Blueberry Recipes for the Whole Family | Food & Country Recipes

Blueberry picking is a great way to engage in an outdoor family activity. Blueberries are a healthy snack that can be eaten raw or preserved to enjoy anytime. If you can’t get out to a blueberry field, you can usually find good-quality berries in the grocery store or local market.

The recently published 2022 “Preserving Food at Home Resource Guide,” by Penn State Extension states that 1/2 cup of blueberries contains 2 grams of fiber, essential nutrients like vitamin C and iron, and only 40 calories.

When selecting your blueberries, choose those that are plump, firm and have a light blue to a blue-black color. If you plan to preserve your blueberries, the fresher they are, the better your final product will be. If you are not using them right away, plan to refrigerate the berries and preserve or use them within 1-2 days. Do not wash your blueberries until you are ready to use them. Storing them in the wet refrigerator can cause them to spoil faster. When ready to wash blueberries, rinse 1 or 2 quarts at a time under cold, running water in a colander. Toss or agitate the fruit while rinsing. Do not soak produce in water.

A great way to preserve your berries is by making blueberry syrup. It can be used on top of ice cream, cheesecake or waffles. The following recipe yields about 4 half-pint jars. When preparing this recipe, start with clean countertops and utensils. Wash hands with soap and water. Wash whole, fresh blueberries by rinsing under cold, running water.

Blueberry Syrup

  • 4 cups ripe blueberries
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

To prepare the juice, remove any stems from the berries. Crush berries in a pan and heat to a boil. Simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. Strain through a colander and drain until cool enough to handle. Strain the collected juice through a double layer of cheesecloth or a jelly bag. Discard dry pulp. The yield of the juice should be about 2-1/2 cups.

To make the syrup, combine 2-1/2 cups of prepared blueberry juice, sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Pour into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or atmospheric steam canner.

Nutrition information for 2 tablespoons of blueberry syrup is as follows: calories, 100; total fat, 0g; saturated fat, 0g; carbohydrate, 25g; fiber, 0g; protein, 0g; sodium, 1mg.

Another popular method for preserving blueberries is blueberry spice jam from Penn State Extension’s “Preserving Food at Home Resource Guide.” Blueberry spice jam is a great accompaniment on charcuterie boards, on toast for breakfast, or with peanut butter on sandwiches. The recipe yields about 5 half-pint jars. When preparing this recipe, start with clean countertops and utensils. Wash hands with soap and water. Wash whole, fresh blueberries by rinsing under cold, running water.

Blueberry Spice Jam

  • 2-1/2 pints ripe blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 box (1-3/4 ounces) powdered pectin
  • 5-1/2 cups sugar

In a large saucepan, thoroughly crush blueberries, one layer at a time. Add lemon juice, nutmeg or cinnamon, water and butter. Stir in pectin and bring to a full, rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add the sugar and return to a full, rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, and fill into sterile half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space.

Adjust lids and process for 5 minutes (in sterilized jars) at 0-1,000 feet in altitude, or for 10 minutes at 1,001–6,000 feet in altitude in a boiling water-bath canner.

Nutrition information for 1 tablespoon of blueberry spice jam is as follows: calories, 61; total fat, 0g; saturated fat, 0g; carbohydrate, 16g; fiber, 0g; protein, 0g; sodium, 2 mg.

Taking the time to preserve your blueberries allows you to enjoy your harvest throughout the rest of the year.

Penn State Extension’s new guide “Preserving Food at Home” also includes several other methods that you can use to freeze or can your blueberries as well as information about nutrition and storage tips.To purchase a copy, go to https://extension.psu .edu/preserving-guide or call customer service at 877-345-0691.

For specific questions about preserving fruits, vegetables and meats, call your local Extension office to speak with a food safety educator. Customer service can provide the phone number for your local Penn State Extension office.

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