In season from late spring to late summer, fresh blueberries are at their peak in July and August.
Select firm, plump berries with an indigo blue colour and a silvery white frost. Avoid any with a green or red, purple or pink tint which indicates under ripe berries.
If packaged in a carton, check to make sure there are no juice stains at the bottom of the carton or mouldy or crushed berries buried inside.
Refrigerate fresh blueberries for up to 1 week. If packaged in a cardboard container, transfer the berries to an airtight container covered with dry paper towel. Check the berries periodically, discarding any that are mouldy or crushed.
Freeze washed and dried blueberries by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until hard, then transfer to freezer bags. Store frozen blueberries for up to 1 year.
For optimum flavour bring to room temperature before serving.
Remove and discard any damaged berries and stems. Gently rinse berries under cold water just before using. Spread them out on paper towels to dry.
Do not thaw frozen blueberries before adding them to batters to prevent them from leaving blue streaks of juice.
Sprinkle fresh blueberries over bowls of your favourite cereal.
Stir blueberries into quick bread, muffin or pancake batter.
Add blueberries to your blender while whipping up summer smoothies and shakes.
Replace one-quarter of the fresh fruit in your favourite baked pie with blueberries. Peach and blueberry pie is a real summer treat!