NC Local Flavors – Blueberries
In our area, the blueberry season has always been associated with hot summer days! The most common variety of these called rabbiteye blueberries, ripen from June through August. This means Summer is the best time to get some good quality and the best value local blueberries.
The Native Fruit
No matter if you pick them yourself or purchase them at the grocery store or your local farmers’ market, this native berry has been part of the Americas since before colonization. Based on information from the Smithsonian Libraries blog, colonizers chronicled the relationship of Native Americans with this blue fruit since the 1600s. One of the dishes called sautauthig, was made with dried blueberries and dried, cracked corn mixed with water to make a pudding-like mix. Centuries later, the blueberry was “domesticated” and turned into a commercial crop.
With only 42 calories per half-cup, blueberries can use enjoyed in many ways. You can eat them alone, in a parfait, frozen, in a smoothy, etc. If doing home canning, you could try the delicious Blueberry-Lime Jam or the Blueberry-Spice Jam. Here are some links to websites celebrating the blueberry and recipes you could use to enjoy this local flavor of the month:
Blueberry-Spice Homemade Jam (remember to always use the proven method for food preservation)
Blueberry’s Nutrition and Serving Ideas – Harvest of the Month: Blueberries
For more information about nutrition, healthy eating, locals foods, and food preservation, please contact Ivelisse Colón, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-246-2055.