What are Blueberries?
Blueberries are a small round fruit the size of a pea that grows on bushes or perennial flowering plants. They have a gorgeous indigo to purple coloured skin while the flesh is creamy white.
The most common varieties of blueberries include the lowbush, highbush or rabbiteye.
These varieties essentially refer to the bush itself with lowbush growing under 1.5 feet while highbushes grow anywhere from 5-9 feet. As you can imagine, the highbush variety requires a lot of pruning.
The rabbiteye blueberry bushes are tall too, and they can grow anywhere between 6-10 feet. They are great for growing in hot climates.
Why Blueberries Are So Good for You?
No doubt over the years you would have heard blueberries referred to as a superfood.
This accolade is truly well deserved. It has been said that if you eat a cup of blueberries a day, it could lower the risk of heart disease and cancer as it is jammed packed with antioxidants.
Here are some other health benefits of blueberries:
- High in potassium
- High in vitamin C
- They are an anti-inflammatory.
- Great for boosting the immune system.
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Reduces obesity levels.
- Helps to strengthen your metabolism.
- Great source of fibre.
- Helps to improve blood flow.
So yeah…start eating those blueberries!
Are Blueberries High in Sugar?
Blueberries can be considered as low to medium in sugar. They contain 15 grams of sugar per cup.
For those following a keto diet and you’re counting total carbs instead of net carbs, blueberries are a great addition to your repertoire.
Why Are Blueberries So Expensive?
This fruit is always on the expensive side, even during the summer months when it’s at its peak.
The first contributing factor is where it can actually grow. Blueberries thrive in warm climates but don’t do well if overly hot or cold. This limits the perfect location for growing and not a produce that is available all year round.
The next reason would be the cost of harvesting this fruit. Blueberries have to be hand-picked. It’s not a fruit where you can shake the trees and it falls off. In fact, you don’t want that to happen as otherwise, the blueberries will turn to mush.
Because it is delicate, they have to be picked by hand, which is expensive to do as you can imagine. Much cheaper to pay for a piece of equipment than hire a pool of fruit pickers.
Blueberries have a short shelf life. Once they are picked, they no longer ripen. If kept out after picking, you can start to see mould form on the berries within 2-3 days. Moulding is delayed, only by a few more days when they are refrigerated.
This makes the storage and transport logistics all the more expensive.
What is the Best Way to Store Blueberries?
They should be stored in the fridge. Do not wash them prior to storage as the water quickens the level of deterioration.
If your fridge is always packed to the rafters, place them inside a hard container as they are so delicate and can easily be squashed.
Can You Freeze Blueberries?
Absolutely and in fact, it’s one of the best fruits to freeze. Again, don’t wash them before freezing as it makes the skin go a bit hard. Just wash them after you defrost them and just before you’re about to eat them.
Same principle applies in terms of containers. Put them in a rigid container so that all the other heavy frozen items in the freezer don’t flatten them.
It’s great to freeze blueberries as you can’t get them all year round.
What Does Blueberry Taste Like?
Flavour: A good ripe blueberry is considered to be sweet with a touch of acidity. Some blueberries can be sour, and sometimes the skin can also be a bit bitter. But overly, they are relative sweet pops of yum!
Texture: The skin of the blueberry is much like that of a grape. Thin and sometimes astringent. The flesh is, however soft and juicy.
What Goes Well with Blueberry?
Fruit and Vegetables
Apricot, artichoke, banana, beetroot, blackberry, celeriac, celery, coconut, corn, daikon, elderberry, feijoa, ginger, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lettuce, lime, lychee, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, peach, pumpkin, radish, raspberry, rhubarb, spinach, strawberry, watermelon, zucchini.
Herbs, Nuts and Spices
Allspice, almonds, basil, chestnut, cinnamon, coffee, cream cheese, honey, macadamia, mint, nutmeg, parsley, pecan, pistachio, pork, ricotta, sumac, tarragon, thyme, vanilla, walnut, yoghurt.
Protein and Other
Chicken, chocolate, coffee, cottage cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, honey, maple syrup, pork, ricotta, sour cream, squid, vanilla, yoghurt.
How to Use Blueberries in Salads?
The best way to incorporate blueberries in salads is to simply eat them raw. They are perfect as they are!
You can also use them in salad dressings by adding some in a food processor and creating a vinaigrette.
Salad Recipes with Blueberries
Looking for a fruit salad with a little sophistication and a touch of sweet wickedness? We douse the stunning looking white dragon fruit with aromatic Japanese plum wine and add some blueberries to create mouthfuls of sensational flavours. This Dragon Fruit Salad is not for the faint-hearted!
Simple and elegant fruit salad with berries, mingled with maple lime dressing and topped with a sophisticated prosecco cream, this berry dessert is perfect for entertaining.
Inspired by the popular rose flavours of the Middle East, this rose syrup over sweet fruit is a wonderful way to end an already fabulous dinner party. Made ahead of time, this Black Fruit Salad is easy, fuss-free and ever so stunning when served.
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