A Wealth of Blueberries
by Laura Frerichs, Tastemaker in Residence
I have 20 pounds of fresh, sustainable Michigan blueberries in my fridge and feel like a truly wealthy woman! Blueberries are one fruit that we don't grow on our farm, they need very acidic soil which is not what we have out here on the prairie, and it is such a luxury to have regional berries which are not shipped in from Chile or Argentina. These beautiful little blue orbs are rich in antioxidants, specifically anthocyanin, which gives fruits and vegetables their purple and blue tinge. Anthocyanins imparts much nutrition to food, and this pigment has been linked to cancer fighting and strengthening the heart. We mainly eat them because they taste amazing, but the nutrition is a definite bonus and a good reminder to "Eat the Rainbow".
We will freeze much of these berries to use throughout the winter. We will also gorge ourselves on fresh berries, make a fresh berry crisp, maybe mixed in with peaches or rhubarb, blueberry pancakes, blueberry lemon sorbet, and we will even see if William, our 6 month-old, would like to gum a few for his first foods.
If you love blueberries too (and who doesn't??), check your local farmer's market, food co-op, and local grocer to see if they have a connection with a local blueberry grower. Many blueberry farms also do u-pick.
If you do find yourself with a good supply of great blueberries, I recommend checking one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen, for all her delectable blueberry recipes. Blueberry bread pudding, blueberry scones, and a peach blueberry cobbler are all on my must-try list.