Blueberry Cooking Tips

 

Fun in the Kitchen with Blueberries:

If you like to shake things up in the kitchen, try playing around with new flavor combinations and different forms of blueberries.  Here are a few ideas:

Savory Blueberry Pizza

  • Rejeuvenate your cocktails – Try blueberry puree in margaritas, toss fresh blueberries in a minty mojito or make a stiff blutini!
  • Why wait for dessert? Pair blueberries with something savory like cheese, squash or pizza – their sweet-tart taste will coax out the other flavors in your dish.
  • Freezer meals go upscale - Use frozen blueberries to make a tangy sauce for fish or meat.
  • Try ‘em dried - Many supermarkets and natural food stores now sell a variety of dried blueberries. Pop them on a green salad, toss them with couscous or try them in stuffing.

For more tips on how to cook with fresh blueberries, frozen blueberries, dried blueberries and liquid blueberries, visit these links:

Best uses for various blueberry forms

When and where to buy various blueberry forms

Baking with Blueberries:

iStock_000014942101XSmallHave you ever noticed that, in muffins and other baked goods, fresh and frozen blueberries can easily sink to the bottom of the pan? This is easy to prevent! Just spread half of the batter in the pan, then add the blueberries, and top with remaining batter. You can also coat blueberries with flour before stirring into batter.

One reason blueberries sink is because the specific gravity may be too low. You can increase specific gravity by using a thicker, denser batter. Another reason might be that too much air has been incorporated into the batter: avoid over blending during the first stage of creaming. Here are a few more tips for baking with blueberries:

  • Try substituting sugar-infused dried blueberries for fresh or frozen ones. They remain suspended in the batter during baking and maintain a more structured texture than their fresh or frozen counterparts. They’re also less likely to burst when they get hot.
  • When adding blueberries to batter,  minimize streaking by gently folding them in at the end of the mix cycle.
  • If you’re using  frozen berries, add them before they have a chance to thaw and bake immediately to prevent color leeching.
  • The secret to beautiful colored berries in baked goods or smoothies is proper pH. Blueberries turn reddish when exposed to acids, such as lemon juice and vinegar. Blueberries turn greenish-blue in a batter that has too much baking soda (or grey in a smoothie with lots of dairy), which creates an alkaline environment. Add a little lemon juice to your batter or smoothie for a more vibrant color.

Cooking with Canned Blueberries

Here are Chef Abby Fammartino’s tips for cooking with canned blueberries.

U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, 80 Iron Point Circle, Suite 114, Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 983-0111

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