Blueberries

Blueberries are chameleons while they grow. They begin with a pale green flesh, then turn reddish-purple, and finally take on their famous purple-blue hue once they are ripe. Blueberries are equally adaptable after they are harvested and are found fresh or frozen, in whole form or as purees, jellies, and jams. This super food is also linked to lower risk of high cholesterol, cancer, and cognitive degeneration.

Blueberries are one of the few commercially grown fruits native to North America. While they were a traditional ingredient in Native American cooking and a part of colonists’ diets, blueberries were not widely cultivated for sale until the early 20th century. Today, North America is the world’s leading blueberry producer, accounting for nearly 90% of global production. California ranks sixth among states growing the berries for fresh consumption.

To pick the best blueberries, look for berries that are firm. Shake the container (very gently) to see if the berries move freely. If they clump together, it is a sign that they are old or damaged. Blueberries will last for a week when kept covered in a refrigerator or for up to a year if frozen.

In Season

May, June, July, August

Recipes with Blueberries

Roman Gnocchi, Corn, Blueberry, and Cilantro

Mark Liberman, AQ

Blueberry Blast

Ani Phyo, Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast

Blueberry Cornbread

Adapted from Sunset Magazine by Kimberley Hasselbrink, The Year in Food

Double Berry Shortcake with Honey Cream

Stephanie Rosenbaum, author of The Astrology Cookbook: A Cosmic Guide to Feasts of Love (Manic D Press, 2009).

Articles about Blueberries

May 25, 2012

True Blue: Bringing America's Berry to California

For Kim Sorenson, the first spring harvest is one of the highlights of her year. “Blueberries are a feel-good fruit,” she says. “It’s something that takes people back to their childhood.”

June 10, 2011

Spring's Last Gasp: Recipes

The fleeting fruits and vegetables of spring and early summer “keeps things exciting,” Locavore blogger Kimberly Hasselbrink of The Year in Food. She shares some recipes with CUESA.

December 12, 2008

Terra Madre: Through the Farmers' Eyes: Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm

“The experiences we’ll remember most happened in the hours between the official programming — when we had the chance to get to know and learn from our fellow delegates.”

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »