Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month? The United States Department of Agriculture designated the holiday back in 2003. Blueberries are one of just three fruits native to North America (along with cranberries & Concord grapes). According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, global blueberry production has grown significantly over the past decade, with the US estimated to produce around 900 million pounds in 2017. Now, that’s a lot of berries!
Blueberries and your health
Blueberries are full of essential nutrients (including vitamins C, K, and E as well as manganese), dietary fiber, and antioxidants. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, a serving of wild blueberries has more total antioxidant capacity than a serving of cranberries, strawberries, or plums. At just 80 calories per cup with virtually no fat or sodium, they make for a delicious and healthy snack.
If you wanna pop these little blue burst by the handful, by all means! But blueberries can be used for so much more in the kitchen…
- Chicken & Blueberry Pasta Salad – Perfect for potlucks.
- Blueberry Peach Orzo Salad – A refreshing burst of citrus & boost of vitamin C.
Sauces, Dips, & Dressings
- Blueberry Balsamic Dressing – Make your salad a little sweeter.
- Teriyaki Pork Chops with Blueberry-Ginger Relish – Just marinate, grill, and go!
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Blueberries – This rich sour cream coffee cake can be made any time of the year, thanks to the wide availability of frozen blueberries.
- Blueberry Thyme Scones – Yields 8 (we’ll leave it up to you whether you share).
Drinks & Cocktails
- Blueberry Honey Bee Cocktail – For a mocktail version, swap out the rum for white grape juice.
- Blueberry Mint Matcha Latte – Blend on high and enjoy!
Because of their light protective coating, blueberries can last longer than other berries. Fresh berries can be stored unwashed in the refrigerator for up to five days. Layer with paper towels to maximize freshness. If you can’t consume all of your blueberries within five days, freezing is another good storage option. Spread your berries on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours, then transfer them into a freezer safe bag. To defrost, place the berries in a bowl for about an hour.
Blueberry sale at the St. Peter Food Co-op
The St. Peter Food Co-op is about to receive its annual direct-from-the-grower shipment of premium Michigan blueberries. Sign up in the store or using the order form below to reserve your 5 pound case at $21.99.
These blueberries have been picked at the peak of the season and will arrive on July 19th. The berries are a bluecrop variety—great for preserves, baking, freezing, and fresh eating. Through the annual Co-op “truck sale,” customers can buy enough of these large, sweet berries to last an entire year. Yum!