It is Blueberry picking season in Westchester & Fairfield Counties!

29 Jul It is Blueberry picking season in Westchester & Fairfield Counties!

August is here which means it is prime Blueberry season. A serving of  blueberries is packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, and just 80 calories per cup. Research has shown that this healthful fruit can protect against chronic disease and prevent inflammation.  Read more to find local farms to share this fun activity with senior loved ones in Westchester County and Fairfield County. Also learn some helpful tips from chefs on cooking with blueberries.

How to shop for and store Blueberries

Fresh Blueberries 

Choose berries that are uniform in size and deep purple to nearly black in color. The best berries will be dry, plump, and firm. A silvery sheen (or “bloom”) is typical on blueberries.  Store blueberries in the fridge in the original plastic clamshell or in a covered bowl or container. 

According to Chef Julie Lopez, RD , Don’t keep them in the crisper drawer where air doesn’t circulate well. Blueberries will stay good for up to a week when in the general area of the refrigerator. 

Once ready to use, rinse them gently and remove any stems. Place blueberries in a single layer on a dry towel to air dry or pat them dry with a clean towel. 

Frozen Blueberries 

You can use blueberries directly from their frozen state, or thaw and use. Freezing blueberries yourself? Follow these steps from Chef Julie Lopez to freeze properly. 

Cooking and Baking with Blueberries

Blueberries spoil quickly once washed so do not wash them until just before eating or cooking. Here are a few of Chef Julie's tips:  

  1. How to make sure your blueberries don't clump and almost every bite contains a blueberry... measure out the dry ingredients in your recipe, and then whisk them together. Before mixing the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients, remove 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredient mixture. Sprinkle this flour mixture over the blueberries and stir gently (un-clumping dried blueberries with your fingers). The flour mixture will keep the blueberries from sticking together in  cookies, and blueberries will be more evenly distributed in quick bread. 
  2. Don’t thaw blueberries before adding them to batter to avoid that blue-green streak.
  3. When cooking blueberries for a sauce, sieve through a fine mesh strainer to get a nicer sheen. For a chunkier texture as in a chutney, don’t overcook blueberries so they add texture.

According to the Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries are native to North America and have been part of life here for 13,000 years. The first highbush blueberry bush was successfully cultivated for commercial production in the early 1900s, and today, North America grows nearly 1 billion pounds of blueberries each year. 

Our Favorite Blueberry Cake Recipe

by Ina Garten

Blueberry Crumb Cake by Ina Garten

Local farms offer the chance

to pick fresh blueberries

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Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm

Wilkens Farm Yorktown Heights