Cook Down Bitter Blueberries To Transform Them Into A Sweet Treat

When perusing the produce aisle of the grocery store, it's hard to pass by the blueberries without picking up a carton or two. The berries have a sweet taste with a slightly acidic aftertaste that makes them irresistible. Yet, buying a carton of them doesn't guarantee that you'll always get sweet blueberries. Oftentimes, a batch of blueberries will end up being sour and bitter.

While you may expect them to ripen and sweeten over time like other fruits, blueberries have a stagnant flavor. This means that sour blueberries picked from the bush will maintain the same taste. So, what do you do with a container full of bitter berries? It's easy to mask the sourness in a smoothie or yogurt parfait with sweeter fruits and a touch of honey. However, the best trick for sweetening up a bitter batch of berries is to cook them down. As the juice of the berries is released, the berries will turn sweeter, especially when combined with sugar, honey, and spices. Cooking bitter blueberries down into a compote is the best way to salvage them and allow them to be used in a multitude of ways.

How to turn bitter blueberries into a compote

Rinse your berries and add about half of them to a saucepan. Pour a few tablespoons of water, some maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt into the saucepan as well. Set the burner to medium heat and allow the berries to cook down, stirring them every now and then.

After around 10 minutes, lower the heat slightly and add in the rest of the berries. Stir the blueberries more frequently to ensure that they all mix together properly. Since they started out on the bitter side, taste-test them to see if they're sweet enough, then add maple syrup accordingly. Whenever the compote has reached your desired consistency, remove it from the stove.

The sweet, stewed berries can be served over ice cream, lemon mug cake, oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, and French toast right away. To store the compote, pour it in an airtight jar and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.