They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. But what do you make when your grandmother rings your doorbell and hands you four pints of blueberries?
My grandma raised five boys and, out of necessity, always bought things in bulk when they were on sale at the grocery store. Old habits die hard, I suppose: even though her kids have long since moved out of the house, she’ll still never turn down a good sale. And there’s really no problem with that…until she finds herself with more food than she knows what to do with.
I’m fortunate enough to live about 15 minutes away from my grandma, so whenever she has an excess amount of whatever was on sale at A&P, she’ll ask if we can use it over at my house. This week, blueberries were on sale. Sure enough, she bought more than she and my grandfather could eat in a lifetime and the extras came my way. “I’m sure you can find something to do with all these blueberries, can’t you?” Challenge accepted, Grandma.
When I buy blueberries for myself (a.k.a. one pint at a time), I’ll usually just throw them in oatmeal or cereal, or maybe bake them into muffins if I have time. But there were four pints sitting in my fridge that needed to be used up in the next couple of days. I had to get creative.
The first thing I did was make a smoothie—or, not so much a smoothie as a carbonated blueberry beverage. I put a handful of watermelon chunks, about a half cup of blueberries and a little bit of agave syrup in the blender, then stirred it into a cup of seltzer water. It didn’t turn out too bad, but next time I’ll strain it first. If I had a lemon wedge I probably would have put it in my glass, too.
Later that day I found a great recipe from Eating Well for a relatively healthy peach and blueberry cobbler with whole wheat flour and canola oil as a substitute for some of the butter. It came out more like a cake than a traditional cobbler, and it was a perfect light dessert for a summer night. Just take three sliced peaches and a pint of blueberries, mix up a simple batter, pour it over the fruit and bake. (Click here for the full recipe)
I felt like using all the blueberries in desserts would be a cop-out, so I looked for a savory recipe that wouldn’t require me to go out and buy a whole bunch of ingredients, mostly because I was too lazy and time-constrained to do so yesterday. Luckily I came across this one from Jessica of How Sweet It Is for grilled blueberry chicken skewers. I used raspberry wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar in the blueberry marinade (which also includes olive oil, garlic, lime zest/juice, basil and cilantro all blended together) to carry over the berry flavor—that, and halfway through making it I realized I ran out of red wine vinegar and never bothered to buy more. Jessica serves hers with creamy coconut rice, which I’ll have to try next time (and there will definitely be a next time) because it sounds absolutely delicious. (Click here for the full recipe)
Moral of the story: you can always find ways to use excess blueberries. And if you’re still not sick of them after going through a few pints in several days, you can get a cup of Blueberry Tart frozen yogurt.
What’s your favorite way to prepare blueberries?