Picked 10 pounds of big plump blueberries this weekend with our 12 year old guest from Massachusetts, Nikki. She was a huge help and had fun to boot. I think she ate almost as many as she had in her bucket but that is part of the fun. The weather was perfect as it was an overcast day with a bit of a breeze. It was lots cooler than last week when the temperature was in the upper 90’s and sunny at the blueberry farm. I prefer a cooler day for sure.
Today I made up 11 ½ pints of blueberry jam. I used the recipe from the Blue Ball Canning Book. I did have a mishap with the pan I choose and had to transfer the boiling mixture to a larger pot to finish cooking. I thought the pan was large enough but when the berries began to burst and let out their juice the volume expanded and wanted to boil over onto the stove. Lesson learned to make sure your cooking pan is deep enough. I have a small size stock pot and that worked out just fine.
There are still many berries left that I will freeze in two cup batches just right for pancakes or muffins. To freeze blueberries I first wash them in the colander. I then spread them out on cookie sheets and sort through for bits of stem, leaves, wizened berries and bugs. I don’t like bugs in my muffins. Next I pop them in the freezer for a few hours and when they are frozen like little blue rocks I measure them out and store them in freezer Ziploc bags that are labeled with the date and amount in the bag.
This has been a great year for blueberries in the Pacific Northwest.
Some blueberry information you might find interesting. Reader beware subjects might be sensitive. Berries, despite their diminutive size, can be powerful sources of phytochemicals. One such phytochemical is a compound called ellagic acid which is believed to help prevent cellular changes that can lead to cancer. They also contain flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acid and lignans which may help keep you cancer free through a variety of mechanisms, including their antioxidant power. Blueberries produce phenolic compounds which can limit colon cancer cells ability to multiply and also tripper these renegade cells to die. Blueberries have vitamin C and are high in fiber.
Did you ever wonder why high fiber foods are supposedly good for us. Well it seems the insoluble fiber which is incredibly absorbent draws rivers of water into the intestine, which makes stools heavier. Heavy stools travel through the intestine faster, which means that you’re less likely to become constipated. Now you really did want to know that didn’t you? Think I will go make a blueberry smoothie.