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Learn more about the
Health Benefits of Blueberries.
Did You Know? Wild bears will eat nothing except the
succulent, juicy blueberries when they are in season.
It has been documented that they will travel, with an empty stomach,
from ten to fifteen miles per day to sniff out a blueberry patch.
proclaimed National Blueberry Month by the United States
Department of Agriculture on May 8th, 1999. Blueberries are grown in 35 states
in the US, and the United States produces over 90% of all of the blueberries in
The early American Indians valued the wild blueberries. They called them "star
berries" because at the blossom end of each berry, the calyx forms a perfect
five-pointed star. Their legends tell of a time when children were dying of hunger during
a famine and the Great Spirit sent "star berries" to feed them. Early
settlers also cherished the fruit as a staple ingredient in foods and medicines. They
incorporated the berries into their diets, eating them fresh off the bush and adding them
to soups, stews, and many other foods.
North America is the world's leading blueberry producer, accounting for
nearly 90% of world production at the present time. Cultivated blueberries are grown in
more than 30 states as well as in British Columbia. During the summer blueberries ripen
from June through August depending on the variety. July is also known as National
Blueberry Month. Take advantage of this delicious berry by freezing some for the winter.
Pulling out summer blueberries in the winter to make muffins, pancakes, waffles or pie is
a real treat.
1 pint fresh blueberries = 3/4 pound or 2
1/2 cups blueberries
1 quart = 1-1/2 pounds = 4 cups
1 (10-ounce) package frozen blueberries
= 1 1/2 cups blueberries
(21-ounce) can of blueberries = 2 1/3 cups
fresh blueberries = filling for 1 (9-inch) pie shell
Blueberry Picking Tips:
Blueberries are the easiest
fruit to pick and use in your cooking, as there is no peeling, pitting,
coring, or cutting needed to use them in your recipes.
Select plump and full
blueberries with a light gray-blue color. Blueberries with any hint of red
are not fully ripened. Once blueberries are picked, they will not ripen any
Once blueberries are picked, do not place
the berries, still warm from the sun, in a closed bag or container. Leave
your picking container open so moisture doesn't form in the container.
Fresh Blueberry Tips:
Refrigerate the blueberries soon after
picking to increase the shelf life. If refrigerated, fresh-picked
blueberries will keep 10 to 14 days.
Do not wash the blueberries until just
before eating or using in your recipes to prevent berries from becoming
Unwashed blueberries will stay fresh
for up to two weeks in the refrigerator if kept dry.
Do not wash the blueberries before
Place dry, unwashed, and unsweetened berries in freezing containers or plastic bags.
Seal and freeze. The berries will freeze individually and pour out like marbles.
If you buy the berries in a
pint box, simply wrap the box tightly in cellophane to make it
airtight, or slip it into a resealable plastic bag (squeeze out as
much air as possible). Then freeze.
If you buy the berries in
bulk, freeze them on a cookie sheet first and then transfer them
into a freezer container. Keep frozen until ready to use.
frozen blueberries in your baking, do not thaw them. Always add them frozen so they will
not "bleed" in your baked goods.
Blueberry Recipe Substituting:
If a recipe calls for a can of
blueberries, you may make your own version by using the following:
2 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon of corn starch,
1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/8 cup of water
Cook until thickened and clear. Cool
before using as a substitute.