Blueberries: Not Just for Muffins Anymore

Like their cousin the cranberry, blueberries are classified in the genus Vaccinium and species Cyanococcus.  They are usually dark blue in color, and grow from a shrub, whose flowers are bell-shaped and can be green, red, pink, or white.  The sweet taste of the mature blueberry is unmistakable, and usually the bush will bear berries in the middle of the growing season. Many are grown in North America,Australia,New Zealand, and South American, while their English cousin, the bilberry, is grown inEurope.

The ones you find in stores, however, are usually from the species that grow naturally in eastern and north-centralNorth America.  In fact, words that translate to English as “blueberry” in other languages are really referring to the European bilberry.  How to tell the difference?  Cut the berry in half.  If it has a greenish or white flesh, it’s a ripe blueberry.  If it is purplish throughout, it’s really a bilberry or huckleberry.      

InEurope, highbush blueberries were first introduced in the thirties.  They were brought toGermanyand theNetherlandsfirst, thenHungary,Italy,Poland, and the other countries ofEurope. Today, blueberries are cultivated all over Europe, except in theUK,Ireland, andSpain.  In fact,Turkeyis a major source of Caucasian whortleberry, bilberry, and bog blueberry.  Just as North American blueberries are used in cooking and commercial food products, Turkish blueberries are made into jellies or eaten as dried or fresh fruit.  Many in theBlack Seaarea are wild, not cultivated.

In theUS,Maineproduces 25% of lowbush North American blueberries, which makes it the greatest producer of these blueberries in the world. Maine’s state fruit is the wild blueberry, and the state claims many festivals in honor of the blueberry.  WhileMaineis the leader in lowbush production,Michiganis the highbush blueberry capital, although there are also farms inFlorida,North Carolina, andGeorgia.

In Canada, blueberries are the largest fruit crop produced. British   Columbiais the largest producer of highbush blueberries. Quebecproduces mostly wild blueberries, butNova   Scotiais still the leader in wild blueberry production.  About half of the total North American cultivation of blueberries comes from Atlantic Canada.

There are many uses for blueberries, including fruit juice, purees, pies, cereals, snack bars, muffins, jellies, jams, or simply popping them fresh into the mouth.  Additionally, blueberries are rich in manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and fiber.  They also have cancer fighters, such as anthocyanins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Early studies also show that consuming berries like blueberries might help slow Alxheimer’s decline, block the replication of hepatitis C, and slow the spread of other diseases.  It can reduce the effects of stroke, and possibly prevent urinary tract infections.  Blueberries have cholesterol and blood pressure lowering properties, and might improve memory.

Overall, new uses and properties of blueberries are continuously being discovered.  They are not only extremely healthy and possibly excellent disease fighters, they are also sweet and delicious, good in all kinds of tasty dishes and desserts.  Not just for muffins anymore, blueberries are a fabulously healthy and yummy choice.



For A Limited Time Download The “Healthy Stress Management Tips & Techniques” Report, It’s Great You”re Gonna Love It!

Blueberries: Not Just for Muffins Anymore

Like their cousin the cranberry, blueberries are classified in the genus Vaccinium and species Cyanococcus.  They are usually dark blue in color, and grow from a shrub, whose flowers are bell-shaped and can be green, red, pink, or white.  The sweet taste of the mature blueberry is unmistakable, and usually the bush will bear berries in the middle of the growing season. Many are grown in North America,Australia,New Zealand, and South American, while their English cousin, the bilberry, is grown inEurope.

The ones you find in stores, however, are usually from the species that grow naturally in eastern and north-centralNorth America.  In fact, words that translate to English as “blueberry” in other languages are really referring to the European bilberry.  How to tell the difference?  Cut the berry in half.  If it has a greenish or white flesh, it’s a ripe blueberry.  If it is purplish throughout, it’s really a bilberry or huckleberry.      

InEurope, highbush blueberries were first introduced in the thirties.  They were brought toGermanyand theNetherlandsfirst, thenHungary,Italy,Poland, and the other countries ofEurope. Today, blueberries are cultivated all over Europe, except in theUK,Ireland, andSpain.  In fact,Turkeyis a major source of Caucasian whortleberry, bilberry, and bog blueberry.  Just as North American blueberries are used in cooking and commercial food products, Turkish blueberries are made into jellies or eaten as dried or fresh fruit.  Many in theBlack Seaarea are wild, not cultivated.

In theUS,Maineproduces 25% of lowbush North American blueberries, which makes it the greatest producer of these blueberries in the world. Maine’s state fruit is the wild blueberry, and the state claims many festivals in honor of the blueberry.  WhileMaineis the leader in lowbush production,Michiganis the highbush blueberry capital, although there are also farms inFlorida,North Carolina, andGeorgia.

In Canada, blueberries are the largest fruit crop produced. British   Columbiais the largest producer of highbush blueberries. Quebecproduces mostly wild blueberries, butNova   Scotiais still the leader in wild blueberry production.  About half of the total North American cultivation of blueberries comes from Atlantic Canada.

There are many uses for blueberries, including fruit juice, purees, pies, cereals, snack bars, muffins, jellies, jams, or simply popping them fresh into the mouth.  Additionally, blueberries are rich in manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and fiber.  They also have cancer fighters, such as anthocyanins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Early studies also show that consuming berries like blueberries might help slow Alxheimer’s decline, block the replication of hepatitis C, and slow the spread of other diseases.  It can reduce the effects of stroke, and possibly prevent urinary tract infections.  Blueberries have cholesterol and blood pressure lowering properties, and might improve memory.

Overall, new uses and properties of blueberries are continuously being discovered.  They are not only extremely healthy and possibly excellent disease fighters, they are also sweet and delicious, good in all kinds of tasty dishes and desserts.  Not just for muffins anymore, blueberries are a fabulously healthy and yummy choice.





For A Limited Time Download The “Healthy Stress Management Tips & Techniques” Report, It’s Great You”re Gonna Love It!

backtotop