Our blueberry bushes our producing wonderfully this year. In fact, it’s our biggest crop yet. I love to eat blueberries straight from the bush, when they burst with sweet goodness, warmed from the sun, there’s nothing better. We freeze them to use in homemade pancakes, waffles, muffins, pies, and cakes all year long.
But I’ve now discovered even another use for these wonderful power house, anti-oxidant packed berries. Plus, I get to use some of our fresh herbs.
Are you ready?
Note: Some of the links below are to our affiliate partner Amazon.
Blueberry Basil Thyme Vinegar (adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Canning)
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups white wine vinegar
1/3 cup basil leaves, crushed
1/4 cup thyme leaves, crushed
Grated zest of 1 lemon or lime
In a large bowl, mash blueberries with a potato masher into 1 cup of vinegar. Pour into a quart sized washed Mason jar. Add remaining cup of vinegar, crushed herbs, and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and stand in a dark, cool place. I used my cupboard. Stir every 2 to 3 days and allow to seep up to 4 weeks. Taste weekly until you’re happy with it.
When you’re satisfied with the taste, line a strainer with layers of cheesecloth and place over a large stainless steel pan. Strain the vinegar. Don’t squeeze. When it’s all strained, put the pot on the stove at medium heat until vinegar reaches 180 degrees.
Ladle the hot vinegar into prepared jars, with a 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a waterbath canner for 10 minutes. Or, simply put vinegar in hot jars, let come to room temperature, and store in the fridge.
I plan on using it as a salad dressing. The book recommends using garlic, fresh basil or thyme, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and some sugar (I’d use honey) blended with the blueberry vinegar for a dressing. Mine is still seeping so I can’t tell you the exacts on how I’ll use it or measurements for the dressing. I’ll update this part as soon as it’s ready.
What’s your favorite use for blueberries? Did you ever read Blueberries for Sal (Puffin Storytime) *affiliate link, it was my favorite story as a child. No wonder it’s still a classic from 1948. If so, you’ll know why I can never pick blueberries without thinking, kerplunk, kerplink.
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Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.