Enjoying Michigan blueberries

Do you know that Michigan leads the U.S. blueberry production?

Michigan leads the nation in blueberry production, producing 32 percent of the blueberries eaten in the United States. Michigan grown blueberries are available from mid-July through late September. The western counties of Michigan (Allegan, Berrien, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren) are the largest producers of blueberries in the State.

Beside their attractive blue color and sweet flavor, blueberries are low in fat, sodium free and a good source of fiber and vitamin C. A one-cup serving of blueberries will give you five grams of fiber, 15 percent of your daily vitamin C and is only 80 calories.

Choose blueberries that are plump, unwrinkled, blue in color and nearly free of leaves and stems. Store blueberries in the refrigerator, wash thoroughly before using or eating and use within a week. They are a great addition to cereals, yogurt, fruit salads, pancakes, muffins or just eating – no pitting or peeling, just rinse, eat and enjoy! Below is a recipe for pancakes and homemade syrup.

Oatmeal blueberry pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashion or quick)

1/4 cup sugar (optional)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

  • Heat griddle to 375 degrees
  • Mix dry ingredients together
  • Add milk, eggs, oil and stir
  • Add blueberries ands stir gently
  • Pour batter onto hot griddle, cook and serve with regular or blueberry syrup

Fresh blueberry syrup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries

1.5 inch thick slice lemon, with rind (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

  • Bring water and sugar to boil
  • Add blueberries, lemon and cinnamon
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Cook and serve

For additional information on preparing and preserving Michigan grown fruits and vegetables go to the Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh website or contact your local MSU Extension office.

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