Here in Alaska, early fall is berry-picking time! We missed the season for cloud/salmon berries, which was at the end of summer. But we made up for it with tons of wild arctic blueberries. The road out to the tundra where we pick berries has some of the most beautiful views too.
They were a bit too sour in August, but by early to mid-September they were ripe for picking. We went out to the tundra on the weekends if the weather was good, and we picked until our fingers were blue.
Wild blueberries grow all over the tundra here. So it was just a short walk from town before we found some good patches of them.
I was surprised to find out that blueberries grow near the ground, since I have only picked farm grown blueberries that grow on big bushes. Here in the arctic everything is dwarfed and the tundra is filled with thick ground covering bushes and spongy moss.
All of that tundra hiking and berry picking was exhausting! Anneliese passed out on our walk home. It might have been hard finger-staining work, but it was also relaxing at the same time. We all had fun picking berries on the tundra.
Now we have about two gallons of blueberries, which is equal in strength to four gallons of store bought blueberries. (Wild blueberries have a much stronger flavor, so you have to use half the normal amount when mixing them in recipes.) My favorite recipe for these blueberries are homemade pancakes, but they are good to add in so many different recipes.
Yummy Berry Smoothie
- 1 Handful of Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
- 1 Scoop of Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
- 1/2 Cup of Any Nut Butter or a Scoop of Whey Protein Powder
- 1 Cup of Low Fat Milk (more or less for desired consistency)
Blend until smooth. If you are feeling mischievous, you can add a dollop of whipped cream to the top. Do you have any awesome blueberry recipes you would like to share? I have a freezer full of blueberries and could use some suggestions!