Recently I went with some friends to a local pick-your-own place where there were over 5 miles of blueberry bushes. The berries were plump, juicy and very flavorful. With three adults and four kids the picking went fairly quickly and everyone came home with a quite a few berries. Blueberries freeze quite well if you want to save some for later. There's nothing quite like blueberry pancakes in the middle of winter from blueberries that you picked fresh during the summer.
Blueberries are native to North America and related to cranberries, another distinctive North American fruit. They are high in antioxidants; anthocyanin which is beneficial for collagen especially as it relates to capillary and vascular support, and ellagic acid which is helpful in protecting against cancer. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, manganese and are a good source of fiber. Studies show them to be effective in helping to protect against Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), colon cancer, and ovarian cancer.
One of my favorite ways to eat them is in pancakes, simply take your favorite pancake recipe and add blueberries to the batter after it has been put into the pan. Another favorite is blueberry muffins. A quick search of the internet will reveal plenty of recipes that call for fresh blueberries but here is my muffin recipe which is always a hit at our house.
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon. baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
1 cup Sucanat
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 - 1 1/2 C. blueberries (depending on how berry-y you like them)
Sift together dry ingredients
In a separate bowl beat egg, add oil and Sucanat
Add vanilla and add-ins
Add dry ingredients and mix well
Spoon into two well greased loaf pans
Bake 375°F for 15 minutes
If you live locally in the Houston area, here's a link to an article about the farm I visited to get my blueberries.
photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net