Why We Love Blueberries
These little bundles are packed full of immune supporting phytonutrients and antioxidants that will give you a huge boost of nutrients. Blueberries provide powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that help protect the blood vessels from inflammatory damage. They contain colorful antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins, which provide the shades of blue, purple, and red, and have also been shown to protect against high blood pressure. Blueberries are rich in pectin, vitamin C, potassium, and significant amounts of tannins which can kill bacteria, and manganese, which contributes to healthy bones as well as converting macronutrients to energy. Rich in flavonoids, consuming these little berries is known to help decrease the risk of type-2 diabetes.
How to Shop for Blueberries
Buy blueberries when they are in season to keep costs down, and keep their freshness and flavor high. When you’re at the farmers’ market or grocery store look for blueberries that are plump and firm and have a healthy shade of dark blue.
TIP: Shake the container: if blueberries move freely then they are a likely an ideal firmness, but if they don’t move this is a sign that they may be soft and/or moldy. Blueberries should be free from moisture to avoid becoming moldy too rapidly. If you’re purchasing frozen berries, shake the bag gently to ensure that the berries move freely and are not clumped together, which may suggest that they have been thawed and refrozen.
How to Store Blueberries
Store ripe blueberries in a refrigerator in a sealed container where they will keep for up to three days. If kept out at room temperature for more than a day, the berries may spoil. Before storing be sure to remove any bruised or moldy berries to prevent the others from spoiling too fast. Wash berries right before serving and only rinse the amount you are going to eat, juice, blend or cook. If berries are stored wet, they will get moldy fast.
If your berries are ripe and you are not ready to eat them yet, wash, drain and remove any damaged berries, then store them in the freezer!
How to Prepare for Blueberries
Blueberries can be enjoyed in all sorts of ways – juiced, blended, raw in salads, as a snack, or cooked in your favorite healthy version of Blueberry Pie.
Juice: Wash blueberries well then add through juicer chute at a low speed. Berries don’t produce too much juice, so always have extra on hand. If you’re using frozen berries, they will need to be thawed before going through the juicer.
Blend: Frozen blueberries are an excellent addition to a smoothie to add thickness, a colder finish and a vibrant flavor. Fresh are great too but frozen seem to do best in a smoothie. Before blending, just rinse them and add them into your blender with other favorite smoothie ingredients.
Raw: Fresh, raw blueberries are an excellent snack, a great addition to a summer salad, or even on warm oatmeal or a chia pudding.
Cooked: Try adding them to one of our Fruit Bake recipes for a warm treat.
Cooked, Raw, or Frozen? How to Get the Most out of Blueberries
Cooked blueberries have similar health properties to fresh blueberries and will retain most of their nutrients under 350 F (177 C). Cooked berries tend to lose vitamins C & E and folate, while the vitamin A and carotene remain. The cooked berries contain almost twice as much (15 mg versus 9 mg) calcium and more absorbable phosphorus and potassium than raw berries. The amounts of zinc and magnesium are comparable between the two.* Blueberries retain most if not all of their nutrients during the freezing process. Bottom line, no matter how you eat your blueberries, they are good for you so eat up!