Go Blue!

In case you hadn’t yet heard, blueberries are (right now) at their peak. That means (right now) is the time to invest a (very little) effort, so that you’ll be able to enjoy these delicious and nutritious berries for months to come.

Freezing blueberries is a great way to preserve them. Frozen blueberries are quite versatile. They can be eaten straight out of the freezer for a cold treat. They can be thrown into a blender for smoothies. They can even be used for baking. (Think: homemade pancakes.)

By looking around, you may be able to purchase larger quantities of peak blueberries.  For example, my grocery sells 5-pound boxes and the farm stand that I frequent currently has 10-pound boxes.  So far this year, I’ve frozen 10 pounds, which equaled about two gallon zip-top bags.  (I plan to freeze another 10 pounds this weekend.)

You can either wash the berries before freezing, or you can wash after freezing but before using. I choose to wash them before freezing, because 1) I like to get the “work” over with and 2) I’m afraid that adding another step later would deter me from grabbing them as often.

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How to Freeze Blueberries:

  1. Rinse them in a colander and gently shake away excess water
  2. Spread onto a kitchen towel; discard any stems or damaged fruit
  3. (Optional) Cover with a second kitchen towel for a few minutes to absorb water from the tops
  4. Allow to air dry 15 – 30 minutes, until mostly dry
  5. Transfer to parchment-lined, rimmed baking trays and place into freezer
  6. After fruit is firm (not necessarily frozen solid), move to a zip-top freezer bag
  7. Put in freezer to enjoy later

That’s all there is to it!  It really is *that* easy.

Here are a few tips:

  • Set a timer to check the freezer beginning at around 30 minutes; leaving the berries in too long may cause them to shrivel a bit
  • Stand the zip-top bag up in the colander to keep it from tipping as it’s filled
  • Form a funnel with the parchment paper, to quickly transfer frozen berries to the bag
  • If you have a deep freezer, your blueberries will stay beautiful well into the winter… maybe even until spring

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Go Blue!

 

 

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A little help from my friends

Since the beginning of summer, I’ve managed to gain a few pounds, which has put me at the top of my new “comfortable” range. It’s time to get back to business before ‘a few’ pounds turns into ‘a few too many.’

Today was the day that our daughter has been looking forward to for the past couple of weeks. Her friend’s 5th birthday party.  Given that birthday cake with frosting is one my favorite splurges (and a major weakness), I decided it was wise to enlist some willpower help from two of my friends who would be at the party.

In the morning, the group text went something like this:

  • Me: Can’t wait to see you at the b-day party this afternoon. Keep me honest… no birthday cake for me.
  • Friend 1:  You got it.  See you in a bit.
  • Friend 2:  I sure will.

Just putting that out there solidified my willpower.  There was no additional reinforcement necessary, though we did joke about it at the party.

Instead of being filled with a double-layer, frosted treat, my plate looked like this.  Willpower tasted better than any birthday cake would have.

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Sometimes you just need a little help from your fiends.  Thanks, girls!