Blueberries are so delicious and versatile that they can be a tasty topper for breakfast waffles, a power snack between meals, a delicious addition to a salad or shake, or even be used as a yummy pie filling. July is National Blueberry Month, so feast on this juicy fruit while it’s in its peak season.
Blueberries are not only tasty but very healthy as well, with as little as 100 calories per cup, according to WebMD, and containing more antioxidants than any other fruit! Studies on the nutritional benefits of blueberries have shown that these berries, also nicknamed “Brainberries,” can help protect the brain from stress, reduce the effects of age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s, and improve motor skills and learning capacity — now, that’s impressive. And if that wasn’t enough, blueberries also deliver about a quarter of your daily Vitamin C needs, as well as fiber, Vitamin K and B6, and loads of minerals. Did we mention they’re low-glycemic as well?
As one of North America’s few native fruits — accounting for 90% of the world’s supply — fresh blueberries are not hard to find at the supermarket. But to help you find the freshest blueberries every time, here are a few tips from World’s Healthiest Foods:
1. When choosing blueberries at the store, look for those that appear firm, have uniform color, and move freely about the container when shaken; if they don’t this could be due to them being damaged, soft or moldy.
2. Once at home, store your freshly bought blueberries by removing any crushed or moldy ones to avoid spoiling, and place the rest in a closed container — doing so can keep them fresh for up to 3 days, as opposed to leaving them at room temperature where they will begin to spoil after a day.
Pro-tip: Avoid washing your blueberries prior to using them; by washing them, you will wash off the bloom that protects the blueberries from going bad.
3. If you buy frozen berries in the store, avoid bags that you feel have a lot of clumps – the blueberries may have thawed and then been refrozen. If, on the other hand, you decide to freeze your own: wash, drain, and remove all damaged blueberries and place them on a cookie sheet so they each freeze individually — this will prevent clumping. Once the blueberries have frozen, place them in a bag and back to the freezer they go.
Blueberries are proof that good things come in small packages. They are sweet, colorful, versatile and pack a nutritional punch. Next time you’re in the supermarket buying these berries, make sure you have some of these recipes with blueberries in mind: