Diving into fresh, summer blueberries
July 9, 2013 2:46PM
Did you know...
Only 1/2 cup of blueberries equals one serving of your 5-a-day?
Over 200 million pounds of blueberries are produced each year in North America?
Blueberries contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than almost any other fruit or vegetable?
Blueberries are the second most popular berry in the United States? What do you think the favorite berry is? (Strawberries are our favorite!)
There are two varieties of blueberries; cultivated, and wild? (Wild blueberries are much smaller than the cultivated ones that we commonly eat fresh. The wild ones are usually sold in cans or as frozen. They also and have a chewy, stronger flavor.)
There are 1,600 wild blueberries in a pound and 500 cultivated blueberries in a pound?
Blueberries are also available dried? (Dried blueberries make a great healthy snack! They can be used in recipes, just as you would use raisins.)
If you dust fresh blueberries with flour just before you add them to a batter, they will not sink to the bottom of the pan?
Updated: August 11, 2013 6:10AM
Picking blueberries is something we have enjoyed doing as a family for years. It’s a great family activity and will also help teach children where their food comes from.
Here are ten ways to enjoy blueberries:
1. A sweet salad. Make a salad by topping spinach leaves with blueberries, nuts, strawberries, mandarin oranges and a light Vidalia onion dressing.
2. Pancakes and waffles. Add fresh blueberries to your whole wheat pancake or waffle batter.
3. Blue juice. Blend blackberries, blueberries and a splash of orange juice in a blender and add some blue to your day!
4. Blueberries & bran. Add fresh blueberries to a bran muffin mix. Bake and enjoy.
5. Top your oatmeal.
6. Fruit kabobs. Make fruit kabobs by stacking blueberries, kiwi and strawberries on toothpicks. Dip in vanilla yogurt.
7. Blue smoothie. Mix milk, low fat frozen vanilla yogurt and blueberries in a blender for a tasty blue treat.
8. Parfait. Layer blueberries, low fat vanilla yogurt, low fat granola and pineapple to make a delicious snack.
9. Pizza. Spread cream cheese thinned with some vanilla yogurt on a premade pizza crust. Top with sliced bananas, blueberries and your favorite fruit. Slice and eat.
10. Just pop a few. Then a few more! They’re delicious as is.
Where did blueberries come from?
Blueberries have origins in both Europe and the United States. Blueberries have been around for thousands of years and were once called “star berries” because of their star-shaped crown on the top of the berry. Native Americans were the first to incorporate berries into their diets. Lewis and Clark found that natives in the Northwest Territory smoked wild blueberries to preserve them for the winters.
One of the first meals exchanged between Lewis and Clark and the Indians was venison that had wild blueberries pounded into the meat. The cultivated blueberry, the variety that is primarily sold fresh, was a development made in the 1900s by a New Jersey botanist, Frederick Coville. He crossed different varieties of wild blueberries to create an easily grown blueberry for gardens and farms.
Are they healthy? They’re a good source of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, iron, are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. And they contain anthocyanin, a disease fighting and anti-aging substance.