Blueberry


Blueberries are small fruits of a shrub tree, which belongs to the heath (Ericaceae) family. Other members of this family include cranberry, bilberry, azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron. These berries grow in clusters and vary in size from that of the size of a pea, to the size of a marble. The colour often ranges from maroon to purple black. The flesh of the blueberries is semi-transparent and encases tiny seeds. The berries, which are cultivated are mildly sweet, whereas those which grow in the wild are more tart and tangy in flavour. They are round and flattened in shape. They have a crown like structure at the bottom, and a depressed ring at the top of the fruit. Blueberries are usually around 1/2 inch in diameter. These berries are native


Product Information in Details

Blueberries are small fruits of a shrub tree, which belongs to the heath (Ericaceae) family. Other members of this family include cranberry, bilberry, azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron. These berries grow in clusters and vary in size from that of the size of a pea, to the size of a marble. The colour often ranges from maroon to purple black. The flesh of the blueberries is semi-transparent and encases tiny seeds. The berries, which are cultivated are mildly sweet, whereas those which grow in the wild are more tart and tangy in flavour.

They are round and flattened in shape. They have a crown like structure at the bottom, and a depressed ring at the top of the fruit. Blueberries are usually around 1/2 inch in diameter. These berries are native

to North America, where they grow in abundance in the mountains, forests of US and Canada. On an average, there are about 30 different varieties of blueberries available. They were not cultivated until the start of the 20th century, when they were commercially cultivated in the year 1916.
 

Nutritional Profile
140 grams of Blueberries contain the following:

  • Calories - 100
  • Total Fat - 1 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 0 mg
  • Saturated fat - 0 g
  • Fiber - 3 g
  • Total Carbohydrate - 27 g
  • Sugars - 11 g
  • Protein - 1 g
  • Vitamin C - 15%
  • Iron - 2%.
 

Varieties of Blueberries

  • Blueberry-Brigitta: This variety is a late season variety producing large, firm, and light blue berries. The shrub of this cultivar is upright and usually grows to a height of about 6 feet. The berry borne by the variety is large, crisp and rich in flavour and texture. Thus they make an excellent option for freezing as well as eating fresh. The fruits ripen towards the end of August
  • Blueberry-Chandler: This variety of berries is large, firm and has a wonderful flavour. Each berry weighs about 2g. The bush is extremely attractive and grows low to a height of about 150 cms
  • Blueberry-Earliblue: As the name of the berry suggests, it matures early as compared to the other varieties. The berries borne by the tree are large, juicy and have a mild and sweet flavour. The berries grow in medium sized clusters and ripen in the beginning of July
  • Blueberry Top Hat: It is an extremely nutritious variety, which also makes for an extremely ornamental plant. The berries produced are extremely plump and and make an ideal ingredient in pies, muffins and jams
 

Selecting Blueberries
One should be extremely careful while selecting berries. One should pick those, which have a deep and uniform colour with a wheatish bloom. It is advisable to shake the container they are in; take the packet only of the berries are moving freely in the packet. If the berries are not moving freely in the packet, this merely indicates that the berries are likely to be soft, moldy or damaged.

One should avoid berries, which are soft or watery in texture. They should also be free from water, as the presence of water is likely lead to their decay. They are primarily cultivated in the United States and are available from May through October, whereas imported berries may be found at other times of the year as well.

 

Uses of Blueberries

  • Blueberries are best had in their raw form
  • Frozen berries may be added to your breakfast shake to make it more zingy and lip smacking
  • Dried berries can be added to the dull breakfast cereal to pep it up
  • Blueberries added in yogurt and then frozen make an excellent low fat dessert. It can be topped with crystallized ginger for best results
  • Blueberry jams, muffins, pies are the a favourite among people of all ages alike. They can be enjoyed throughout the year.
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