WHAT IS A BLUEBERRY?
These blue, black and purple edible fruits are from prostate shrubs that grow up to 13 feet (4 meters) in height. While they are native to North America, the blueberry didn’t become popular until the 1900s. Today North America produces over half of all the blueberries in the world.
WHY ARE BLUEBERRIES GOOD FOR YOU?
Besides containing a quarter of all the vitamin C that you need for the day, this berry helps with the health of your skin, bone, blood, brain and even heart! Blueberries are rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin which gives this fruit its blue coloring.
WHEN ARE BLUEBERRIES IN SEASON?
Traditionally the growing season is from late spring into early summer. In the northern hemisphere blueberries are usually harvested between May and August while down south Australia the season is from July to April.
HOW SHOULD BLUEBERRIES BE STORED?
This fruit does not emit a lot of this gas and so won’t ripen more quickly if stored at room temperature in a paper bag. Also freezing this fruit has been a source of controversy. Some studies say that they lose over half their nutritional value when stored for half a year. The best course of action is to store your blueberries in the refrigerator (avoid the coldest parts). Make sure to remove any moldy or damaged berries as well as any stems prior. Also while you should not wash them before refrigerating them (mold), some people wash the berries with a vinegar water solution (25% vinegar) as an additional anti-mold step. But in either case, make sure your fruit is dry before puting them away (placing a paper towel underneath helps). Avoid storing blueberries in metal as these fruits react poorly when in contact.
HOW DO I STOP MY BLUEBERRIES FROM CRYING ALL THE TIME?
Weeping is a term for when frozen foods start to thaw and generate excess water. In professional baking, the use of frozen fruits is common. Industrial producers often add stabilizers to help control leaking moisture from ruining delicious desserts. This is problem occurs in part because you don’t want to thaw out your frozen fruits before baking them. A simple method for home cooks is to just add some sugar or flour to the fruit first. This absorbs the water and in the case of sugar creates a syrup. You can both sweeten your dish and better preserve it from drying out as well.