WASHINGTON — While snacking on blueberries by the handful is one way to get your fill of the super fruit, there are numerous ways to incorporate the berries into breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
Click through the gallery below for blueberry recipes for summer.
Known as a “super food” for its health benefits, blueberry season in North American typically runs through June and July. A cup of blueberries is about 80 calories and has around 3.6 grams of fiber, according to The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. At least 38 states grow blueberries commercially, though just 10 states are responsible for more than 98 percent of production. As a relatively easy fruit to grow, harvest and freeze, blueberries can be incorporated into your diet all year round.
Choosing the best blueberries
Select the blueberries that are completely blue, with no tinge of red, said Peggy Trowbridge Filippone on The Spruce. Blueberries do not ripen after they are harvested, so they should be ripe upon purchase. Avoid soft or watery berries; stained or leaking containers may indicate the fruit inside is past its prime.
Do not wash blueberries until you’re ready to eat them. After removing any crushed or moldy berries, refrigerate them in a hard, covered container. Freshly-picked berries can keep anywhere between three days to two weeks. However, because blueberries are highly perishable, Filippone recommended consuming them as soon as possible.
Properly frozen blueberries can keep for up to a year. To freeze them, Filippone recommended putting the blueberries in a rigid covered contained, leaving enough space for them to expand. She says not to wash the berries before freezing to prevent the skin from becoming tough. You should rinse them after thawing.
Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, fiber and copper. They’re rich in antioxidants, which help prevent some damage to cells. Their fiber content helps promote healthy digestion while helping you feel full longer. Studies have shown blueberries can improve short-term memory loss and motor coordination, according to Medical News Today. Various nutrients found in the berries also protect cells against tumor growth, decrease inflammation in the body and may prevent cancerous cells from forming.
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