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Benefits of Blueberries

Benefits of Blueberries

Blueberries’ Powerful Health Benefits 

The saying “Good things come in small packages” certainly describes Mother Nature’s tangy-tasting indigo jewel, the blueberry. 

Blueberries offer up many powerful health benefits. Read on about their abundant nutritious super powers, discover area pick-your-own farms, and explore recipes highlighting this amazing diminutive summertime gem that offers up big health advantages.

 

Bountiful Benefits

Blueberries’ vitamins and minerals aid many of our body’s systems. They improve brain function, maintain central nervous system health and keep memory sharp as we age. The gastrointestinal system benefits from their dietary fiber to avoid constipation while maintaining optimum digestion. 

Blueberries have a reputation for their vast amount of antioxidants, thanks largely to the presence of anthocyanin, the pigment responsible for their deep, rich blue color. Antioxidants are vital in battling free radicals within the body. These antioxidants, in combination with an abundance of Vitamin C, join forces to boost immunities and prevent infections.

Nutrients found in blueberries also combine forces to ward off heart disease by dissolving “bad cholesterol,” as well as reduce risks of cancers, osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and cataracts. They also help prevent urinary tract infections and are a very good natural antidepressant. 

Blueberries go beyond protecting your body’s insides. They also boost skin health by reducing signs of aging. So go ahead and enjoy these nutritious summertime treats. Your body will appreciate their healthful benefits! 

 

Blueberry Summertime Treats

 

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed 
  • ¾ cup of sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons of tapioca
  • 1 Pie Crust

Mix tapioca and sugar together in large bowl. Add blueberries to dry ingredients and toss gently to coat. Let mixture sit while preparing crust. Prepare pastry for a two-crust 9-inch pie. Place one crust in pie plate and fill with berry mixture. Position and adjust top pastry crust and seal, cutting slits for steam escape. Wrap foil around pie edges to prevent excessive browning. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes to 1 hour – top crust should be lightly golden. Remove foil from pie edges during last 10 minutes of baking. Cool completely before refrigeration.  

Yields: one 9-inch pie. 

 

Blueberry Pancakes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries, rinsed

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Add oil, egg, and milk, stirring after each addition. Batter will be slightly lumpy. For crepe-like pancakes, use 2 additional Tablespoons of milk in batter. Fry pancakes on a stove-top greased griddle or cast iron fry pan – bring griddle to medium heat before making pancakes to avoid sticking. Pour batter onto griddle and drop blueberries onto cakes prior to flipping. Flip cakes over when small bubbles form on top of cake. 

Yields: 4 servings. 

 

Blueberry Muffins 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries tossed with  2 tablespoons sugar

In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Combine egg, milk and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened; batter should be lumpy. Gently fold in blueberries tossed in sugar. Grease muffin tin or use paper liners in tin – fill 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. 

Yields: 10 to 12 muffins. 

 

 

Blueberry Jam

Prepare boiling water canner, jars and lids according to instructions provided at  www.freshpreserving.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups crushed blueberries (about 2 ½ pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups of sugar

Combine prepared fruit and lemon juice in a 6- to 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in Ball® Original Fruit Pectin. Add up to ½ teaspoon butter or margarine to reduce foaming if desired. Bring mixture to full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Follow filling and sealing jars section on Ball ® pectin package insert. 

Yields: 6 eight-ounce ½ pints. 

 

Pick your own Blueberries!

Frog Eye Blueberry Farm

19600 Frog Eye Rd., Knoxville, MD 21758

301.799.8645

Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Wed.: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun.: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Call ahead recommended. 

Cost: $4.50/pint pre-picked; $3.50/lb. pick your own – cash or check payment.

www.frogeyefarm.com 

 

Gardenhour Orchards

22511 Gardenhour Rd., Smithsburg, MD 21783

301.824.7466

Call ahead for picking hours and availability.

Cost: $3.50/quart pick your own – cash only. Please bring containers.

www.gardenhourorchards.com 

 

Hess Farms

8620 Helman Rd., Waynesboro, PA 17268

717.762.5844

Call for picking schedule.

Cost: $5.75/quart pre-picked or $2.25/lb.  Pick your own.

www.facebook.com/pages/Hess-Orchards

 

Litton’s Produce & Berries

17435 Lappans Rd., Fairplay, MD 21733

301.223.6815

Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 9 a.m. – dusk; Wed. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Cost: $3.25/lb. pick your own – bring your own containers appreciated. 

www.littonsberries.com

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