July represents National Blueberry Month. I don’t know about you, but I love to enjoy blueberries, especially during the summertime. Blueberries are a very versatile fruit. They can easily be added to your breakfast cereal, eaten as a snack, or baked into your favorite dessert.
Blueberries provide a good source of nutrients by providing us with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin D, and manganese. Fiber helps with heart health, helps us to feel fuller longer, helps with bowel regularity, and aids in maintaining cholesterol levels. Vitamin C aids in our immune system. Vitamin K helps regulate blood clotting and bone metabolism. Manganese aids in converting proteins, carbs, and fats into energy. Manganese also aids in bone development.
One serving of blueberries is equal to one cup, which provides 80 calories. When purchasing fresh blueberries, select blueberries that are firm and dry. Avoid any blueberries with blooms, leaves, or stems. Their color should be deep purple-blue to blue-black. If you purchase blueberries with a red tint, they are not ripe. Blueberries do not ripen after cooked. While you may not want to snack on these, you can cook with them. Try to avoid any containers with juice stains, as this may mean the fruit is bruised. Frozen blueberries should be loose in the bag, not frozen together.
In order to help your blueberries stay fresh longer, wash them right before eating. If you do choose to wash them prior to eating, just make sure that they are dry prior to refrigerating or freezing. Remember to inspect your refrigerated blueberries prior to eating to check their freshness and to avoid any possibly mold. Frozen blueberries should be consumed within 10 months of freezing.
For more information on blueberries and their health benefits, visit https://www.blueberrycouncil.org/. If you are interested in growing your own blueberries, visit www.lsuagcenter.com to learn more information.
Looking for an easy, healthy, and fun recipe to make? Try this recipe for Healthy Banana Split.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture