BLUEBERRIES

20 Jun

Blueberries in pie. Blueberries in salad. Blueberries in muffins.  Blueberries in yogurt. Blueberries in pancakes.  Blueberries in cereal.  Blueberries all by themselves. When can’t you add blueberries? We dare you to be creative!

(image source: flickr.com)

Description

Blueberries are a native North American fruit (and there are only 2 others!) Blueberries are the fruit of a shrub bush and grow in clusters. Blueberries have a deep color, ranging from blue to maroon to dark purple, and they have a white-gray waxy protective coat.  

Nutrition

  • Blueberries are low fat, saturated fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free. 
  • Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese.  
  • Blueberries are also a good source of antioxidants (disease-fighting substances). 

Selection

Choose firm, plump, dry blueberries with dusty blue color and uniform in size.

Preparation

Wash blueberries with cold water before use and dry. 

Ways to enjoy

  • Mix with spinach or lettuce, nuts, strawberries and a light dressing for a salad. 
  • Add to pancake or waffle batter, or top with blueberries after cooking.
  • Top any cereal or oatmeal with a handful of blueberries.
  • Make your own fruit parfait. Layer blueberries with yogurt, granola, and another fruit of your choice.
  • Eat blueberries plain! Grab a handful on the go. Fill up a bowl while you read a book. 
  • Bake desserts for special occasions with blueberries in them to make celebrating more healthy. How about blueberry and lemon cheesecake bars? We recommend using reduced fat cream cheese.  http://www.blueberryrecipes.org/blueberry-cheesecake/    

Storage

Do not wash blueberries before storing.  Refrigerate blueberries for 10 days to 14 days.

Extras

The legend has it that the Native Americans gave blueberries to the pilgrims to help them make it through the first winter.

A single bush can produce 6,000 blueberries in a year. 

Recipes

http://www.blueberrycouncil.com/recipes-homestyle.php

(image source: blueberryrecipes.org) 

Sources

(2011). Preparing Blueberries for Cooking. Retrieved from http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–1439/preparing-blueberries-for-cooking.asp

Produce for Better Health Foundation. (2011). Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Database. Retrieved from http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=164

United States Highbush Blueberry Council. Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.blueberrycouncil.com/


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