We are in the height of blueberry season right now in BC and I just can’t get enough of these delicious sweet berries. I actually enjoy blueberries so much that I bought not one, but TWO five-pound boxes of these sweet little berries to indulge in before the season is over! I know…it’s a lot of blueberries… but they are just so delicious and are full of antioxidants! I put them in everything these past few weeks and while doing so, I tested out a few recipes that I am going to be sharing with you this week on my blog! All of these recipes feature local and fresh BC Blueberries, so rightfully, I’m calling this week #BCBlueberryWeek!
Read on down below to find out all you need to know about BC Blueberries! And stay tuned this week for tons of delicious blueberry recipes!
Fresh blueberries at Arbor Blueberry Farm
BC Blueberries, an Overview
While blueberries are native to North America, I would have to say the British Columbia grows the best blueberries in the whole world. They grow wild throughout the province but are farmed predominately in the southern part of the province- around the Lower Mainland/Fraser River and even in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The soils in these areas are rich and contain all the nutrients that blueberries need to grow.
Fields of blue…berries
Additionally, the climate is very well suited to growing these berries in these particular regions since it gets really warm during the day and cool at night, which makes the blueberry bushes explode with these dark blue jewels! These two factors alone make BC one of the largest blueberry producers in the entire world! BCBlueberry.com reports that 150 million pounds of blueberries are harvested on an annual basis from over 600 farms! That’s a lot of berries and a lot of hard-working farmers that bring this summer treat to our tables!
Blueberry Season and Price
During the summer, from July to September, you can get fresh blueberries from the farm stand or your local grocery store for a great, affordable price. They are quite pricey throughout the rest of the year when they are not in season, and they don’t taste anywhere near as good as the summer fresh berries. When these berries are in season, you an expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $6 per pint of blueberries, or if you buy in bulk (like my five-pound box) around $8 to $14. In the off-season you can pay anywhere from $6 to even $9 for half a pint of blueberries! So stock up on blueberries in the summer when they are fresh and cheap, as you can easily freeze them and store them throughout the winter months.
Close to 6 pounds of blueberries! Surprisingly they were easy to pick!
When buying blueberries, make sure that they are firm and plump and dark blue to indigo in colour. The skins will also look iridescent and a little silver in colour, a beautiful characteristic of these little berries. Avoid any berries that are wrinkled, burst open, or are wet. Wetness can lead to premature mold growth and will spoil your berries faster.
To store your fresh blueberries, keep them cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. This will help them last longer than if they were at room temperature. If they are chilled, they can last anywhere between 10-14 days. Only wash your blueberries once you are ready to eat them!
You can also freeze summer-fresh blueberries so that you can have them all winter long. Simply wash the blueberries and dry them thoroughly. Once the blueberries are dry, lay them out onto a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze them. Once they are frozen solid (about 1-2 hours), place them in a freezer storage bag or a freezer container. The blueberry skin will become tough the longer they sit in the freezer, so use them within 6 months of freezing.
Smiling from ear to ear…knowing that I’m going to eat all these blueberries 😛
You can do just about anything with blueberries. You can cook with them in sweet and even savoury recipes or you can just eat them raw. Some of the most popular blueberry recipes include blueberry jam, blueberry muffins, blueberry pies, and blueberry smoothies. Yum! I could eat all of these!
This little guy gets the best snacks!
I have a few tasty recipes up my sleeve coming your way this week so stay tuned for some great summer blueberry inspiration! Let me know in the comments below if you liked this article and what your favourite blueberry recipe is!