If I could only choose one “fruit” to grow, it would be blueberries.
Infinitely snackable, sweet and slightly tart but low in sugar, these delightful berries are a summertime staple at picnics and barbecues. They’re just as welcome at the breakfast table in smoothies and pancakes as they are in a fruit salad with lunch and cobbler for dessert after dinner.
While blueberries can take a while to get started, it’s worth the space to grow them yourself. Sometimes, it helps to have a few inside secrets to boost your berry production, especially if you have established bushes but aren’t getting a lot of berries. If space is an issue, you can always try growing them in containers.
Whether you’ve got bucketloads of berries from your bushes or you’re just coming back from the pick-your-own farm, it helps to have a little blueberry inspiration.
(Don’t forget to freeze a few bags for the colder months.) So, I’ve gathered some of the most mouth-watering blueberry treats to whip up this summer.
When it comes to summertime, blueberries and ice cream go hand in hand. Mix a batch of sweet and tangy blueberry ice cream to beat the July heat. This particular recipe doesn’t use eggs but still results in smooth and creamy ice cream.
If you’re lucky enough to stumble across wild blueberries (or you’ve got a quart of blueberries from your bushes), don’t forget to make a batch of Cheryl’s Blueberry Syrup. You’ll be glad you did come December when you’re pouring it over hot pancakes.
You really can’t go wrong with a classic like cobbler. Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and you’re all set. I don’t know about your family, but we prefer our cobbler to be eaten still warm. Rarely does a dish of cobbler last more than one night. Comfort food at its finest.
And for those who are fans of that crispy streusel topping, here’s a recipe for a super easy blueberry crisp. You can even make a couple of pans ahead of time and pop them in the freezer. When that craving for sweet blueberries and crunchy cinnamon hits, all you have to do is turn on the oven.
I was first introduced to blueberries with barbecue at a local wing festival two summers ago. Everyone in our group scoffed at the maple bacon blueberry offering from one of the contenders. Blueberries, maple syrup and bacon on a chicken wing? Let’s just say we all stood in line for seconds, and that particular contender got our vote that evening.
This recipe brings together the sweet tang of blueberries, kissed with maple syrup. It doesn’t get more finger-licking good than this.
In my book, you just can’t beat a blueberry muffin with streusel topping. This tiny extra step takes an often boring morning staple and kicks it up into fancy brunch territory. This recipe uses buttermilk (learn how to make your own cultured buttermilk) to help you achieve those sky-high muffin tops we all love.
Cheesecake can be pretty fussy to make, and sometimes even the thought of a rich, creamy slice seems like too much after dinner. Enter these delectable lemon blueberry cheesecake bars. All the creamy flavor of cheesecake, but in less-heavy bar form. No springform pan necessary!
These creamy blueberry yogurt popsicles are a great snack on a hot afternoon. If you’re in a hurry in the morning, they also make a portable, healthy breakfast for those days when you don’t have time for something more elaborate. Your eight-year-old self will thank you – popsicles for breakfast.
Creamy, sweet and slightly tart, this fudge recipe is like no other fudge you’ve ever tasted. It’s a white chocolate-based fudge swirled with blueberry syrup. Not only is it delicious, but it’s awfully pretty too. Make a batch for an impressive hostess gift.
This is my own recipe, and I make at least one or two gallons every summer. Once the mead has been bottled and rested for a few months, it rarely lasts. It gets given away as gifts, and many bottles are popped during the summer months while sitting on the balcony. It’s tradition to sip last year’s vintage while making this year’s batch.
Sweet, tart and with a hint of basil, this mead is great served chilled, but the basil warms up nicely when served at room temperature.
11. Blueberry Pie
We all know it doesn’t get more American than apple pie, but it doesn’t get more summer than blueberry pie with a mound of freshly whipped cream. While it might be the messiest pie to eat, it’s definitely one of the tastiest, with the sweet berries baked until they’re soft and gooey. I’ll take a slice, for sure!
Don’t forget to let it cool completely for the filling to set up properly.
I may have mentioned this several hundred times, but I’m a sucker for a good chutney. What starts as a jam base gets kicked into another realm with the addition of tart vinegar. Suddenly sweet shakes hands with savory and dinner possibilities abound. Blueberry chutney is incredible served over warm camembert or topping your favorite roast pork.
13. Blueberry Mousse
Mousse has got to be one of the most underrated desserts out there. It’s easy to make, always looks impressive and is light enough to serve after even the heaviest meal. Now, take the idea of mousse and add blueberries and you have a dessert everyone will be talking about all summer long.
Yes, you read that correctly. The sweet-tart of blueberry meets up with the mellow goodness of slow-cooked onions to produce a savory jam that will knock those grilled burgers out of the park. Or bring a jar to your next charcuterie party and wow everyone with this sweet and savory snack.
If two flavors were made for each other, it’s sweet and salty. Enter the savory blueberry pizza. Luscious, ripe blueberries top a pizza and salty pancetta for a pizza you’ll never forget. (And a pizza you’ll be making all summer long.)
Look, we all know those terrible toaster tarts we grew up eating are, well, terrible. But we still hold a nostalgic place in our hearts for them. We have fond memories of juggling the scalding hot blueberry-flavored rectangles in our hands while we ran to the bus.
How about something a bit more sophisticated. Oh, and with real pastry, instead of that stuff reminiscent of cardboard.
Invite blueberries to lunch with a crunchy green salad. The addition of broccoli gives this salad an extra crunch. Toss in the creamy avocado with those sweet berries, and you’ve got a great lunch you’ll be reaching for all week long.
Summer is the perfect time to throw some salmon on the grill. But everyone and their brother has done the old teriyaki glaze on grilled fish. Why not try something new and unexpected like this delish blueberry balsamic glaze. It’s sure to become your new favorite.
This is another recipe from my kitchen, and I make plenty of shrubs during the summer with all the fresh fruit available. One of our favorite shrubs is blueberry, made with white balsamic vinegar. Add in a little chopped ginger, or try some fresh basil instead. You’ll have a tart and tasty shrub to add to club soda, lemonade and all your summer cocktail creations.
Bake these scones for your next lazy Sunday morning breakfast, and you won’t be disappointed. The tanginess of the goat cheese blends perfectly with the berries and offers a depth and creaminess you wouldn’t expect in a scone. For the best scones, use frozen butter and grate it.