Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Blueberries from
the Barren County Farmers' Market




Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

The blueberry is extensively cultivated commercially but it is also picked in the wild. The wild berries are considered to be far more flavorful but are harder to pick due to several reasons, one being their smaller size.

Maine produces 25% of all blueberries in North America, making it the largest producer in the world. These all came from native plants that were found in the coastal forest. Today, the crop is so large that it takes around 50,000 beehives to pollinate the area. Many of the bees have to be brought in from other states.

Blueberries are in season through the summer. There are several kinds and many varieties of them, many ripening at differing times. Some blueberries are held over in controlled-atmosphere storage but most have a short shelf life.

 

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Blueberries, especially wild species, contain antioxidants which have been found to reduce the risks of some cancers. At the 2004 International Conference on Longevity, a group of researchers released details of a study that suggests certain compounds found in blueberries (and some similar fruits, including cranberries) have a significant impact in reducing the degradation of brain function, as in Alzheimer's Disease and other conditions. Other research has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.

Also, blueberries are high in manganese as well as vitamin k and have a very low GL in a single 155g serving, making it an ideal food for diabetics.

Selecting a quality product

When you buy berries in a store, look for ripe, colorful, yet firm berries, with no sign of mold or mushy spots.

Picking your own berries is a good option. The quality is much better than any store, when you choose the fruit yourself and get it fresh from the plant. It looks and tastes better. It's is healthier, too, because it is fresher.

The costs are usually substantially less because the farmer doesn't need to pay farm hands to pick, and he usually has no packaging or shipping costs. And if you plan to can or preserve any jam, fruit or vegetables, this is the best way to buy. Some people take their whole families and make a day of it.

Gently wash the berries before you serve them. Berries can also be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Once they thaw, they will not be as firm as freshly picked berries, but they will still contain all the nutritional benefits of fresh berries.

Tips on Storage

Berries don't store very well so prepare to use them soon after purchasing. Never wash them before putting them in the refrigerator. It will only serve to hasten spoilage or molding.




Recipes

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
3 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
4 tablespoons hot (160 to 180 degrees) melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. and place rack in middle position.

Put first five ingredients in bowl, stir well and set aside.

Using metal blade in a food processor, process the next three ingredients until smooth. Add eggs and process 15 seconds. Clean sides of container.

With machine running, pour hot butter through chute within 10 seconds and process for 10 seconds; add milk and process 5 seconds. Add dry ingredients and mix in 4 to 6 half-second pulses.

Add blueberries and mix until all are incorporated into batter, 3 to 4 half-second pulses. Pour into muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 30 minutes and cool on rack 15 minutes.




Blueberry Lemon Crunch Cake

Streusel

1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces

Cake

8 ounces butter, softened
8 ounces sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 pound all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups blueberries

Heat oven to 375F. Grease a 13 x9" baking pan.

For the streusel: In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, salt, oats and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or your fingers, work in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

For the cake: With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine milk, juice, vanilla and zest. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan; sprinkle 2 cups blueberries evenly on top. Add remaining batter; sprinkle with remaining blueberries. Top with streusel. Bake 45 to 60 minutes. Serves 12 to 15.




Blueberry 'n Spice Sauce

6 servings

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups blueberries

Rinse and clean blueberries. If using frozen dry pack Blueberries, thaw them first. In small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; gradually stir in water and lemon juice. Over medium heat, cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Add blueberries; cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil again. Serve warm over ice cream or cake or frozen pies.

MICROWAVE:

In 1-qt glass measure, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add water and lemon juice. Microwave on full power (high) 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture boils. Stir in blueberries, microwave on high 2 minutes or until mixture boils. Proceed as above.




Blueberry Clafoutti

Yield: 12 Servings

4 cups blueberries
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
Dash salt

Grease & flour a suitable baking dish. Add berries. Combine milk, sugar, eggs, salt & vanilla. Add flour and beat with electric mixer until smooth.

Pour over berries. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until golden & puffy.

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