Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money. A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Blueberries and Blueberry Marmalade.
Growing Blueberries at Home
Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow organically, but proper preparation and patience are necessary to reap the full benefits. To grow properly blueberries require soil that is acidic, proper care for a shallow root system and plenty of water when fruiting. Blueberry plants take about 3 years before they begin to produce any sizeable amount of berries. Once fully mature you can expect about 8 quarts of berries per bush.
Read more about growing and caring for blueberries at About Home: How to Grow Blueberries in the Home Garden.
Blueberries ripen somewhere between mid July to mid August making this the best time to purchase blueberries if you are not fortunate enough to grow your own. When purchasing blueberries, look for berries that look fresh, plump and unblemished. A refrigerated display case is the best place to look. After purchasing, blueberries should be refrigerated as well for maximum longevity. When handled properly fresh blueberries should last for 10 – 14 days. Wash berries prior to eating.
Blueberries may be frozen with great results. To freeze, rinse berries lightly and place on paper towel to soak up extra moisture. Arrange blueberries on a baking sheet in single layer and place in the freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove berries and place in heavy duty freezer bag or use vacuum sealer. Frozen berries can be stored up to a year.
Blueberries and citrus combine to make this unusual marmalade. I enjoy the extra bit of sweetness the blueberries add, giving a great tasting twist on a perennial favorite. This recipe was developed quite by accident while reading directions for two different recipes and then getting mixed up about which one I was actually making. I decided I couldn’t let all those lovely oranges and blueberries go to waste, so I threw the book out the window and went on a wing and a prayer. I love how this recipe came together. I hope you will too!
The following recipe is processed using a water bath canning process. If you have never canned before or need a refresher the National Center for Home Food Preservation is the gold standard of information. I would encourage you to head over and read their general canning information.
- 4 oranges
- 2 lemons, very thinly sliced
- 4 cups water
- 6 cups blueberries
- 6 cups sugar
- Remove thin outer rind from oranges with vegetable peeler or paring knife and cut into fine strips.
- Place rind, thinly slice lemons, and water in a large non-reactive pan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and gently boil for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove remaining white pith from the oranges, cut in half (being careful to save juice from the oranges) and place all in a food processor.Process until finely chopped.
- Add chopped pulp and blueberries to orange mixture and return to a boil.
- Boil gently for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add sugar and bring to a rapid boil.
- With mixture uncovered, continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to gel.( about 35 minutes depending on moisture content of the berries) *see link below for how to tell when mixture will form a gel.
- Once thickened, remove from heat.
- Ladle into hot jars and process for 15 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round
Three Ways to Test the Jellying Point for Jams and Jellies: http://www.portlandpreserve.com/TestingTheJellyPoint.pdf
Blueberry Marmalade shared with: *Thank you Honey: Whatever Wednesday *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesday’s *Smart Schoolhouse: Whimsy Wednesday * My Paper Craze: Creative Spark *Ducks n’ a Row:Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop *The Crafty Wife: Wednesday Roundup *Homestead Lady: Green Thumb Thursday *Yum Eating: The Yuck Stops Here *O Taste And See: Family Fun Friday *Juggling Real Food And Real Life: Let’s Get Real *The Deliberate Mom: Shine Blog Hop *Culinary Flavors: The Weekend Social *The Pin Junkie: The Pin Junkie *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday *The Cookie Puzzle: Party in Your PJ’S * Nancherrow: Friday’s Unfolded *The Diary of A Real Housewife: Foodie Friday’s *In the Kitchen With Jenny: Foodie Friends Friday Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Friday’s *Captain America and His English Rose: The Pretty Pintastic Party *Create with Joy: Friendship Friday *Army wife to Suburban Life: Pin Your Friday Favorite *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday’s *What’s on The List: Say G’Day *Oh My Heartsie Girl: Weekends are Fun Party * New Mama Diaries: Creative Style LinkUp *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Our Rosey Life: Share it Sunday *Our Simple Life: Happiness is Homemade * Create with Joy: Inspire Me Monday * Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags *It’s a Ginger Snap: Motivate Me Monday * Plucky’s Second Thoughts *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Craving Some Creativity: Turn It Up Tuesday *Cupcakes and Crinoline: Project Inspired *Lou Lou Girls *Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Talented Tuesday’s *Crafty Spices: Wordless Wednesday * Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *Create with Joy: Wordless Wednesday *Our Table For Seven: Share Your Stuff
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