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Blueberries for Health

Blueberries for health

One of the nation's most well liked fruits; berries have origins in both Europe and here in the United States.

The Native Americans were the first to incorporate berries into their diets and lifestyle.

Today, blueberries are appreciated worldwide.

Many berries are suitable to eat raw and most types vary from 50 to 100 calories per serving if eaten raw. Berries are brimming with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber and antioxidants.

Nutrients in Blueberries per 1/2-Cup Serving

Note: Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. One Half Cup Measuring Cup

  • Calories: 40
  • No fat content in blueberries.
  • No cholesterol in blueberries.
  • No sodium in blueberries.
  • Total carbohydrates in 1/2-cup is 11g.
  • Dietary fiber in 1/2-cup is 2g.
  • Sugars in 1/2-cup is 7g - plus the sugars are all natural.
  • Vitamin C in 1/2-cup is 10 percent.
  • Iron in 1/2-cup is 2 percent.

Selecting Blueberries

In general, blueberries should be dry, firm, well shaped, and eaten within a week after purchase. If you can't eat them that soon, remember that berries freeze well! It is best to buy blueberries that are in-season as they will cost less and are more ripe and flavorful than out-of-season berries. Select blueberries that are firm, dry, plump, and smooth-skinned. Berries should be deep-purple blue to blue-black; reddish berries are not ripe but can be used in cooking.

Blueberry Helpful Hints

Blueberries tend to change color during cooking. Acids, like lemon juice and vinegar, make the blue in blueberries turn red. In an alkaline environment, such as a batter with too much baking soda, the blueberries may turn greenish-blue.

To reduce the amount of color streaking, stir your blueberries (right from your freezer, if frozen) into your cake or muffin batter last.

When making pancakes and waffles, add the blueberries as soon as the batter has been poured on the griddle or waffle iron. This will make the pancakes prettier and they will be easier to flip. If frozen blueberries are used, cooking time may have to be increased to be sure the berries are heated through.

Wild Blueberries

Wild Blueberries Wild blueberries are smaller in size compared to their cultivated cousins. Blueberries have a protective light powdery coating on the skins and tend to last longer than other berry varieties. Nearly half of the cultivated blueberries grown are sold as fresh blueberries. Fresh blueberries are available for nearly eight months of the year from producers across the United States and Canada.

North America is the world's leading blueberry producer, accounting for nearly 90 percent of world production at the present time. The North American harvest runs from mid April through early October, with peak harvest in mid May to August.

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