The blueberry is a deciduous shrub belonging to the family of Ericaceae, in the genus, Vaccinium. The blueberry plant is a perennial flowering plant with indigo-colored berries.
These blueberries grow off two types of shrubs, namely the highbush blueberry which grows to about 10 to 12 feet tall and is loaded with branches. Then there is the lowbush blueberry which grows to one to two feet and spreads by underground rhizomes.
Blueberries grow well in well-drained, acidic soil of a sandy nature. They require plenty of sunlight. They are ready for harvest when they appear blue and are soft.
Significant regions where blueberries are grown include the United States where the highbush blueberries are grown in Washington (largest producer), Michigan, Georgia, Oregon, New Jersey, California, Maryland, and North Carolina. In Canada production of highbush blueberries occurs in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Québec.
Other regions around the world include Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Poland, Italy, Hungary, and Turkey among other European countries.
Other significant blueberry producers are Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
Depending on where you live, like in the United States, blueberries are available in markets throughout the year. Fresh berries are available around harvest season from June until August.
Fresh berries, even those in stores and markets should be firm, smooth skin with a silvery-gray hue. The ripe blueberries should be deep indigo, purple-blue, blue or blue-black in color.
One should avoid berries that are soft, shriveled, bruised, cut, slimy, or show any other signs of mold and rotting.
Store them at home in a zip-lock bag inside a refrigerator with relatively high humidity. The fruit can keep for about a week in those conditions.
Enjoying the Blueberry as a Culinary Delight
Wash the blueberries with cool running water. Remove any stalks and discard. pat them dry with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.
The fruit can be eaten as a snack when fresh. Dried berries can be used to flavor, Soup is a liquid that can be eaten as a complete food. It can either be thick or clear and can be served hot or cold with accompaniments such as crouton or bread buns. Soup may contain solids such as seafood or meats depending on the type. Clear soups are either bouillon and consommé while thick soups can be thickened... More, stews, A sauce is a liquid or semi-solid food served on other foods or used to cook other foods. Sauces are not normally served as foods on their own. They are used to enhance other dishes by adding flavor and texture. The sauce is derived from the French word salsa which means salted though they may be sweet or savory in... More, and meats such as venison.
They are also ideal as an ingredient in A salad is a mixture of small to medium pieces of ready to eat ingredients mixed together and topped with a sauce or dressing. They are preferred cold with few exceptions served warm. The dressing is usually sweet and sour in nature or can be salted and spiced. Salad ingredients range widely but most commonly they include vegetables, fruits, cooked... More, Ice Cream also known as iced cream is a flavored frozen food often made from dairy products that can be eaten as a snack or dessert. It can also be combined with fruits, nuts and other ingredients and condiments. It is usually served in dishes, cups or cones depending on how it is presented. There are more varieties of ice... More sundaes, and fresh fruit tarts. You will also find them used to make juice, Jelly is a mixture of fruit juice and sugar cooked and thickened with pectin. When cooled it holds its shape without a mold. Jelly is used as a bread spread or a glaze on pastries. In Britain Jelly is a flavored dessert thickened with gelatin and sweetened with sugar.... More, and jam in food production.
The blueberry is an excellent source of antioxidants and a good source of carbohydrates. They are low in A calorie is a unit of energy used in several fields. It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at one atmospheric pressure or the pressure at sea level. When relating to food, Calories with capital "C", also known as the food calorie the same energy as 1000... More providing just 57 A calorie is a unit of energy used in several fields. It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at one atmospheric pressure or the pressure at sea level. When relating to food, Calories with capital "C", also known as the food calorie the same energy as 1000... More per 100 grams. They have little fats and Oil which is also called Cooking oil or Edible oil is a plant, animal or synthetic fat used in food preparation. It is used in frying, baking and other forms of cooking as well as where the food preparation does not require heat such as in salad and dip. It is usually in liquid form at room temperature. Some varieties... More and contain no cholesterol.
They come with a small amount of the B-complex vitamins and minerals. With these berries, you get small amounts of Folates are also known as Folic acid or vitamin B9 is good for DNA synthesis and is essential for alleviating Anemia and in pregnant women infant neural tube defects. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Folic acid can be found naturally in leafy green vegetables. Steam cooking helps retain more of the vitamin during cooking. You can also get it from... More, Niacin is also known as Nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 and is useful for the prevention of nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches and exhaustion. It is also useful in the regulation of high cholesterol in the system. It an be found mainly in protein foods like liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes.... More, Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5. It is a water soluble vitamin used by animals to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Major food sources include dried mushrooms, liver, dried egg yolks and sunflower seeds among others. Pantothenic acid deficiency is extremely rare but symptoms include impaired energy production, irritability, fatigue, and... More, Niacin is also known as Nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 and is useful for the prevention of nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches and exhaustion. It is also useful in the regulation of high cholesterol in the system. It an be found mainly in protein foods like liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes.... More, and Pyridoxine is also known as pyridoxol or vitamin B6 and can be gotten from fruit, vegetables, and grains. It helps prevent confusion, ulcerations, conjuctivitis, intertigo and neuropathy among others. Alcoholics and the elderly are usually the demographics that tend to have increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency.... More.
It is a good source of vitamin K and comes with small amounts of vitamin E, Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds like retinol, retinoic acid provitamin A carotenoids like beta-carotene and is important for growth, immune system and good vision especially in low-light and color vision. It can be found in several foods including liver, cod liver oil, carrot, green vegetables, butter, milk sweet potato, Cheese and fish among others.... More, and vitamin C.
The blueberry also contains a little Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc with good amounts of Manganese.
The dried blueberries can be used in blueberry muffins, pies, cakes, bun, pastries, and cheesecake.