Harvest Of The Month: Blueberries

Typically at the top of just about every “super food” list, blueberries offer a tasty pathway to healthy eating. And, why not? These sweet sources of fiber are packed with vitamins and give you loads of antioxidants and compounds that fight off chemical reactions that damage cells, speed up aging and increase cancer risks.

Known by indigenous North Americans as “star fruits” (because of the five-pointed star shape at the end of the berry), blueberries often are described as the only naturally blue food. Although they’ve only been grown commercially for about a century, these close relatives to cranberries, bilberries and huckleberries are thought to have been on humans’ menus for more than 13,000 years.

These days, most of the world’s blueberries come from the U.S., with Chile and Canada also providing large shares of them.

When shopping for blueberries, look for firm, dry and plump berries with smooth skin. Avoid buying packages of blueberries with juice stains (that could mean some of them are damaged), leaves, stems or wrinkled fruits. If you can’t get fresh berries, you’ll can buy them frozen, canned or dried.

When you do get fresh berries, whether from the supermarket or freshly picked, you should store them in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for up to 10 days. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them. Fresh blueberries can be frozen, but, again, wait to wash them until after you’re ready to eat or cook with them.

Try blueberries in this Health Blueberry Muffin recipe

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