should be removed before the blueberries are refrigerated. You will not want to wash blueberries before storing because moisture allows mold to grow. Instead, wash blueberries just prior to using.

cooking with blueberries video

Preparation Tips

  1. Gently wash blueberries in cold water just prior to using. Drain them in a colander or place on paper towels to dry.
  2. Blueberries can be eaten fresh or baked in muffins, pies or cakes. Blueberry sauce is also delicious served over pancakes or ice cream.
  3. Store blueberries in a container with a loose cover. Depending upon the initial freshness of the berries, they can be stored in the refrigerator for two days to one week.
  4. For freezing and canning directions, contact your local county extension office.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Wash blueberries and crush in saucepan. Add sugar and fresh lemon or lime juice. Mix well. Bring to a boil, and boil 1 minute stirring constantly. Add vanilla. Chill. Serve over puddings, cakes, waffles, pancakes, or ice cream. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

  • Calories: 36
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
  • Sodium: 0.5mg
For more information, contact your local Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at your County Extension Office.