All About Canadian Blueberries

All About Canadian Blueberries

Canada is exploding in blueberries right now. No, really—there is more land devoted to blueberries than any other fruit across the country, with apples coming in second. It’s also our number-one exported fresh fruit, but I say let’s eat as much as we can of this incredible native berry. We even have two kinds to choose from:


Highbush Blueberries

These are the big, sweet berries with a satisfying crunch when really fresh. Most often hailing from B.C., some are also grown in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. They’re called highbush because they grow on taller bush, and are the cultivated cousins of the lowbush variety. Highbush berries are most often sold fresh.

Lowbush Blueberries

Smaller in size but big on flavour, lowbush is synonymous with “wild”. Growers don’t plant these berries, instead they manage what nature already put in place. Canada is the world’s largest producer of lowbush blueberries, with much of the crop processed and frozen after harvest.

Why are fresh blueberries so expensive?

They’re hand-picked! And that greyish film on fresh blueberries—called a bloom—is a natural coating on the berry and tells you they were very delicately handled. If blueberries look overly dark and shiny, search for another package. 


How to store:

As with any berry, mould spreads fast. Inspect them at home and remove any shriveled or fuzzy berries. Rinse in a colander and spread out on a paper towel before transferring to a breathable container, then store in the fridge. Ideally, blueberries washed just before eating, but they’ll stay fresh in a paper towel-lined container for up to a week.   

 To freeze, spread them on a baking sheet and pop in the freezer to let them firm up, then transfer to a freezer bag. 


Sweet idea:

Take advantage of the last of the peaches with my Peach-Blueberry Almond Snack Cake—great for after-school or even breakfast. 

 Savoury idea:

Push a couple fresh blueberries into homemade turkey or chicken burgers just before grilling. Trust me, it’s tasty! 

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