Summertime Blueberry Recipes
North Carolina has been a blueberry contender for more than 70 years. Pender County, located in the southeastern region of the state, was the site of North Carolina's first cultivated blueberry production in the 1930s. Today, it hosts the annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival that draws more than 30,000 people. (Learn more about this year’s event, which takes place June 20, at ncblueberryfestival.com.) Overall, North Carolina ranks seventh in the nation for blueberry production.
Sweet and juicy, blueberries are considered a superfood. They are said to boost memory and sharpen brain activity, offer a great source of fiber, and taste delicious. They're also high in antioxidants and vitamins C and K, and a full cup will only cost you 80 calories.
Another wonderful aspect of the hearty blueberry is its versatility. They can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, dried, canned or pickled. Each pretty little blue orb is bursting with flavor and cooking potential.
The long harvest season in mild-weathered North Carolina brings availability of local berries from May to August. They are fun to pick, easy to clean and less prickly than blackberries.
Most of us have a favorite blueberry dish. Ever-popular pies, muffins and pancakes are time-tested standbys. The following recipes are designed to think outside the pie box.
Panna cotta, Italian for “cooked cream,” is so easy to make, but all of that cream is a bit heavy on a summer day. The Blueberry Panna Cotta recipe provided here reduces the cream from three cups to one cup and adds tangy low-fat buttermilk.