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Blue Frenzy. . .Blueberries!

Blueberries are plump, juicy, orbs of tart sweetness, with vibrant colors ranging from deep purple-blue to blue-black and highlighted by a silvery sheen called a bloom. Blueberries are one of nature’s great treasures.

Local berries are available in much of North America sometime between June and August. Wild blueberries tend to be smaller and have more concentrated flavor, cultivated blueberries are bigger and juicier. Since fresh blueberries are available year round, we can find them in stores no matter the season.

What To Look For

When you buy fresh blueberries, look for berries that are firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom and no leaves or stems. Avoid blueberries that look soft or shriveled or have any signs of mold. If you see juice stains in a container of blueberries, the fruit might be bruised. Size isn’t an indicator of maturity, but color is; berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black. Reddish blueberries aren’t ripe, and won’t ripen once they are picked, but you can use them in cooking.

Pick Through Them

Pick through the blueberries when you get them home and remove any smashed, cut, or damaged blueberries. They will mold quickly and damage the other berries. Blueberries are best when used as soon as possible.

Storing to Last

Refrigerate fresh blueberries when you get them home, either in their original plastic pack or in a covered container. Do not rinse or wash blueberries until you’re ready to use them – the moisture will shorten their storage span considerably! Eat them within 10 days of purchase.

Ways to Enjoy Them

Blueberries are one of the easiest ingredients to work with, since they require no chopping, pitting, or peeling. Remember, fresh blueberries aren’t just for your morning yogurt or fruit salad; they’re a great addition to savory dishes, like couscous salad, chicken salad, blueberry balsamic glazed chicken or pork chops, or roasted salmon with blueberry barbecue sauce.


If you are cooking with blueberries, you can almost always replace fresh with frozen. Buy frozen blueberries, or stock up on fresh berries during the summer and freeze them yourself. They will last in your freezer for up to ten months. For a last-minute dessert, grab some frozen blueberries for a tasty cobbler. They also come in handy for a quick and flavorful sauce to pour over chicken or pork, and as an oatmeal or French toast topping. No matter what you are making, frozen blueberries can help enhance and excite any meal of the day, so make sure to keep a supply in your freezer at all times!


Dried blueberries are sweet, chewy, and wonderfully delicious. They work very well when baking with thick batters, like cookies, scones, muffins, and heavy pancake batters. They are the perfect addition to nuts, trail mix, granola, or kept on hand as a snack. They also bring a fun texture and intense sweetness to grain and green salads, which help balance the tangy flavor of vinegar-based dressings. Want to plump up your berries for use in other recipes? You can “rehydrate” dried blueberries by placing one pound of the dehydrated fruit in one cup of water.

Freeze dried blueberries have had all the water extracted from them. They are sweet, yet mildly tart and fun to use, so be sure to give them a try! They give trail mix, cereal, and ice cream a crunch. You can grind freeze dried blueberries into a fine powder and mix them into spice rubs for meat, fish, or chicken, sprinkle them on yogurt, or stir them into smoothies, lemonade, frosting, and whipped cream. Remember, once they get wet, they re-hydrate, so store them in a cool, dry space.


Just like frozen blueberries, canned blueberries are ideal for whipping up delicious smoothies, and last minute desserts, which captures a flavorful combination of sweet and tart. They’re also perfect for kid-friendly recipes.

Use blueberry juice, concentrate, or puree when mixing up beverages, slushes, sorbets, popsicles, ice cream, frozen desserts, dips, marinades, sauces, or vinaigrettes. Refrigerate after opening and use within 10 days.

Packed with Nutrition

Though miniature in size, they are also proof that, when it comes to health benefits, good things really do come in small packages. Living a healthy and happy life often begins with eating well. However, between work, exercise, and family, health-conscious food decisions can slip through the cracks. The good news is, blueberries can help.

There’s a lot of buzz about blueberries and how this little berry can play a big part in a healthier you. We’re here to help sort out the facts, and the role that blueberries may play in promoting good health.

Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular. Often labelled a “superfood,” here are the health benefits and nutrition of blueberries:

Blueberries contain 80 calories per one-cup serving and virtually no fat. They contain naturally-occurring sugars and fiber, which are both carbohydrates. With 3.6 grams of fiber per serving, blueberries help you meet your daily recommended intake of fiber. Fiber helps keep the body regular, the heart healthy, and cholesterol in check.

Blueberries contribute vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, making them a good choice to help meet nutrient needs.

Make it a point to find different ways blueberries can be used in cooking. Remember to be brave and broaden your food horizons, you never know if you like something unless you try it!


Blueberries in Bowl

Contact Our Expert!


Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Extension Educator:
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University of Wyoming Extension

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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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