‘Why Do You Work So Hard to be Plant-Based?’ The Great Blueberry Payoff

Picking fresh blueberries in Rochester, Wash.

I will be the first to admit that achieving whole-foods, plant-based meal planning at first may seem overwhelming. I don’t know if I’ve gotten used to all of the food prep, but it really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal now.

A few weekends ago we drove to Rochester, Wash., to go blueberry picking. My husband has done this for years but this was the first year I joined in, because this is the first year we’ve gone through a metric ton of blueberries! We do chocolate green smoothies every morning, which call for 2 cups of blueberries. That can be pricey if you buy from the freezer case at the store. So you stop thinking of blueberries by the pint, and think about how to save BY THE POUND.

In this case, a blueberry farm is your best friend, along with the summer season. Even if you don’t live near a blueberry farm, you can usually buy flats at discounted rates from farmers markets or at the store. Stock up! We were able to pick for $2 a pound at the farm we went to, and the two of us picked a combined 12 pounds in about an hour.

Jim achieving Zen working in the field.

The season here for picking is just about finished, but if you have the time, go and do this, or remember to do it next year for sure. It is relaxing, and places with older, established bushes make picking easy on your back — often the berries are at eye-level. At the farm we visited, the owners rotate the picking fields, so no two weekends may be the same as to where you pick, or what variety of berries you’ll get. But there is something really relaxing about just doing nothing but picking blueberries for an hour or so.

Our bounty.

Once you have the berries at home, wash them, pick through them and then spread on a cookie sheet in batches and freeze overnight. (Spring for extra cookie sheets at the store so that when you do this you will have plenty of sheets to use and the process will go faster.) Dump into freezer bags and you’ll soon have quite a smoothie stash!

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