Blueberry season is here! And there is nothing more fabulous than having fresh blueberries to eat. They’re so wonderful that they even have an entire month devoted to them; July is National Blueberry Month.
Just by themselves, blueberries are a wonderful snack. In a fruit salad, they are amazingly tasty. Baked into a myriad of treats such as muffins, cobblers and pies they are indescribably delicious.
Blueberries are native to North America and related to cranberries, another distinctive North American fruit. They are high in antioxidants; anthocyanin which is beneficial for collagen especially as it relates to capillary and vascular support, and ellagic acid which is helpful in protecting against cancer. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, manganese and are a good source of fiber. Studies show them to be effective in helping to protect against Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), colon cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Organic or conventional?
Domestic, conventionally grown blueberries have been found to have over 40 different pesticide residues. Some of these pesticides are known or potential cancer-causing agents, others are suspected to be hormone disruptors or neurotoxins. Unfortunately, a number of them are also toxic to honeybees (required to pollinate the blueberries, go figure). This means that when buying blueberries it’s important to choose organic over conventional.
Some years the pesticide level is high enough that blueberries are a part of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen [https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/full-list.php] list. Other years they aren’t in the top twelve. However, even if they’re not on the top twelve list, they’re still close to it. Buying organic means that you do not have the high levels of pesticides often found in conventional produce.
If you’re fortunate enough live near a pick-your-own, organic/sustainable/regenerative agriculture blueberry farm it can be the work of a morning to pick several pounds. Blueberries freeze quite well; that one day of hot sweaty work can yield a year-long bounty of delicious treats.
How to eat blueberries
“By the handful fresh out of mama’s picking bucket.”
Sun-ripened, fresh off the bush blueberries are bursting with flavor and definitely hard to pass up. When my children were little and we used to go blueberry picking I used to joke that it was a good thing I was a fast picker. With three little girls who all LOVED blueberries, their picking efforts often meant serving as tasters to make sure what was going into mama’s bucket passed inspection.
This is one of the first recipes I make each year after going blueberry picking (once my family is done plundering the basket). These muffins make a great snack and always go quickly in my house. They're moist, super tasty, and, if you’re trying to make them last, they do freeze well.
Best Blueberry Muffins
- 1 cup gluten-free oatmeal1 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup organic whole milk
- 1/4 cup organic sour cream
- 2 tablespoons melted organic coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey (use raw and local)
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Grease muffin tin
- In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients
- Add milk, sour cream, coconut oil, and honey, blending well
- Fold in blueberries
- Divide mixture into muffin tins
- Bake 15 minutes or until done
For another delicious blueberry recipe check out these mojitos.