By Lori Powell
I have the pleasure of staying in Maine for at least a week on the coast every year, usually in August. Wild Maine blueberries, if I am lucky, are still around for me to enjoy for breakfast, a snack, a smoothie or in a dessert. However this year, given how warm it has been, I suspect the height of the season will come too early and I will miss out on one of my favorite foods of summer.
All is not lost, however, as I came across wild blueberries at the Kingston Farmers’ market this past weekend in Upstate New York. If you have never tried these jewels, seek them out at your local farmers’ market since they are sooo different from the regular cultivated kind. In both size (half pint size) and taste (superior). Kind of like little pellets of the best blueberry jam you have ever encountered, but are so naturally sweet and just oh so good! No need for added sugar here.
Buy berries that are intact and not shriveled, soft or moldy. Avoid any containers that are stained with juice; the berries on the bottom might have started to break down. Store blueberries in their original dry container for up to four days. Rinse and pick them over just before eating.
If you can’t find the fresh stuff, you can find them in the freezer aisle. Wyman’s Wild Blueberries are good in a pinch, especially for smoothies and pancakes. You’ll boost up on your antioxidants, because wild has more of them than cultivated (regular blues) and more than 20 different fruits and berries, according to US Department of Agriculture research. So go ahead and slurp them up in the smoothie recipe below. Also, another perk is you don’t even have to peel them!
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Serves 1 (about 1 ½ cups)
1/2 cup fresh wild Maine blueberries, rinsed and picked over, or frozen berries
1/2 cup frozen vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup chilled pomegranate or cranberry juice
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 ice cubes
Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass.
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