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The blueberry is a blue-coloured, small, round berry, which has a sweet albeit acidic taste. It has a silver bloom around, and transforms from green to reddish purple and finally blue as it matures.
This tasty berry ripens through May and June, which is therefore the best season to relish blueberry tarts and pies, and stock up on tasty blueberry jams, dessert toppings and syrups too!
Clean and wash the blueberries and place them on a chopping board. Now, chop the berries horizontally and vertically, into fine or larger pieces depending on the recipe requirements.
Clean and wash the blueberries. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Place the bluberries in an air-tight container and place them in a deep freeze until use.
How to Select
• While blueberries can be plucked off wild bushes, various varieties of blueberries with distinct flavours are also commercially cultivated.
• When buying fresh blueberries, check for any insect infestation, blemishes or bruises as well as the colour.
• Select berries that are completely blue (fully mature), with no tinge of red (slightly un-ripened).
• Blueberries must be ripe when purchased, as they do not continue to ripen after harvesting.
• Avoid soft, watery or mouldy blueberries It is a good sign if you are able to see a shimmering silver coating as it is nature’s way of protecting the berries.
• Stay away from berries on which you see a mist of water or other liquids sprayed to make them look fresh.
• If buying packed berries, inspect the package. Stained or leaking containers are an indication of fruit past its prime.
• Blueberries can be made into purees or juices.
• It is most popular as a jam made with blueberries and fruit pectin.
• Apart from this, blueberry is used in pies, cakes, muffins, jams and jellies.
• Blueberry syrup makes a delicious dessert topping!
How to Store
• Since it is highly perishable, consume as soon as possible.
• If not, you can refrigerate it in a rigid container. Do not wash it before storing because water on the surface hastens deterioration.
• Under refrigerated conditions, blueberries can last up to two weeks.
• There are also methods to freeze individual blueberries for preservation. Never wash the blueberries before freezing as the water will harden the berry’s skin.
• Frozen blueberries last for close to a year. After thawing, they are only slightly less bright and juicy as compared to the original harvest state.
• It can also be canned or dried.
10 Health Benefits of Blueberries
1. Powerful Antioxidant : Blueberries have great antioxidant value, especially anthocyanins, which help to fight cancer and degeneration of cells.
2. Good for Skin : The antioxidants also help to fight harmful free radicals and reduce wrinkles on your skin.
3. Laxative : It is also used as a laxative and relieves intestinal troubles.
4. Makes you Younger : As it fights the free radicals and toxins in the body, they slow down the raging process. Try Blueberry Orange and Yoghurt Smoothie
5. Low in Calories : Excellent for those on a weight loss diet.
6. Good for Diabetics
: Since Blueberries are low in calories, they work well for Diabetics.
7. Rich in Vitamin C : One cup provides 25% of RDA.
8. Rich in Vitamin K : One cup provides about 30% of RDA.
9. Rich in Manganese : One cup provides about 25% of RDA.
10. Rich in Fiber : One cup provides about 15% of RDA.
Glycemic Index of Blueberries
Blueberries has a Glycemic Index of 40 to 50 which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Blueberries have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss and diabetics.
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