|Blueberries are 2 for $7.00 at Mackenthun’s. History
Blueberries are native to North America and have been cultivated for commercial production since the early 1900’s. Before they were commercially grown, people ate wild blueberries. Wild blueberries were and still are an important food for Native Americans. Wild blueberries tend to be smaller and more intensely flavored than the blueberries we buy in the store.
Fun fact: Minnesota’s state muffin is blueberry and Minnesota is the 10th top blueberry-producing state in the U.S! In North America, the blueberry harvest runs from April to September. July, the peak of harvest, is National Blueberry Month. During the winter, blueberries are imported from South America, where it is summer there.
One cup (or a handful) of blueberries is considered one serving of fruit. This only contains 80 calories and only naturally occurring sugars. Blueberries contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and potassium. They also contain phytonutrients called polyphenols which gives blueberries their blue color. These polyphenols protect the body from stress and associated issues like heart disease. Blueberries are actually certified as heart-healthy through the American Heart Association® Heart-Check Food Certification Program! Eating a healthy diet can help lower your risk of heart disease and if you do have heart disease, can help prevent worsening of disease. A healthy dietary pattern includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, like blueberries!
How to select and store blueberries
– A silvery sheen (or “bloom”) is typical on blueberries and protects it from damage (and going bad quicker)
– Look for firm, dry, plump blueberries
– Avoid soft, wrinkled blueberries
– Avoid blueberries with juice stains on container (the fruit might be bruised)
– Don’t keep them in the crisper drawer where air doesn’t circulate well. Blueberries will stay good for up to a week when in the general area of the refrigerator.
– Because blueberries are very perishable, do not wash them until just before eating or cooking.
If you are using frozen blueberries and want to avoid making grey-green streaks in the batter, keep blueberries in the freezer until right when you need to add to the batter. Gently stir into the batter.
Blueberries go well with many flavors and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some popular pairings:
- Blueberries & Lemon (but try other citrus flavors like lime, orange, and grapefruit)
- Blueberries & banana
- Balsamic vinegar & blueberries
- Blueberries & Cheese (especially feta and mascarpone)
- Blueberries and Cured meats (like bacon, salami, and prosciutto)
- Blueberries & Brussels sprouts (roast the brussels sprouts and toss in the blueberries a few minutes before removing from the oven)
Try this interesting recipe for blueberry white chocolate cookies. No food dye is used, all of this color comes from the frozen blueberries!
Blueberry White Chocolate Cookies
Prep time: 6 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt 1/3 unsalted butter, softened
1/3 +1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1.Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Either in the microwave or on the stovetop, thaw the frozen blueberries until they are soft and jammy. If using the microwave, this should take about 30 seconds on high heat. If using the stovetop, it should take about 2-3 minutes on medium heat
3. Let the blueberries cool for about 2-3 minutes. While they are cooling, use an electric mixer or a stand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is noticeably lighter in color and fluffy.
4. Add the blueberries to the butter and sugar and cream at a high speed. Make sure the blueberries get “mashed” into the mixture so that they are pureéd and fully combined with the butter and sugar. The mixture should be a deep purple color.
5.Gradually fold the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients to form a dough. Mix in the white chocolate chips.
6. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes before shaping into 12 balls.
7. Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes or until they are slightly brown on the edges. Let cool on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.
Image from: https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/blueberry and https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/desserts/vegan-blueberry-cookies
Information from: https://blueberry.org/