20 Mar 2024

Even Frozen, Local Berries Are The Best

Real Maine / About Us / Blog / Maine Products / Even Frozen, Local Berries Are The Best

March is National Frozen Food Month, which makes it a great time to remind you that frozen berries are a great way to enjoy the flavor year-round that local berries bring.

You can use either fresh or frozen berries in a number of recipes, from baked goods and smoothies to salads and main dishes.

According to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, frozen berries:

  • Retain their taste and health benefits if frozen within 24 hours of harvest
  • Have the same or greater nutritional value as fresh berries

You can purchase frozen berries locally this time of year, but when fresh berries are in season, be sure to buy enough to freeze so you can have fresh berries available year-round.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers this advice on how to properly freeze berries and other fruit. The Extension outlines whether to use sugar or syrup when freezing, what containers should be used, and other information.

To maybe spur some ideas on how to use frozen berries, here is a recipe from the Wild Blueberry Association of North America:

Credit: Wild Blueberry Association of North America

Wild Blueberry Zucchini Bread

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup neutral oil (like canola, vegetable, or grapeseed)
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup frozen wild blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan.

2. Grate zucchini and set aside.

3. Add ¼ cup all-purpose flour and frozen wild blueberries to a small bowl. Stir until all blueberries are coated with flour. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, ½ cup all-purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

5. In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Whisk wet ingredients until smooth.

6. Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just incorporated.

7. Gently fold shredded zucchini and wild blueberry/flour mixture into batter. Pour into loaf pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.

8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool for at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack.

For more wild blueberry recipes, go to www.wildblueberries.com/recipes/.

Real Maine is the state’s official agriculture and agritourism promotions program. From strawberries to raspberries to blueberries, plan your agricultural experience with Real Maine. Visit www.RealMaine.com to connect to farms, food, and agriculture throughout Maine.