All about Blueberries

Blueberries : How to pick, store and use

Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with blue or purple colored berries.

All about blueberries

Blueberries are native of North America, and grow usually in prostrate shrubs, both the wild (‘low bush’) and cultivated (‘high bush’) varieties.

The high bush varieties were introduced into Europe in the 1930’s.

Blueberry shrub

Botanical placement

The blueberries are classified in the section Cyanococcus, within the genus Vaccinium.

Vaccinium also includes cranberries, bilberries,huckleberries and Madeira blueberries.


They grow as prostrate shrubs usually.The leaves are either deciduous or evergreen, their flowers are bell shaped white ,pink or red.The fruit is a berry usually5-15mm in a diameter, with a flared crown at the end.They are pale greenish at first, then reddish purple & finally dark purple when ripe.They are covered in a protective coating of powdery epicuticular wax, colloquially known as the “bloom”.

All about Blueberries


They are sweet to taste when mature, with variable acidity that gives them the tartness.

Growing season

They typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season. Peak of the crop, in the northern hemisphere, can vary from May to August ( also influenced by local conditions like altitude & latitude)

How to pick/choose blueberries

  • If growing in your garden, best time to pick is early in the morning when they are in the peak sweetness ,before heat builds up in the fruit.
  • Let your berries ripen on the bush. It is not a good idea to pick berries early.Reddish blueberries aren’t ripe, and won’t ripen once they are picked but you can use them in cooking.
  • Once picked, don’t place the berries, still warm from the sun, in a closed bag or container.
  • Don’t wash berries until just before using, to prevent berries from becoming mushy.
  • Chill berries soon after picking to increase shelf life.
  • Freeze berries in freezer containers without washing to keep the skins from toughening.
  • Size isn’t an indicator of maturity but color is – berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black.
  • Avoid blueberries that look soft or shriveled or have any signs of mold.

How to store blueberries

  • Sort the moldy blueberries from the fresh ones.
  • To avoid bitterness in taste, pull off any remaining stems.
  • Do not wash berries until you are ready to eat them.When you are ready, consider rinsing the blueberries with one part vinegar and three parts water to kill any existing mold spores.

How to prepare recipes with blueberries

Recipes with blueberries
Recipes using Blueberries

When it comes to enjoying blueberries, they are super versatile. They’re delicious fresh or frozen. One can consume them in :

  • salad
  • stir them into cereal or oatmeal
  • smoothies
  • waffles
  • pancakes
  • yogurt
  • cupcakes
  • muffins
  • layered on pizza

Health benefits of Blueberries

These little blueberries pack a mighty punch, so do not be fooled by the size. They are listed among the superfoods for a reason. They have innumerable health benefits.

  • They are filled with antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • They are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber.
  • They contain large amounts of phytochemicals (anthocyanins) which give the berries their color.These anthocyanins are supposed to play a major role in inhibiting tumor growth and reducing inflammation.
  • Since they are free of sodium, these berries help lower blood pressure.
  • The antioxidants in blueberries are strongly linked to reduced levels of oxidized LDL, thus making them heart healthy.
  • Blueberries help maintain brain function and improve memory.
  • They are rich in Vitamin C, B6 and folate.
  • The anthocyanins in the blueberries help manage diabetes .
  • They help prevent Urinary tract infections due to their anti adhesive property which prevent bacteria like E. coli from binding to the wall of our bladder.
  • They help in reducing muscle damage caused by strenuous exercise(which is usually caused by local inflammation and reduced muscle performance)

Links to our berry recipes

Some of the links to my published posts on berries are listed below for your interest :

The Bottom Line

If you love recipes with blueberries, then there are so many ways to use them in blueberry pies, cobblers, cookies, jams, muffins, salads, main dishes and many more fresh summer favorites.

Share with us in the comments below how you used them in your recipes! We would love to hear it!

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2 years ago

I love blueberries but I didnt know half the information you told us here. Thanks.

Cindy Moore
Cindy Moore
2 years ago

Blueberries are my favorite berry! I typically have some in the freezer of the fridge.

2 years ago

Blueberries are my favorites! We’ve tried growing them in the backyard but have had such a hard time with them. I’m hoping that as the bushes continue to mature, they’ll become a little easier to manage.

2 years ago

This reminded me of my favorite PNW summer activity of picking blueberries at the U-pick farms. I have never thought of putting them on pizza!!

Danielle Ardizzone
2 years ago

Every July, we go blueberry picking here in NJ (it’s our state fruit). Love eating them right off the bushes!

2 years ago

Blueberries are one of my favs!

Sabrina DeWalt
2 years ago

Perfect timing. It is blueberry season here in Florida. I just picked my first batch last week.

2 years ago

Excellent! I’ve always wanted to grow blueberries but had no idea how to tell when they were ready lol

2 years ago

One of my favorites! Love these in smoothies and pancakes.

2 years ago

Fresh Blueberries, nothing like that pop of juicy in your mouth! So great!

2 years ago

I love blueberries! I know berries are in general good for you, but it was neat to read all of the health benefits since I eat them so much anyway. Thanks for the storage tips too!

Melissa Jones
2 years ago

Great tips! I have never had any luck working with fresh blueberries!

2 years ago

I love blueberries! The best ones I’ve ever had were fresh off the bush in Alaska.

2 years ago

Blueberries are a favourite in my house! W use them for muffins, pancakes, smoothies and more!

2 years ago

I love blueberries. I eat them every day. So glad to learn that they are free of sodium because I have high blood pressure. The bonus I learned is they help with diabetes as well. I knew they were good for you but now I know how important they are to my health. Thanks for sharing.

lisa manderino
lisa manderino
2 years ago

I love that you have all the berries recipes listed! Yum, blueberries are so healthy.

Suz |

How I wish blueberries grew in New Mexico! I use frozen blueberries along with other frozen berries in my milk-based smoothy every morning. I add in peaches, raspberries, mangoes, cherries, and cranberries, depending on my mood. Good stuff!

2 years ago

Great tips! I’ve never picked blueberries before, but I’d love to if I get the chance

Holly B
2 years ago

Thanks for the great tips and advice! I have never had success growing blueberries.. I hope this helps!